Tag Archives: manly men

hormones suck

Back in the day I was hanging out with a male friend of mine. I warned him flat out that I was PMSing and might be a little irritated or short with him, so I apologize in advance. This ensued:

“Can’t you control it?”
“No, because it’s a flood of chemicals that completely throws me off my game, changes my personality.”
“Well I’m sure other women have learned to control it, why can’t you?”
“…”

(Ladies, you will please admire my restraint at not castrating him. Thank you.)

However, now several years removed from the event, I realize that while some men are just insensitive jerks (as are some women, let’s be fair), some legitimately don’t understand why hormones can be a problem. So for the sake of education and understanding, I offer this comparison.

I wake you up at 4am, insult you personally (you’re fat, ugly, and stupid), push you around a bit, then force-feed you a pot and a half of coffee, all before 5am. Then I tell you to go about your day normally. You’re just entering the caffeine crash around noon when I force-feed you another pot while reminding you you’re a failure. This is a rough equivalent of PMS.

Granted, some would be able to handle it better than others, but none would be able to really go through the day like nothing happened. The caffeine would make you crazy, unstable, unable to concentrate, but still lucid enough to recognize that you aren’t yourself and cruelly unable to do anything about it. You’d be sleep-deprived, irritated, and probably have a really short fuse. It’s a very bad day.

Could you get used to it and learn to cope? Sure, but you only get the chance once a month. Hardly enough time to acclimatize. And besides, once you finally get used to being grouchy you discover you’re suddenly mopey instead. You’re always behind the curve. It’s a losing battle.

So gents, I understand that it’s annoying to deal with a lady friend* doped up on her own chemicals. But believe us, we hate it even more than you do. We don’t like to be like this. We are not really in control of ourselves. So when we warn you ahead of time, it’s because we care. We want you to understand that it’s nothing against you. Just try to bear with us, it doesn’t last long. If it’s really a problem and starts to damage your relationship, bring it up when hormones are not in play. (i.e. If she’s PMSing and you tell her to “stop being a f*cking bitch,” it’s not going to end well for either of you.) Figure out what’s best for both of you in that situation, etc. Be reasonable adults about it. You know the drill.

*Of course, this applies to women who you find reasonable (and pleasant) on a regular basis. If the woman in question drives you nuts to begin with, godspeed. I don’t know what to tell you.

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‘vanity’ plates

Saturday evening, as I was heading to Miller’s for an evening of celebration, I got stuck at a red light behind a new white Jaguar with the music cranked super loud, windows down, and the license plate, “SWAGUAR.”

And in that moment, I decided I wish I were the person at the DMV (or whatever they call it here) taking that vanity plate application. I would take it to the back room, run it through, and instead maybe hand him a plate that said “DCHEBAG”  or “CMPNS8NG” or “SMLL PNIS.” I’d say to him, oh, I’m sorry, that is already taken, but these have been suggested as alternatives we thought you would find suitably similar in meaning. Have a great day!

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something is wrong with me

Last night I had this dream.

It was in my parents’ kitchen. It was in the evening, in winter. The room was fairly dim. I was standing by the window behind where my mother usually sits. In my spot was my friend Sean. Sitting in my dad’s usual seat was Vladimir Putin.

Putin was offering to marry me.

Not proposing, but offering. In broken English (which I now know he speaks fluently) and some Russian (of which I don’t understand any), he explained his offer. Arrangements of living, schedule compatibility, etc. I had trained myself, as in real life, not to react, so I was listening and absorbing it. Sean was laughing about how ridiculous the whole thing was, but I gave him a look that said, “No, this is serious, he’s serious. You can laugh later, listen to what he says.” So we listened.

I don’t remember the details, but there was some friendly joking thrown in between us both, so apparently we got along fine. I considered his offer. On the one hand, former KGB Head and avowed Communist. On the other hand, rather attractive Russian man who can definitely provide for me, and he’s making a reasonable offer. I told him I’d let him know within seven days. He thanked me and said something in Russian that I took to be a familiar “farewell,” that I tried to repeat back to him, but couldn’t remember.

Then I woke up and wondered what the hell is wrong with me.

