Monday, June 9, 2008

The Guy's Guide to Hunting and Fishing Part I

*I'm going to preface this by saying that the people who read my blog, namely, my friends and family, are not exactly the target audience of this particular rant, but its really just me being annoyed so it doesn't matter because my friends will also probably agree with me and be like, "uh-huh, yeah sister, tell it." Actually, none of my friends talk like that. Well, maybe one or two... but you know, its late, I'm tired and that was a trite literary device to expedite the extemporaneous portion of this blog. An effort that has now been nullified by that explanation. Aaaaanyway...

I am cranky and tired of hearing guys whine about women, especially since it was a bunch of guys that really should have been old enough to know better than to believe the relationship myths. I think I can really say this objectively because I am not on the market myself, but name a relationship scenario, and I've been there. Seriously. Like, right there. I'm thinking of writing a manual.

Okay, MEN, here goes: Women are not that hard to understand, and most of the relationship "facts" you know are myths perpetuated by Cosmo, 18 year old girls, women of all ages behaving like 18 year old girls and other men. Whether its getting a woman you want, or keeping the one you have, the principles are the same. Yes, a lot of this is subject to taste, but I'm pretty sure there's an outline that can be followed.

Myth: Girls only want nice guys OR Girls only want bad boys.

Truth: We want neither, and both. Its not that we want someone "bad", but someone who can be a bad-a** when its called for; a guy that could strangle an intruder with his bare hands, or at least shout menacingly and authoritatively so as to convince an intruder that he could strangle them with his bare hands. And we want to be able to imagine those same hands cradling an infant as though it were made of glass. Feel free to put us in our place when we deserve it, and by "our place" I don't mean the kitchen, or even the bedroom, but rather right along side you, equal, shoulder to shoulder. A well timed kiss will shut us up far more effectively that a harsh word, and the pay-off will be much better, but that doesn't mean you should let us off the hook if we're not being fair. You know we wouldn't let you. So be a man. Just be one we can be proud of. By "nice", we mean we want chivalrous, heroic, maybe even polite, but even the cowboys in the white hats get to pull their guns once in awhile, and so much the better. They also hold doors and half-stand-up when we come to the table, but are no less masculine because of it, more in fact.

Myth: Men should look like actors/models/what-have you.

Truth: We want you to look like men... no need to be over-coiffed, over-styled, over-dressed or over-muscled. It doesn't hurt to get a close shave and clean up the look now and then, but fighting for mirror time in the bathroom is a huge turn-off. I've spent years getting my primping routine down to less than an hour for even the most formal event, and on a normal day its 10-15 minutes on the hair, and only because I have a lot of it, and about a minute on the face. If it takes a guy longer than that he's either lying about what he's doing in the bathroom or vain, or both. Hygiene is really the main thing, followed by a decent haircut and a basic wardrobe that shows a little personality. Your own personality, not someone else's, or the one you wish you had. The sexiest thing a guy can put on is a plain t-shirt (black or white) and a great-fitting pair of jeans. Actually, the same goes for girls, in my opinion.

Myth: Women want to change you.

Truth: Some women do. But what most women want is just to get what we paid for, and its not our fault if your advertising methods were unethical and misleading. In other words, when we're getting to know you, you put your best foot forward, and that's fine. But when you don't think your best foot is good enough, and then you pretend to like yoga and wine and that you go to church on Sundays and that you don't wouldn't even know what day of the week football games come on, we're sure as hell gonna protest when you're belching beer while watching the pregame every Sunday. We do it too, I know, my parents joke that all women like to fish until they get married and to some extent there's a willing suspension of disbelief required for a relationship to get off the ground- but wouldn't it be better to just find the person who really knows you and all your dirty laundry and wants you anyway? Chances are if we go in knowing that you're going to sleep in boxers and black socks no matter how much flack we give you, we're not going to mind as long as you are the guy that gives us chills when you play with our hair. Or maybe that's just me.

Myth: Its all about compatibility.

Truth: Its a little about compatibility, but that's not the same thing as "sameness." Some of the most stimulating conversations I've ever had, which usually lead to the best relationships, started out with a little debate. Certainly, if you're going to spend a lifetime with someone, your core beliefs and values need to be a good fit, but must you agree on everything? If one person always gets their way because the other is trying to be agreeable all the time, you're bound to end up with some collateral damage like kids named Petal and Forest and Rainbow or a house decorated in pleather and black lights. The fact is, sometimes you need checks and balances in a relationship too, and that means that when it matters, someone's got to have veto power because cookie cutter couples are usually either mind-numbingly boring or just pretending. A little bit of conflict can be better than romance sometimes, especially when what you really have going for you is excellent chemistry.

The bottom line is that all we really want is a real man who is comfortable in his skin and loves us passionately the way we are. I'm pretty sure that's what men really want in a woman too. If you tickle someone's fancy the rest is fairly simple and if you don't, then none of this matters because there's just no point trying to make someone love you if it doesn't come naturally. This may not be groundbreaking information, but reading it back, I wish someone had spelled this out for me when I was starting to date. Of course, I wouldn't have listened.

**Another little aside. I actually sort of like the names "Petal" and "Forest." Rainbow, not so much. But you see, it proves my point... sometimes I need someone keep my inner tree nymph from escaping at inopportune times.

XO, Elizabeth

1 comment:

Sam said...

Sleeping in socks period is impressive. I just can't do it. They are so uncomfortable that way. It takes a real man to do that.