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Understanding Men: Advice For Women
I’ll start this out by stating my qualifications. I’ve been married for 20 years, and my husband consistently says he is happy. Sometimes he’s even thrilled. It's true he is a naturally cheerful person, but I like to take some credit anyway.
I like being a wife. Saying so may not be very politically correct, but I think a wife is a fine thing to be. Being a man's companion is an art, a vocation, a blending of the personal and practical. You get to be the Angel in the House, the Siren he would crash his boat to reach, and the Steel Magnolia he won’t likely admit he needs. Maybe all on the same day.
You have to understand men to put up with them
What makes men tick? A comedienne once said, “My husband doesn’t cook, but he barbeques. You can get a man to cook if there’s danger involved.” Think about the quintessential 1950s - early 1960s husband (a time when men had it their own way, if you don’t believe me just watch a few episodes of Mad Men). He is out all day, slaying dragons with his briefcase, facing down the giants of Wall Street or Madison Avenue. Then he comes home to the suburbs. And someone pushes a Lazy Boy recliner under him, the dog brings him the paper, the kids bring him his slippers, and his wife brings him a martini. Suddenly, he can’t do a thing for himself. This is 1961 man, a fine mix of Viking warrior and lazy bum. Somewhere in this paradox is the key to understanding men.
Back to barbequing. Why does a man not cook, but he will spend hours tending the grill at the 4th of July cookout? The simple answer: the grill has smoke and flames. He’s conquering something. Why is he too tired to take out the garbage, but has enough energy to build a deck on the back of the house? Because building something is nearly as good as slaying something. It gives him a charge, a lift that the sight of a neatly emptied garbage can never will.
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This, in my opinion, is just how men are. As a woman, you can work this to your advantage, or it can drive you crazy. And when I say work it to your advantage, I mean use this understanding to make the family run better, which includes taking care of everyone, including the husband. I’ll give you an example. Men are not good at eating their vegetables. And vegetables are essential for good health, for aging well, for maintaining a functioning immune system. Try as I might, I could not convince my husband to eat his veggies, no matter how attractively presented on the dinner table. The breakthrough in male veggie consumption in our household came when my husband and son watched a documentary on juicing. They were hot to try this juicing thing, and I saw my opportunity. I sent them to pull the juicer out of the garage, wiped it down, and hit the farmer’s market for leafy greens. In no time I was pouring them tall glasses of green sludge. They hunkered down at the kitchen table. From the looks on their faces, you would have thought medieval torture. But they drained the glasses, and were talking about tomorrow’s juice.
Why were they both willing to not only endure this unpleasant experience, but come back for more, when eating a summer salad was out of the question? Some key factors went into what I consider a personal victory. (Just don’t tell them I won the vegetable battle.)
1) Juicing was their idea. No matter how many times you've suggested, nagged, demanded, ect., once he brings it up, it is original and brilliant.
2) It involved a piece of heavy machinery. When my friend gave me this juicer, all I could think was that just eating fruits and vegetables was alot easier than chopping them up, stuffing them through the spout, and cleaning the darned thing afterwards. Isn't this what I have teeth and a digestive system for? But men love machines. Anything worth doing is worth owning a gadget for.
3) I did the boring part of the work. About to win the veggie battle, I wasn't going to do anything like gripe about how much work this would entail.
It was the trifecta. The suffering part was icing on the cake. The fact that the juice tasted horrible just spurred them on.
Men can be odd creatures.
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