A Toast To The Ladies

By Most Worshipful Brother Geoff Edwards OSM

This toast was presented at De Goede Hoop Ladies Night in May 2010

Worshipful Master, Ladies and Brethren all.


It was with enthusiasm that I volunteered to propose tonight’s toast to the Ladies. After all, this is a topic I consider myself well qualified to address. I have spent 45 years married to my wonderful wife, have 4 beautiful and talented daughters and have introduced 2 leading contenders for the world’s most adorable granddaughter. My preparation soon ran into difficulties, however, when I realised that I still battle to fully understand their mysterious ways. The Ladies are so very different to us, more basic, males.


Anyway, I decided I needed some help – and referred to my copy of “What women want from men – and what men want in return”. This intriguing collection is assembled from various local contributors and, almost on the very first page, it summed up the cause of my dilemma. I quote: “If a man asks a woman how she is and she tells him she’s fine and he believes her, then he clearly doesn’t understand women!”


Now what does any normal, logical male make of that?


The book has a variety of quotes from different Ladies on what they want from men and these include:-

“Women love surprises” ... ”Women want men who make them feel radiantly beautiful” ... “He must protect me from physical danger” ... “My dream man must have the character of a Knight and the humility of a pauper”... “He must love me enough to accept our differences”...  “I want a man to laugh with me, not at me” ... “A man should understand that a woman needs love most of the time” ... “He must be strong, but I must not fear him”... “He must be proud of me”... “He must make me his Cinderella” ...“He must be attracted to me spiritually, intellectually and emotionally” and finally, “Women are complex creatures; a man should understand that a little love is all a woman really needs”.


It’s quite clear that our Ladies are emotional beings with a definite need for such ingredients as affection, sincerity and honesty in their relationships. Ladies look for strong men, particularly as far as their characters are concerned.


The males quoted are, of course, much more practical and their contributions are more along the lines of “If men were supposed to spend Saturday afternoons in the shopping mall and Sundays at the nursery, why did God put a sports channel on the TV?” ...“I want a woman who chooses shoes she can walk in” or “I want a wife who can make pasta like my Momma”. This is the sort of good, sound common-sense stuff that I can understand.


Occasionally, one of the guys seems to approach the standards our Ladies appear to be seeking, but then they don’t quite get there. A good example is the contributor who declares his Magnificent Seven ingredients of his ideal partner as “sincerity, honesty, loyalty, devotion, simplicity, integrity,” and last but not least, “great legs”.


I recall the story of Adam going to God and asking for a mate. He described his ideal partner while God listened attentively. When he had finished, God assured Adam that it could be arranged, but it was going to cost him an arm and a leg. “Oh my goodness”, responded Adam, “What do I get for a rib?”


In truth, I suspect that the Adam story has got a little twisted though. It seems far more likely to me that either Adam had greatly pleased God, who decided to reward him well, or that God, having completed Adam, looked at his handiwork and said to himself “I can do better than that” – and set about making Eve. For it is a reality that our Ladies are far more attractive to look at than we men are and, by their very nature, tend to be kinder, gentler and more compassionate and understanding. In creating a partner for man, God truly excelled himself and I know that I am talking on behalf of all the Brethren present when I assure the Ladies that, while we may not always be that great at communicating our feelings, we really do appreciate how much our lives are enriched by your love and support.


Ladies, you are the pillars in our homes, the substance in our lives and indeed, the very cement which binds our Lodge together. We don’t always understand your mysterious ways but are invariably enchanted by them. It is a special privilege to be able to share evenings such as this one with you. Please don’t ever forget how very important each and every one of you is to us. Brethren, you will rise and join me in a toast – “to our Ladies, God bless them all”.

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