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next week's column: The Truth About Men


Like many men I, of course, read Redbook magazine.

Oh, okay, so I don’t. But I’ve heard of it. Recently I heard of an article, written for that magazine by Ty Wenger, about something he says every woman wants to know: “What secrets is her husband keeping from her?”

The secret of proper grammar, was my first thought. “Secrets is”? But that’s cheap, and I don’t even know if Ty Wenger is a woman or a man. Besides, if anyone holds the secret of proper grammar, it’s not the guys.

So I read “the 11 secrets most men keep, including your husband”. This despite the fact that I have no husband. While I don’t agree with all these 11 points, enough are true that women might finally start to figure men out, which would spell the end of the human race.

You see, women are complicated; men are simple. Only two things keep women around men: one is the fact that most women want to have children. Despite modern technology, that’s still very difficult to do without men. Once women have the asexual reproduction thing figured out, we’ll know who’s really in charge.

The other is that, subconsciously, women think there’s something real and concrete behind that vacant male stare: that deep inside men have layers; that they’re capable of serious conversation; that they’re intellectual and understanding.
All untrue.

Simple or not, men do eventually learn to keep secrets. Call them white lies, the things we don’t say to keep peace between us and our womenfolk. Wenger lists 11 truths about men:

1. Yes, he falls in lust 10 times a day – but it doesn’t mean he want to leave you.

Absolutely true. Men think with two parts of their body, but one does most of the thinking; the other is their brain. However, men are capable of falling in love, and loving deeply. Men can see the bikini lady on the beach, lust after her, and fantasize that she doesn’t notice his pot belly, receding hairline and farmer’s tan, all while still being madly in love with his significant other. Men like to look; that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stray.

2. He actually does play golf to get away from you.

Substitute golf for any number of other pursuits. Men and women are both social creatures, but of different natures. Women tend to nest, either with their friends or their significant others; men tend to gather in groups and go on what they think of as adventures, often involving some object that’s hit or thrown, and beer. Why do they want to get away from women? Because in general women disapprove of sexist jokes, laughing over bodily functions, and spending large amounts of money on pursuits that produce nothing but blisters. Every now and then men need to escape from that feeling that they have to censor themselves constantly.

3. He is unnerved by the notion of commitment, even after he has made one to you.

Boy, ain’t that the truth.

4. Earning money makes him feel important.

I’m not so sure about this one. Frankly, earning money makes me feel like paying my bills. The people I pay my bills to don’t think I’m important until I stop paying them. I’d be more than happy to have a woman making loads more money than I am. Maybe she’d let me quit my job and write novels full time, a move that’s sure to leave her the main bread winner for years to come.

5. Though he often protests, he actually enjoys fixing things around the house.

Oh, I don’t think so. Granted that I’m in the minority here, but I enjoy home repair work like I’d enjoy a hole in my head, and believe me, the two often go together. Maybe I’d like fixing things more if I ever succeeded at it.

6. He likes it when you mother him, but he’s terrified that you’ll become your mother.

I don’t know about that. What’s your mother like? Is she rich? Does she like to fix things around the house?

7. Every year he loves you more.

This is true. Remember two things about men: one, they tend to take things for granted; two, they tend to be very simple and straight forward. If they start to love you less they’ll just take off, probably to get shot down by that bikini lady on the beach. If they seem to not care but stick around, it likely means they still love you, but simply forget to say it. Or, you’re really good at fixing things around the house.

8. He really doesn’t understand what you’re talking about when you discuss “issues” in your relationship. It makes no sense at all to him – even though he will nod in agreement and apparent understanding.

Truer words were never spoken. (Remember, ladies, I did not speak those words.) Remember #7. If you complain about problems in your relationship, his probably response will be “I’m still here, aren’t I?” Although possibly his grammar will be worse. To him, it’s just that simple; but as time goes on and he gains experience, instead of saying anything at all he’ll simply nod and agree. While thinking “I’m still here, aren’t I?”

9. He is terrified when you drive.

True, that. He’s terrified when anyone drives, because it’s a total loss of control. Also, he’s aware that the average woman is a more careful driver than the average man, and he’s afraid you’ll be rear-ended by a guy.

10. He’ll always wish he was 25 again.

Yeah. *sigh*

11. Give him an inch and he’ll give you a lifetime. Translation: Let him be a dumb guy and play poker with his buddies or go on vacation alone, and he’ll love you forever for that.

