The response. . .
So, in the interest of fairness, I think it only fitting that I should talk about some of the things that I love about women, aside from the purely carnal. And, I think it's worth pointing out that many of their exasperating qualities are simply the flipside of the coin that makes them so endlessly coveted. Feminine qualities can manifest themselves in ways that are so divergent as to induce apoplexy in men like myself. The trait that bends your mind one day can show up the next day and melt your heart.
Take, for instance, the woman I wrote about in my most recent sweeping indictment of the fairer sex. She's a beautiful young woman of 30 who has a steady job and the sort of personality that makes men like me want to be around her. She's fun and funny, drinks beer out of the bottle, and is just this side of bawdy, while at the same time sensitive, sentimental, and nurturing to the point of self-deprivation. Of all her qualities, it's the gentle ones that create the most frustration.
It's those feminine characteristics, after all, that cause her to stay with the daily drunk, dull-witted, half-ass of a man that she's engaged to today. A man like me can't help but be disenchanted over not only the fact that he was passed over in favor of someone so patently undeserving, but also the very idea that those qualities are being wasted on someone who is incapable of recognizing them to begin with. It's like putting a grand piano in a gorilla cage.
Women are capable of unfathomable depths of devotion. A reader emailed me the last time I took on this subject, and he told me about how he and his wife had packed up and moved no less than (if memory serves) eleven times in their first twelve years of marriage. I've moved twice in the past two years, and it almost caused me to chuck it all and build a cabin in Montana from which I would mail the occasional manifesto on the evils of public utilities to widely read periodicals. How any human being could endure such regular upheaval, I can't begin to know. But, there it is -- all wrapped up in pink bows and frills.
Irrational? Of course they are. And, if you ever try to explain to a woman why it's no more evil to eat venison than it is to eat a hamburger, you'll get ample evidence of that. But, on the other side of that irrationality is an ability to set aside her own needs for the benefit of just about anyone who falls within her circle of acquaintances -- from casual friend to soulmate. The average woman's capacity for selflessness is something that, when found in men, generally leads to awards, plaques, and dinners in their honor. In fact, one of the main reasons that fire departments exist is to keep women from dying in the process of trying to rescue their children's hamsters from burning buildings.
And, yes, women can be hypersensitive at times, too. I can't count the times when, among a group of friends, one of the ladies suddenly bursts into a string of invective directed toward the man she loves that would leave Bill Buckley ashen faced with mouth agape, and for reasons known only to her -- until they got home. Then, it turns out that it was because he forgot to say "thank you," and he did the same thing yesterday, and that one time six months ago -- and remember that time he was flirting with that skank at the neighbor's barbecue!?
But it's that sensitivity that tells a woman when a man isn't feeling like much of a man, and it drives her to make it better. Only a woman can do that. In fact, were it not for women, half the men on the planet would start taking steroids and stealing Corvettes whenever they get laid off or called on the carpet by head honcho. Somehow, without a word exchanged, women know when something's wrong. And, without a clue as to what it is, will set about fixing it -- and, nine times out of ten, they're successful.
These are just a few of the things about women that keep me believing. What I don't know about them is encyclopedic. But, what little I do know is why I continue to say, "I love women. . ."