For Men Only
by Sharon Lurie
*This blog is based, in part, upon actual events and people. Certain actions and characters have been dramatized and fictionalized, but are inspired by true events and real people. Certain other characters, events, and names used herein are entirely fictitious. Any similarity of those fictional characters or events to the name, attributes, or background of any real person, living or dead, or to any actual events is coincidental and unintentional, so I better not get any messages from certain male acquaintances who think I am in any way trying to defame men in general or them in particular. Stop the madness already! All names have been changed to protect the innocent from harm and the guilty from embarrassment. *
ATTENTION ALL READERS! This blog is directed at men only. Women, you may read, but please do not leave any public comments. If you want to comment, please send a private note or email.
“A guy and his girlfriend walk into a video rental store. The guy says to the clerk behind the counter, ‘My girlfriend and I can’t decide on a movie. Do you have anything where the guy talks about his feelings while he blows things up?’” Readers’ Digest
The last fourteen days have been a glorious illustration in the miscommunication of epic proportions between the sexes, both among friends and me personally. It still amazes me in this day and age how little we really understand each other, so I thought for this week’s blog I might take the opportunity to clear the air.
First of all, I think we as women owe you men an apology on several respects. We expect you to possess certain God-like attributes such as omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, and too many times we hold you to standards to which we ladies are not willing to hold ourselves. That is wrong.
Another phenomenon in the world of male-female relationships is the disproportionate amount of information exchange. For example, there are approximately 12,897,247 encyclopedia-like volumes written about what women wish men knew about them, while there is only about ¾ of an inch written about what men wish women knew about them. Why? Is it because women are narcissistic by nature? Or maybe because all men are commitment-phobes at heart and think if they’re too transparent with women then untimely ensnarements are inevitable? Dare I say maybe both? Or neither?
In all honesty, I wonder. I wonder, for all the miscommunications and the endless drama that ensues, if there’s something deep down in all of us, whether male or female, that really ENJOYS the drama, enjoys the little emotional intrigues. Sure, it’s frustrating, but never boring. Maybe it all stems back to the Garden of Eden and the dang tree. When Adam and Eve received the knowledge of good and evil, they lost their ability to automatically see themselves and enjoy themselves as whole before God. Not only that, they opened themselves up to the possibilities that human affection may not always stem from selfless motives, and so along with the need to hide themselves from God, they felt the need to hide themselves from each other. Thus, games and emotional enmeshments took the place of real intimacy, and men and women stopped being real with each other, settling for the emotional highs and lows of relational drama instead of transparency. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just that it’s after 2 AM and I accidentally hit my head the day before. You can decide.
Therefore, in the name of transparency, I, representing the mature, emotionally healthy, free thinking single Christian woman (please keep all snickering down to a low roar), appeal to all mature, emotionally healthy, free thinking single Christian men…let’s talk! I will speak honestly about me, and you can then comment honestly about you.
First of all, I pledge from this moment forward, to be honest with you, and if I have a problem with you, I will speak about it to you first and only. I ask that you please return the favor. There’s nothing more frustrating then to have a man tell me what a great friend I am, I can call him any time, and he’s worried when he doesn’t hear from me, only to find out later from mutual guy friend, that he thinks me a pest, gets furious if I call during “24,” and prays I get amnesia so I’ll forget his phone number. We defer honesty in the name of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, but it hurts more to find out the truth from someone other than you. A mature woman can take your criticism. She may fault you for your timing and your delivery, but never your honesty.
So, while on the subject, I think it’s important to say, too, that while it’s important to not to withhold the truth about dislikes, one shouldn’t withhold the truth about likes, either. I’ve been faulted in times past for being too lavish with praise for those I care about, especially if it’s a man. However, I’d rather err on the side of letting you know you’re appreciated then risking you think I take you for granted. And I promise, if you let your appreciation of me be known, I will not get the wrong idea. I repeat, I will not get the wrong idea. Did I mention, too, that if you pay me a compliment, I WILL NOT GET THE WRONG IDEA?!
If, however, you do indeed want to let a certain woman in your life know you like her, please, please, PLEASE be straightforward, because acting otherwise will put your life in danger. Let me explain…in my vast personal experience with men, their greatest fear seems to be a girl thinking he likes her, even if he does, indeed, like her. Why is that? Why is it, if you do like a girl, you would rather risk her thinking you hate her and drive her away then just saying plainly, “I like you”? I will now summarize all my past interaction with men on such matters…
If you…hang out with me all the time, hug me whenever possible, do flirty things like hold my hand, breathe in my ear, or lick my face, if you tell me you don’t like sharing me with other guys, if you talk to me about what you want in a woman, if you bring me home to meet your parents, and if you tell me you’ve never had as much fun with anyone as you’ve had with me…then you are definitely NOT interested!
If you…avoid making eye contact with me, talk about other girls and ask my advice about them, if you purposely avoid returning phone calls or emails, if you go on and on about how you don’t think you’ll ever get over your ex, and especially if you discuss at length that you think God is calling you to lifelong singleness…then you want me and you want me bad!
And to those guilty of the latter, why, when you commit such flagrant emotional subterfuge, then finally admit your true feelings, make inane statements such as, “Oh, c’mon Sharon. You must’ve KNOWN all along how I really felt about you!” And what, I ask, should’ve tipped me off? When you showed me your charter membership card to the He Man Woman Hater’s Club or when you asked me to be listed as a character reference on your application to the monastery?
I write this blog more as an opportunity to build a bridge than anything else, so that you guys out there walking around in perpetual confusion can have a heads up for a change. So here goes…
A real woman worth having LOVES it if you do things like holding open doors, standing up when she enters and leaves a room. Personally speaking, I love it when a guy walks me to my car, especially if I don’t have to ask. I promise I will never take a feminazi stance about the matter, as long as you, from time to time, simply state you do it because you care, not because you doubt in any way, shape, or form that, left to my own devices, I could kick a guy’s butt if attacked.
In all seriousness, I grieve for the broken hearts I see around me because men and woman can’t seem to be honest with each other. Can we at least try? I will tell you honestly, that I’ll always be a little bit of a tomboy, and even though I’m all for a return to chivalry, it doesn’t mean I still don’t love to hang out with the guys and watch a good shoot-em-up, blow-em-up action flick over a rom-com, or go to the Middle Tennessee Gun Show over the Southern Women’s show any day; however, I am NOT one of the guys, and in all other matters, I will state plainly: whether you’re simply a bud, a fellow laborer in Kingdom work, or if you, whoever you may be, are indeed the companion of my future life, I, Sharon Lurie, 35-year-old single white female, am ready to be cherished.