Newsflash: The battle of the sexes isn’t a battle at all. It’s just miscommunication. Women don’t believe men mean what they say, and men believe women mean something different than what they say. Hell, just writing it down confuses me.
The fix is a simple matter of taking what someone says at face value, then holding them accountable for what was said. Case in point is my three strike rule. As an example:
Me: Is something wrong? You’re normally more excited about the newest episode of True Blood.
Her: Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine. (huffs and scowls)
Me: Are you sure?
Her: Yes. I don’t want to talk about it. (folds arms across chest in defiance)
Me: You realize this is the third time I’m asking you if everything is okay, and if you say yes, you can’t yell at me later for not asking? (maintain one arm’s distance for reactionary purposes)
Me: Who wants pizza!
You see, I do take what people say at face value. It usually doesn’t work out too well, but I don’t lose sleep having to guess what the hell hidden message it is they’re trying to convey. Regardless of my personal, tried and not-entirely-true methods of communication, I feel there are still a few items I should clear up.
Your natural hair color is your best hair color
Please, for the love of all things holy, stop messing with your natural hair color. Genetically it’s your best color, and adding highlights and stripes or dots or a Nike swoosh isn’t going to change your life. That “perfect” color you saw on [insert favorite actress here] in the movie [insert overrated movie here] won’t look the same on you. You’ll spend more money on it that you can justify, and entirely more money on it just for maintenance. When you realize it’s costing you too much, you’ll stop paying for the upkeep and it’ll grow out. Then you’ll look like a mange-ridden hedge hog clawed up your leg and died on your head, possibly after being run over by a car. 9 times out of 5 the color won’t be even close to matching your eyebrows and you’ll look like caterpillars are crawling across your forehead. Then, one sad lonely day in a fit of emotion, you’ll howl in the mirror at the train wreck that used to be your lovely locks. And blame your hairdresser.
We want to be useful
Usefulness isn’t about chores or favors or assignments. Making your man unclog a drain or take out the trash isn’t making him useful, it’s enslaving him (for the record, you can fix the drain yourself) The usefulness in your man lies within his talents, not his capabilities. (Stay with me on this one.) If he’s a hunter, ask him to kill you a wolverine and make you some jerky. He gladly will. If he’s a sports nut, ask him to take you to a game and explain it. I can promise you he won’t shut up. If he’s a dashing, thirty-something, man-beast with mad computer hacking skillz *ahem*, ask him to update your software. That is a feeling of usefulness, not yelling “Grab tampons!” at the 7-11 when he’s filling gas.
Treat us like dogs
It’s true. Men are dogs. And, just like your dog, we ask only three things: affection, food, and please don’t yell at or kick us. These are the holy trilogy of making your man happy (it’s not Cosmo, so put that rag down and focus up here). Have you ever noticed that your dog will love you no matter what you look like or what kind of day you’ve had? And do you know why? Because you never scream at your dog for leaving the toilet seat up. You come home, disheveled, upset, feeling bloated, and you immediately greet your dog with open arms, let him lick your face, and give him chow. He’ll lay patiently in your lap while you eat a pint of Chunky Monkey and cry over The Notebook, but you’ll never kick him off. Try that with your man, and I can guarantee he’ll be more prone to remember the toilet seat next time.
We want a lady as much as you want a gentleman
I can understand you don’t want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I understand you want equal pay for equal work. But what I can’t understand is you want the equality and the tradition. You want his jacket on a cold day, the ballroom dancing, the squiring about town, you know, all that Daniel Steele romance novel bullshit. But has it ever occurred to you that men might want to wash the dishes while you take out the trash? Or that they’d take the kids to the park while you tear skin off your knuckles replacing brake pads in the minivan? I didn’t think so, because society has conditioned us to think otherwise. Anyone can define a gentleman. They’ve got an image of what he looks like, how he speaks and carries himself. But when I think of “a lady,” all I can conjure up is some southern belle being courted on her parent’s porch. Messed up, I know. A lady doesn’t have to drink tea with her pinky raised. She doesn’t have to wear dresses every day or attend church on Sundays. She kind, polite, forthright, and compassionate. She stands on her own two feet, is value-added to the relationship, and views herself as a partner, not princess. A lady speaks her mind, tactfully and passionately, and doesn’t let others pull her down. A lady takes her equality seriously, and her actions show it.
Don’t use children as leverage
Children in a relationship is an extremely personal matter to me, as I’ve experienced it both as a child and as a [assumed] father. I can think of very few reasons where children in a custody battle couldn’t be shared 50/50. Baby’s daddy is a heroine addict? Check. Pimp? Check. Mobster? Debatable (they have great family structures, you know). Barring these situations and those similar, I believe any fight beyond 50% custody is for purely selfish reasons. Purely selfish. Justify it however you see fit, but 50/50 custody with a father who “doesn’t give a shit about his kids” will work itself out very quickly. I know women who aren’t too found of their ex’es, yet they still allow them to get time with their children (refer to the various qualities of “a lady” above). They understand the importance, the influence, the balance. Regardless of the hate in your heart for your former mate, remember it is not your child only, and putting that child in the middle will breed resentment for decades.ShareThis