PART TWO

I told my roommate, who laughed and then pointed out that Putin is probably already married. This I confirmed via wikipedia: he’s married and has two children. However, on the opposite side of the page is a picture of him as a teenager – and he’s a dead ringer for my two (male) cousins. Rather, a cross between them. It’s really uncanny. It actually freaks me out a little bit.

Honestly, the whole thing is just messed up, beginning to end.

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women in advertisements

This is one of the extremely rare occasions I find some materials, bang together a makeshift feminist soapbox, climb on it, and make noise.

It all started with a Centrum vitamin advertisement. It was a comparison set of ads: one for men, one for women. In the one for men, the announcer asked, “Should men take the same vitamins as women?” and the men, so rudely interrupted from their round of golf, indignantly answered, “Of course not!” In the other commercial, the announcer asked the women, “Should women take the same vitamins as men?” and the women (who I think were engaging in yoga or shopping or some other stereotypically woman-ish activity) replied, “You mean there’s a difference?” as if they’re complete uneducated and ill-informed idiots. Which, I assure you, we are not.

Tonight I see a commercial for 5-Hour Energy. Not the one I’ve seen before, with the annoying dude rolling around in an office chair being condescending. This one was just generally condescending to women. This woman comes in her front door carrying armloads of groceries (paper bagged, of course) complaining about how she never has any energy for her “first” job (presumably her “work” job) and then she has to come home and start her “second” job (being a mother). Meanwhile, several smallish children run by and either fall over or knock something over. She storms into the kitchen and plops down the groceries on the table, presumably leaving them for later – hopefully they won’t go bad by then? – or for the children to destroy. She talks about how her husband yammers on and on about 5-Hour Energy and how it’s sooo great. She opens a cupboard, which is surprisingly sparse for having at least 2 children in that size house. On the bottom shelf are probably 12 individual bottles of 5-Hour Energy. She pulls out a six-pack of them. She begins walking to the next room indignantly explaining how her husband was right. She ends up in the next room – where her husband is sitting on his duff reading the newspaper – and plops down next to him, whereupon he says, “I told you so.”

Please, please, dear advertisers. Women are not ill-educated. We are not pack-mules. We are not the domestic slave. We are no longer secondary to men. We have worked a long time to overcome this image. Please don’t portray women in the light of the 1950s. They were 60 years ago. For instance, if that were my husband who had thrown an “I told you so,” (which I assure you would never have happened in the first place), I would have told him to put down the paper, get off his lazy ass, discipline the children, and meanwhile make some damn dinner if he’s got so much spare time.

Please don’t condescend to me and insult my intelligence like this. And if any of you who produced this ad were women: SHAME ON YOU.

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my first-date philosophy

First dates are unnecessarily difficult. You’ve got to look nice. You’ve got to be on your best behavior. You have to observe proper etiquette. You have to make a good impression. You’re always thinking, how am I doing? You’re almost on edge. You’re sizing up, and you’re being sized up. If you go out to eat, what do you order? It’s the old debate: salad or steak? Basically you’re preoccupied with making a good impression.

This is why I propose every first date occur at a BBQ joint. There is zero room for pretension, for preoccupation, for anything but lip-smacking deliciousness, getting down and dirty with your food, and having a good time. You get to see if the person is someone you want to hang out with on a regular basis – wait see if they clean up nice at a later date. It’s great that a person is a total lady/gentleman in public, but if they’re a total snooze otherwise, what’s the point? So I say, meet the person where you absolutely have to get messy – where the tables are stocked with rolls of paper towels and baskets of wet-naps, where there’s no room for looking pretty and playing nice, where you don’t have to worry about what you order, where you get to be loud, and where you get to lick your fingers.

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when i was your age

Remember when Coolio released Gangsta’s Paradise? Remember how absolutely hardcore it was?

Remember how there wasn’t a single four-letter word in it? No N-bombs? No F-bombs? Not a single word needed censoring, bleeping, or splicing? Remember how it had a message? (“Tell me why are we so blind to see/That the ones we hurt are you and me.”) Remember how it won the 1995 Grammy for best song?

All this occurred to me today as I was driving home from church and the song came on my iPod. How clean it is by today’s standards. I miss 1995’s pop music. It’s the year I really started to love it. Spin Doctors aside, the genre hadn’t quite sunk into inanity yet. Songwriters still tried to communicate something at least semi-intelligently. (See: Dave Matthews, early/middle Mariah Carey, Alanis Morissette, etc.)

