Other than the fact that a happily-divorced friend of mine says the following was e-mailed to him, I know nothing about it. I wish I knew the author’s name so I could give him credit.

However, this is my column, so I have added comments of my own in parentheses.

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We always hear “the rules” from the female side. Here are the rules from the male side.

* Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down. (A girl I knew had a sign on the underside of her toilet seat. It could be read only when the seat was raised, and it said, “It’s so nice to have a man around the house.”)

* Sunday sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be. (Heaven forbid he should object when she watches Lifetime, which a buddy of mine calls Television for Women Who Hate Men.)

* Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way. (My dad liked to go with my mom to the mall. They’d split up, and he would browse around the hardware and sporting goods stores. That done, he’d find a seat with a good vantage point and wait for her. When a friend asked him if he wasn’t too old to be girl-watching, he said, “The day I no longer enjoy looking at them is the day they can start shoveling.” Mom tolerated this because she knew how much he loved her.)

* Crying is blackmail. (Particularly in public. Everybody stares at you, and they’re all thinking, “I wonder what that b*****d did to her.”)

* Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it! (If he could have read her mind, he might not have gone out with her in the first place.)

*Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. (At least they are when she uses them.)

*Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. (However, this may lead to having more than one woman mad at you, and one is bad enough.)

* A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor. (If my dad or I sneezed, my mom wanted us to go to the emergency room. When she fell and dislodged her pacemaker, it took three days to get her to admit something was wrong.)

* Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after seven days. (A former girlfriend once dredged up something I did years before, when she was married to someone else, and I hardly knew her.)

* If you won’t dress like the Victoria’s Secret girls, don’t expect us to act like soap opera guys. (Some men hope their wives never dress like this ... which leads us to the next rule.)

* If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us. (A heart attack is the only thing that can save you when she asks if you think her butt is getting bigger.)

* If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one. (Just hope she doesn’t want to know what it was.)

* You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself. (Bill Cosby said a man should never do something correctly the first time if he doesn’t want to have to do it for the rest of his married life. My ex-wife always let me dry the dishes. She allowed me to wash them only once.)

* Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. (My mother actually adhered to this, bless her heart. She loved Dad just as much as he loved her.)

* Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we. (If Columbus discovered America, why were people here to greet him?)

* Men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach is a fruit. Pumpkin is a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is. (I know what chartreuse is, but only because chartreuse plastic worms make great bass baits.)

* If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that. (We like to play baseball and softball because we’re allowed to scratch [and spit] wherever and whenever we like. When a girlfriend who went to one of our games admonished me for scratching in public, I told her it was a signal we used.)

* If we ask what is wrong and you say nothing, we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle. (One of my pals told me, “My wife isn’t talking to me. She actually thinks she’s punishing me.”)

* If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear. (This is one of the first things lawyers learn.)

* When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine ... really. (Just put it on so we can leave. We’re already late.)

* Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation or monster trucks. (If she had known what he was thinking, she might not have gone out with him.)

* You have enough clothes. (The alleged conspiracy by Big Oil to fix the price of gasoline has nothing on the Big Style conspiracy to pressure women into buying new outfits each season by merely changing the length of pantlegs and skirts.)

* You have too many shoes. (And most of them look silly and make a hideous racket when you walk on hard floors.)

* I am in shape. Round is a shape. (She can tell him with impunity that he’s putting on weight. Heaven help him if he says that to her.)

* Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping. (That’s what a friend of mine used to tell his son. He even bought a little tent so the kid could sleep in it, right next to him on the floor. His wife thought this was cute.)

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