A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The response. . .

. . .to my diatribe against the dichotomy that exists between women's words and actions has been surprisingly affirmative. And, oddly enough, much of the agreement I've gotten has come from women. To be honest, I half-expected to be taken to task for gross generalizations and being an embittered misogynist, and was dreading the prospect of mounting a defense of my position without sounding like Andrew "Dice" Clay.

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. . ."

Monday, January 31, 2005

I love women. . .

. . .I really do. They can be simultaneously the most calming and exciting presence in a man's life -- at once reassuring and maddeningly inscrutible. I love women, but they are completely beyond my intellectual grasp.

Here I am, a single 35 year old male with no kids or nasty divorces in my past, pretty good employment prospects (though, I'll likely never be wealthy), a sense of humor, a car, my own place (if not exactly a luxury condo), and the women around me seem to just love me. I've managed to live all these 35 years without having a single restraining, or emergency protective order placed upon me, and have never spent more than a few hours behind bars.

One would think that's a good thing, right? Wrong. Because, if a man is still single at the age of 35, self-answering questions start popping into the minds of women. "Thirty-five and never been married? Gay or psychologically stunted." The gay question isn't in doubt in my mind -- I've never been sexually attracted to a man in my life, whereas I find myself sexually attracted to several women everyday. The psychological stunting question, however, is a different story. I do question whether or not I've missed some important stage of male development that enables men to not so much "understand" women, but rather to ignore what they say. Because, in the end, it's what women say that always seems to be my undoing.

Actually, it's not what they say -- it's the fact that I believe what they say. It's been my experience in dealing with women that most of what they say they're looking for in a man is simply not true. For instance, if a woman says she wants a man who is kind, smart, funny, and understanding, what she really means is she wants a drunken dullard who treats her like a dog. As I said, that's been my experience.

Not that I'm trying to make the case that women are "liars," per se. I think women honestly believe the words they say when they say them. For instance, I know women who are absolutely convinced that platonic friendships with men are impossible, and they may be right. I don't have any expriences that indicate otherwise. But, all the while they're saying that these friendships are unworkable, they're busily going about building this "platonic" relationship.

Then, when the friendship develops into something more -- or a man develops feelings beyond the purely platonic, the woman is proven correct. And that makes it easy for her to say, "I told you so," when the friendship hits one of those rough spots that universally strike human relationships. So, the lesson that men are supposed to take away from the experience is that, indeed, platonic relationships between men and women are unworkable. How does this indicate that women say things that simply are not true?

Well, once women have established that those types of friendships can't succeed, and once they've decided that they've made their point on the matter, they start calling on the phone for friendly, platonic chats.

Some of my more jaded and cynical fellow men are utterly convinced that what women really want from men is money. I'm not so sure that's the case, since I've been passed over in favor of men who are self-centered, drunken dullards who stay unemployed anywhere from four to six months out of the year. Granted, I don't have much money, and I can't really be sure about it until I do. But, it seems to me that, on balance, the guy who is supposedly bright, likeable, funny and broke with prospects for the future would be more appealing than a chronically underemployed, besotted horse's ass.

At this point, I'm entertaining the notion that what women want is exactly the opposite of what they say they want. There's an axiom that gets bandied about between men when they're experiencing women problems: "Treat 'em like a queen, and they'll walk all over you. Treat 'em like dogs, and they're yours for life."

For the better part of my life, I've rejected that notion in favor of the belief that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, and that if you extend that respect to someone -- male or female -- you get the same thing in return. And, I've always been of the belief that any relationship worth pursuing begins with mutual respect.

These days, however, I can't help wondering if I'm just naive and, as I said before, stunted. I've known too many men who, in a world where things make sense, would be as perpetually single as I seem to be -- yet, despite their obvious shortcomings, always get the girl. I've seen too many women get into relationships that are so glaringly unhealthy as to nearly warrant law enforcement intervention, despite having better options eagerly waiting to be taken. And, regretably, I'm beginning to entertain the idea that, in fact, women do like the abuse.

I'm willing to consider other explanations, and welcome any input I can get. But, unless someone says something to completely turn my thinking around, the next time a woman tells me I'm a great guy, I'm going to respond with, "Shut up, stupid." That's sure to win her over.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

You may notice. . .

. . .that the picture over in the sidebar has changed from what was a photo of me clutching my rapidly balding pate to one of a martini glass. This came about as the result of an email I received from a dear friend, in which she pointed out that the other picture was depressing.

Now that I think about it, I guess it did have a pretty negative vibe to it. Though, at the time I decided to use it, I thought of it more as a quasi-artistic statement about the idiocy I see in the media -- as in, "clutching my rapidly balding pate in utter disbelief at the idiocy I've just witnessed."

In any case, I have blondie to thank for her help in making the image that sits in the old one's place. I think it's a much better artistic statement, and more fitting in the overall demeanor of this blog. Clink!

So. . .

You may be asking yourself, "Where the hell have you been, MFCB?" Or, you may be asking yourself, "Oh! Has it been a month already?" Be that as it may, I'm not exactly sure what I've been doing all this time. For the most part, it seems like I've been simply trying to settle down and find a groove.

You see, I'm not "time management" people. I tend to let the time manage me. That is, I don't try to budget out my life in fifteen or thirty-minute chunks. I tend to allow events to overtake me, and figure out where I can find a groove amid the aftermath. This takes a while, but has always seemed much less frustrating to me than looking at a daily planner every hour, or so, and watching an entire week blown to smithereens by one unforeseen event. I don't handle such things with aplomb.

Now, it's a matter of shaking off the rust that has built up over the past month of not writing anything, outside of a few posts at Lucianne.com. For me, that's a big challenge, given my past bouts with writer's block. I have to rediscover my writing voice, and then convince myself to stop waiting for the muse to strike. That's pretty much what this blog entry is about. No doubt, the next few days will have a sort of stream-of-consciousness feel to them, as I grasp and grapple for things to say.

So, if there's a change in the tone, or things seem a bit inconsistent for a while, please bear with me. I'm just getting back on the bicycle and am in the process of re-learning some skills that I didn't have much of to begin with.

Thanks for all your patience.


Today seems like a good day. . .

. . .to start blogging anew. Millions of Iraqis turned out to let their voices be heard in the course of human events. Millions of handwringing leftists were proven wrong. And millions of the Bush administration's members and supporters let loose one of the most satisfying sighs they'll ever utter.

Twenty-eight people gave their lives on the day of this pronouncement of self-determination -- and eight soulless automatons were banished from the earth in the process of taking those lives. Those who died in the name of democracy have been vindicated, and their killers have died in vain. It seems to me, no matter how you look at it, today's Iraq -- and the world by extension -- is a more just place than it was before President Bush and our Coalition Allies decided to stand for freedom.

free website counters