In the arctic…
On the water…
In the mountains…
In a frat house dorm room…
You can name the nastiest cesspools that you’ve ever seen and it’s likely that a man has not only survived but has actually thrived in them.
Of course most of these seemingly unbearable environments are more a matter of conquering the elements than they are a matter of adapting to the people in them. Just add another man to the equation and the situation gets a bit more complicated – but it’s still doable. They’ll find a way to manage… with minor understanding and a lot of shared genetic markers.
Tragically however, guys often rely on the same underlying connection that they share with other men, when interacting with women. At our core we know better, but unfortunately we’re compelled to try. It’s just easier to assume that they’ll “get it” and move on. That’s probably why George Santayana wittingly stated, “When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.” We “beat a different path” or “drum to our own beat” or… something like that. We are inextricably different.
Despite all of this, there are some necessary pieces of information that a man must arm himself with during his attempt to cohabitate peaceably with the finer sex. Especially when the finer sex outnumbers you.
What to Expect When You’re Un-expecting
Hands Off – You may think that the food in your home is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. In shared income households especially, this seems logical. You’re hungry, you find something to eat and you eat it. That’s what most men would do under the circumstances. That is until you eat something that a woman has been anticipating all day long. Not only have you revealed the fact that you’re a boorish criminal, driven only by your desire to stuff your own face, but you’ve also proven that you’re unworthy of love – for at least the next 4-6 hours.
Uno & Dos – You should also be reminded of the age-old toilet seat dilemma. Under no circumstances are you to leave the bottom seat up, the top seat down or any variation of the two. Interestingly enough, this isn’t simply a sign of courtesy to the opposite sex. It’s actually a form of self-preservation. The freshly dunked buttocks of a wife or daughter, in the remnants of an un-flushed toilet, will serve as a strong indictment of your heathen ways.
Organized Chaos – Speaking of bathrooms, you’re probably aware of the delicate ecosystem created by all of the products and contraptions that adorn the countertops. Although it may look like a rabid monkey’s cage, there is a very complicated system at work. They know the precise location of each item, even if it’s buried under a week’s worth of make-up removal towelettes. Your efforts to help “tidy up”, no matter how well-intentioned, will only prove the occurrence of one thing: The reasoning center of your brain was somehow liquefied and extracted from your head during the night.
Flowing Locks – There are also some preparations that need to be made in the hair department. The uglier side of beauty so-to-speak. While you’re trying to figure out how your hair migrated from your scalp to your ears, you’ll also have the interesting task of uncovering how, in God’s name, wads of familiar looking hair have ended up all over you and your possessions. All of the combing and straightening and curling and dying and teasing and picking and pulling and fluffing… they all have repercussions. And the more women you have in your home, the more frequent and interesting your discoveries will be. There will be hairballs in your shirts, in your socks, on your pillow, and my personal favorite, in the sacred crevices of your own body. No, there is not a longhaired Alpaca roaming your home, it’s just your wife and daughters.
Division of Labor – The assignment of household duties is a pretty important task. There was a day when the extent of a guy’s obligation was maintaining the yard and the cars. The inside was “women’s work.” The fact that I just cringed typing that sentence is a pretty good indication of how much things have changed. You WILL NOT get away with that kind of thinking in most modern households. Even if your mommy always did your dishes, let me assure you, that perk became null-in-void as soon as you left home. It’s much more likely that you’ll get a dish to your melon before you’ll get a woman to consent to that kind arrangement. So learn your detergents and become familiar with the proper placement of your dishes. It will serve you well in your ascension towards domestication.
Do Your Thing – After all this, you can’t deny that relationships between men and women take a lot of hard, and sometimes-painful work. It’s hard enough that it can be tempting to placate the women in our lives by taking the easy route. Giving up your hobbies or abandoning your time spent with friends may seem like the best call. Sometimes that may actually be the case. But don’t forget to retain a little space for yourself. Create, innovate and pursue your passions. Realistically, the women in your life will want this for you anyway, but they won’t likely do it for you.
As confusing and manic as the interactions between the sexes can be, there is still room for success stories. That’s a throw-back notion that I hope never goes out of style.