Fast-forward to 2003, the year I graduated, the year I pretty much stopped caring about pop music, the year the 90s actually ended as a trend. The 2nd biggest hip-hop hit that year was 50 Cent’s In Da Club (second to Outkast’s Hey Ya, a pinnacle of inanity). Right off the bat, (the part that everyone remembers – “Go shawty, it’s your birthday”) he drops an F-bomb, and in the chorus informs said shawty that if she’s interested in some X and some f***ing to come find him in the club. She will apparently know him by his bottle of champagne. During the rest of the song, he talks himself up (“Been hit wit a few shells but I don’t walk wit a limp” – he’s clearly a big deal), name-drops (“N****s heard I f*** with Dre, now they wanna show me love”), throws out at least ten N-bombs and a few more F-bombs. I’m surprised this got on the radio. I’m even more surprised it won a Grammy.

Classy.

Note: I have nothing against these words in and of themselves. They’re very effective when used well. (Again, see Alanis Morissette.) But beating us over the head with them is counter-productive, especially when you’ve got nothing to say in the first place.

Just for comparison, how about today? One of last year’s biggest rap hits was apparently Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind. It seems the trend of talking yourself up has remained, and the name-dropping has increased. There aren’t nearly as many censor-worthy gems, but judging by what I hear thundering and blasting by on the roads (n**** this and n**** that and f*** you n****), I know it exists. I give Jay-Z credit for not going there (at least in this instance).

Now here’s the thing. I’m assuming these guys thought they were being progressive and edgy, but they sound like cavemen. ME BIG DEAL! ME AWESOME! ME DANGEROUS! ME HAVE IMPORTANT FRIENDS! YOU STUPID! ME IMPRESS YOU WITH BAD WORDS!

Oh. I am overcome. Allow me to bask in your presence.

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DO YOU LIKE ME? CIRCLE: YES OR NO

Remember the days before cellphones and internet, when we actually had to pass notes? Or ask the girl to her face? Or (shame of shames) ask our friends to find out for us? I’m not saying I miss that, at all. I’m saying I miss that we had to do that. Because all that requirement of actually interacting prepared us to be real people who could actually communicate with each other. Now that we’re older, we should have the capability of telling someone how we feel, one way or the other. Our grandparents had to write letters to each other, our parents phoned, and we call, and text, and Skype, and email, and Facebook, and all that. But we communicate. We were forced to go face-to-face from early on. We couldn’t hide behind glowing electric screens.

For the most part, we still communicate with each other fairly well. But technology offers us an easy out. It’s so much less stressful to say the difficult things from behind a keyboard. You can backspace, you can think before you react, and best of all, you can’t see the person you’re talking to. Unfortunately I start to see that temptation winning among my age group. Arguments and breakups are executed via text message. I for one am certainly guilty of having AIM conversations that really would have been better on the phone. I always try to say important things in person, or at least over the phone, but sometimes the shield of technology is too tempting.

And then, surfing Craigslist Missed Connections, I see this:

“Biology Class – m4w – 19 (TCC)

Hi. you’re in my biology class at TCC and I think you’re pretty cool. You seem to check me out every so often and I want to talk to you but I always think, “Wait, what if she’s just looking at the clock or someone else?”.
Anyway the class starts at 12:20. I dont want to be too descriptive in the ad because what if you figure out who this is and you don’t actually like me. Then we have to spend the rest of the semester in awkwardness.”

This dude does not deserve to call himself 19. He is 12, tops. He has probably never considered how to express his emotions other than to a computer screen, nor the proper way to express his affections to a woman, and this is what it comes to. This has to be the most whiny, equivocal, driveling statement of interest I’ve ever read. If it has to be written, it should be in a diary.

Here’s a tip, dude: get up from your laptop, get your cojones out from the Xbox carton under your bed, and make eye contact with her. Flirt. She isn’t going to look at you twice if you’re that afraid of your own feelings.

Will it be painful and stressful and nerve-wracking? Absolutely. Will you get severely embarassed? Quite possibly. But you have to start using those people skills if you expect to ever get a woman.

By the way, dude, I’d take this ad down: if by some slim chance she sees this and recognizes you, she’s probably going to think you a ridiculously insecure dweeb not worth her time.

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