I wish I could include the entire text of this fine letter, but alas, it's twice as long as my column. So unfortunately I was forced to mine it for the gems of wisdom that shone particularly bright.
'Tis abundantly obvious you are not a man. I'd be interested in your reaction to a somewhat cynical "rules of engagement" that I've consistently violated. However, recent events have rubbed my face in the fact that maybe I need to observe them.
1. Don't be honest—tell the lady what she really wants to hear.
Excellent advice. I know I speak for all my sisters out there—we hate the truth. It's my way or the highway. . . . Finally, a man who understands the intricacies of the female psyche!
2. Don't be open or expose yourself. Most women really don't want to know or care about what goes on inside of a man. If you don't believe me, just try this macho dare—do a completely open and honest communication (on just about anything), and you'll quickly find "communication" is no longer the issue.
Bravo! Again, your insight astonishes me. I for one am tired of pretending to care about what goes on inside a man. I admit to being stymied as to how one "does" a communication, but I'm thinking you probably mean have a deep, meaningful talk where each partner shares what's on his or her mind and what's going on inside his or her little heart. Ewww! I've always championed that a man's ability to speak is way overrated, and I'm glad I have back-up—and from a man no less! From now on, it's mutes and ESL boys only pour moi.
3. Don't respond to what she says, but how she feels, regardless of your reaction. But still acknowledge what she says ("yes" is always a good word to say, regardless of circumstance and your own feelings). It is good for us men to not acknowledge our own feelings, since they are hardly ever what the ladies want us to be feeling.
Yes! "Yes" is almost always the correct answer. (Except when we ask you the dreaded "Do you think I'm fat" question—which, being mindless ninnies, we will do!) You are so right! We don't want to know what you're feeling! In fact, if you're a real man, you don't have feelings anyway.
4. Don't have them meet your kids (if you have any) until commitment time. It tends to arouse father-daughter or mother-son issues (which almost all women have) and is very inhibiting—especially since almost all American houses have the kids' bedrooms next to the parents' bedroom—which may help explain why Americans have sex only once a week, on average.
OK, this tip frightened me a little so I'm not going to comment, except to say that a certain reader may have some unresolved Oedipal issues that would perhaps be best addressed by a licensed professional.
5. Gracefully accept being hobbled—sexually, physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. No modern woman likes being shown up. Earn respect other ways, and on her terms (such as doing the chores she doesn't want to do). Don't expect compensation for doing any of the above. All of these are simply expectations arising out of the entitlement of just being female in America.
Oh happy day! I do believe I have found the future Mr. Dategirl. Finally! A man who will accept my hobbling, castrating ways with grace. A man who realizes just how much I abhor being shown up. (Not that that's bloody likely anyway.) A man who realizes that he must earn my respect by cleaning the toilet, scrubbing the floors, and doing the washing. And FYI, I don't like to do any chores, so you, my future ex-husband, are going to be one busy boy.
It's letters like this one that make me realize how fucking awesome it is to be a single woman today. We have all the control! The ball is in our court! Sure, we still only make 73 cents to every dollar a man makes, and yeah, we suffer debilitating cramps and gush blood on a monthly basis (until we're old—then we sprout chin hairs instead), and there's never been a female president (and probably won't be in my lifetime), but hell, we've got charmers like this one out there—just ripe for the picking! Oh yeah, and sorry, ladies, back the fuck off—this one's mine!
Ah, true love. Write firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.