Absolutely true. A man is like a dog: put a bowl of food in front of him and a place to go to the bathroom, scratch him behind the ear every once in awhile, and he’s yours.

Oh, and let us fetch a ball, every now and then.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
I'm really good at connecting computers and a/v equipment, and am handy assembling flat pack furniture. Does that count?
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
I think that comes close enough. I can usually connect electronics and assemble such furniture myself, with a little luck, instructions, and if you give me time -- lots and lots of time.

Notice all the qualifications to that statement.
Sep. 28th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
9. He is terrified when you drive.

True, that. He’s terrified when anyone drives, because it’s a total loss of control. Also, he’s aware that the average woman is a more careful driver than the average man, and he’s afraid you’ll be rear-ended by a guy.

So true. When Dad was teaching me how to drive, and then re-teaching me in big city traffic later on, he only let me drive until he thought I had a handle on it, then he took back control. Of course, I love being the passenger, so this worked out nicely.

In truth, I find endless amusement from the differences between men and women, at least until my dad and brother forget that I'm a woman and you shouldn't make jokes about being flat-chested in front of me.
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
My daughter didn't seem to mind being a passenger much even after she had a license. That made me a bit concerned, because I knew she needed the experience, so I started letting her drive back and forth to school by herself. It must have worked, because recently she had me proof read a school essay in which she talked about how her favorite thing to do when she wanted to feel relaxed and free was -- drive! With the windows down and the radio blaring.

Still, no matter how good and experienced she gets, I'll always be a nervous passenger. :-)

On a personal note, from a physical standpoint I prefer, um, flat-chested women to, er, large chested women. Just the same, I would be *very* hesitant to make jokes about either in front of them!
Sep. 29th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Very much. It's really, really nice to know that there are men out there who aren't going to ignore a woman just because she isn't, you know, Dolly Parton. Or the equivalent.

I actually really like to drive. Windows down, music up...it's great.
Sep. 30th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I suppose I'm just as bad as those men, in that if I were to choose based on physical attributes I'd ignore the women who *are* Dolly Parton. The irony is that my ex-wife and my last two girlfriends have all been rather large chested, so size doesn't matter -- at least, not so much to me.
Sep. 28th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
a list about men's secrets and absolutely nothing about sex??? i'm taken aback.
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)
That's a whole different column ... and they won't let me print that one. :-)
Sep. 28th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
Oh Redbook, you are the fat woman's cosmo...
that deep inside men have layers; that they’re capable of serious conversation; that they’re intellectual and understanding. All untrue.

Ouch. Makes me glad I'm bi.

Although, I have to say, what I love about men in comparison to women is that they are kinda simple. They don't have to make a big issue out of everything. They are usually as lazy as I am and as into sex as I am. So a lot of those things never really bothered me.

I do think a lot of men look for a parent in a partner which is such a huge mistake. Because a lot of women are sort of looking for a child. Which just makes the man into an obnoxious, smartass type of baby and the woman into a nagging, neurotic bitch. I have seen this happen--not pretty.
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:17 am (UTC)
Re: Oh Redbook, you are the fat woman's cosmo...
A lot of men spend their whole lives looking for women who are bi and as into sex as they are, so I hope you realize how precious you are. :-)

In the interest of full truth, I've come to realize I have more layers than the average man ... three, maybe four.

As for looking for a parent in a partner ... ew. It does explain a lot about some relationships, though.
Sep. 28th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Your articles are always a fun read.

And re. number 9 - I pretty much refuse to drive with my husband in the car anymore because of his "terror" at my "terrible driving." You'd think I was constantly trying to kill him the way he talks about my driving, LOL.
Sep. 28th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)

my boyfriend does the same thing, and only up until now did i realize that it's a man thing. ;D

anyway, nice article; it was really fun to read!
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! Don't worry, boyfriends mature as they grow older (I said, lying shamelessly).
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC)
It really is a guy thing, and the irony is that up until the last several years women who got experience driving at all became much safer drivers than their male counterpoints. There's been more parity in this generation: It seems these days that *all* drivers are awful.

Glad you like the columns! I aim to please.
Sep. 28th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
..it scares me when you try to fix things. :)
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:20 am (UTC)
Join the club! :->
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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