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Listen Up, Ladies. It’s “Man Rules” Time

Warrior Man

Follow my rules, babe, and we’ll be just fine.

Have you heard this one?

Q: What’s the one thing men and women can agree on?
A: They both prefer the company of men.

Now, I can’t say that I find that entirely true, but I will admit that I enjoy talking with men. Men can be charming, intelligent, funny, and stimulating conversationalists. Often times they’ll approach problems or think about things very differently from how I would and it can make for fun discussion. What’s not so fun, however, is when those same male/female differences – so intriguing during casual conversation with male friends – become exercises in frustration when trying to get a significant other to understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes it can seem as if you’re talking to an alien. Or someone raised in a burlap sack. Men sometimes just don’t seem to get us at all. It’s the whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus relationship gap thing. Apparently, however, part of the problem in understanding each other is that we women don’t follow the rules. The “man rules.” Wait, are you saying you’ve never heard of them? Well, then. Sit back, relax, and allow me to indulge you.

The “rules” have been making the rounds on our modern-day bastion of enlightenment – Facebook. I’d love to give credit to the original author of these man rules, but I don’t know who it was. In any case, it may well be that the author doesn’t care whether or not he gets the glory – as long as he gets his point across. There are 20 rules on Mr. Man’s list, and frankly some of them aren’t so much “rules” as they are defense of guys’ sometimes caveman-like behavior. Examples of these include nuggets of wisdom like, “Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we,” and, “yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.”

There are a few variations on a theme in the man rules, the theme in question being that men can’t read our minds. Not in the least. They haven’t a clue about much of what we say and they feel baffled by us much of the time. Case in point, one of the man rules is this:

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!

OK, then. To sum up, men want instructions: clear, no-nonsense instructions that whack them over the head with meaning. Subtlety will not do in the man world, ladies, so don’t hint around at what you’d like. Say it. Shout it! Blast your clear meaning to your man with a bullhorn if you want to. Apparently, they don’t mind.

Men want to help us, that seems to come out in the man rules, but their definition of help is different from what we actually might need. If we’ve got a problem, we want to talk about it. Problems upset us, and when we’re upset we need sympathy and understanding. We need chocolate. And sometimes we simply need a shoulder to cry on or soothing words of assurance that we’re the best ever and that b**ch in the office should be slapped. But men aren’t able to muster up that kind of sympathy. They simply, according to the “rules,” don’t get it. Here’s what they say:

Cone to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

 Yikes. OK, Mr. Man. But as I see it, it’s a two-way street. If we can’t go to you for sympathy when we’re upset, don’t expect sweet words and hot soup when you’re moping around with a cold.  Sheesh.

Of course, the man rules are mostly just a tongue-in-cheek list of things that men don’t get about us and their attempt at making us understand that. So to the men I say, we hear you. We understand your confusion. We women can be complicated, but we appreciate your effort to unravel the mystery. Here then, is the list of your “rules.” We’ll try not to break them. Maybe.

Read on for the man rules, but first don’t forget to click on the follow button. I never get hung up on rules.

Man Rules (please note, they’re all numbered #1 on purpose!)

1. Men are not mind readers
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. 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.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for you what you want (see above)
1. Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. (see above)
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
1. If you think you’re fat you probably are. Don’t ask us.
1. If something can be interpreted in two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done, not both. If you already know how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.
1. All men see in only 16 colors. Peach, for example, is a fruit not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we’ll act like nothing’s wrong. We know you’re lying, but it’s just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine.  Really.
1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you’re prepared to discuss such topics as football or motor sports.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

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with my webmaster, Alla. {photo credits: Alessandro Bologna}