Thursday, October 1, 2009

For Men Only by Sharon Lurie

For Men Only
by Sharon Lurie

MOOD: Inquisitive

*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.




  1. Well I am not a typical blow em up, aggressive, sport obsessed, man. So I don't know if my opinion will matter much, but last time I checked all physical male parameters are intact. I am not so much a hunter, but I am more of a gatherer. I am more of a dreamer. I don't really mind sharing my feelings so much. I do enjoy some male past times. I like action movies, but only if they have plot and good characters. I do enjoy romantic comedies, eek! I even own the Devil Wears Prada, even if it is between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Drop Dead Gorgeous on my DVD shelf. If that gives you any idea that I love all sorts of movies, if they affect me in some way.

    With all that out of the way, I don't really spend much time around girls. There is the cootie factor involved. I do intend to be married one day, but that is no longer a goal in my life. I figure getting to know a girl as a friend is much more appealing. I don't want to marry someone out of hormones or without really knowing who they are as a person.

    So really I don't know if I have any room to leave a comment here. I figured I'd give it a go anyway as last I check I'm a male on my birth certificate. I just enjoy being me. I don't feel the need to meet any male criteria. I really don't know how most men think. I think they just have trouble expressing their true feelings. I even struggle with that at times. Rejection can even be an issue involved. Most guys feel de-masculated(?), not good enough, when a girl rejects them so they may blow it off as nothing or run into a small room and lock the door until the emotions have run their course. Heck, even I have experienced both of those.

    I don't really know if any of this answers your questions, but I felt the need to respond and be honest since you were so kindly honest with us. :)

  2. Thank you, John, for your thoughtful comments. Fear of rejection is a big thing for both sexes, but I think men and women express that fear differently. Also, keep in mind, the majority of men referenced in my blog were way on the dysfunctional side, as my editor Peter and several other mature male friends pointed out to me.

  3. Sharon
    Is there anything in particular you want to know about men? I'm not a spokesman for the male race, but I will speak for myself, and I will be as honest as possible - whether I think you'll like it or not - Mike in Indiana.

  4. Well, first of all, why have the men in my life found it so hard to pay me a compliment? Whether they be friends, relatives, or bosses, the majority of them would never say nice things about me directly to me. Then when I would find out from someone else that they thought highly of me in a certain regard, and I would ask them why they didn't tell, they would always answer, "Well, Sharon, I didn't want you to get the wrong idea." What is this dreaded wrong idea they are all afraid I will get?

  5. Sharon -
    Why men in your life in particular find it hard it so hard to pay your a compliment is something I can't answer. But having known you for a long time, I am trying to think if I've never paid you a compliment, and I can't think of an incident offhand. Let me give it a try, and it will be sincere.

    Sharon, I like your picture, you look pretty and also mischievous. I like you because you because you have always been pretty straightforward with me, and straightforward is a rare trait these days, it seems. I like you because you're smart enough to not fall into traps that many women fall into. I like you for your intelligence, your sense of humor, your persistence and your integrity. I like you because you are loyal to your friends, and I like you because you laugh at, and seem to appreciate my sense of humor.

    I just plain like YOU, the person, not just your attributes, and I always have.

    I don't know what sort of "wrong thoughts" you
    are supposed to have, or what "bad things" may happen to me because I said nice things about you :-) I am maybe not so good at this, so forgive me if I am being clumsy.

    But everything I said was true. From my end, it felt good. But after writing it, I think my fear in general of saying nice things to women, which I have sometimes, comes from a fear of being manipulated, or maybe a fear of rejection.

    Mike in Indiana