Men: Hurry and return the dumb gift you got your wife!

imageMany years ago, I bought my wife an Epilady shaver for Christmas. Because it was a sleek, modern, electrical device costing over $50, there was no reason to suspect it would feel like someone had just ripped the hair out of her legs using Super Glue and a roll of duct tape. While I’m sure I’ve gotten my wife gifts she didn’t really like, she’s always accepted them graciously. But in this case, as she chased me through the house completely naked and swiping at my scalp with her new Epilady, two things came to mind:

1) She really hates this gift,
And
2) I shouldn’t have gotten her the cordless model.

Now, before I get an angry letter from Park Products, Inc., I should clarify that this was a long time ago, and I’m sure the latest model is a vast improvement over the one my wife hurled through our bathroom window.  Continue reading

Consequences you can expect from horrible pick-up lines I overheard

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one.

At least until yesterday.

That’s when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Equis, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines “no woman could resist.”

Their words, not mine.

In a moment, you’ll understand why.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those “fail proof” pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should those lines leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

Male culture makes instilling healthy sexuality in our sons more difficult

image

I saw my first naked woman when I was 9, thanks to a kid named Jimmy, whose father had a collection of Playboy magazines under the bed. While his parents were at the grocery store, Jimmy yanked out a copy and with practiced ease flipped to the centerfold.

“Your mom has one of these,” he said, pointing between the legs of Miss August.

“No WAY!” I said, unwilling to accept that my mother could possibly have anything on her body that, in my mind anyway, looked like a piece of our cafeteria meatloaf. I left soon after, convinced that Jimmy had shown me a magazine of female freaks. When our class began studying the human reproductive system later that spring, Jimmy turned to me and winked when Mrs. Flunkem used her ruler to point out the vagina being projected onto the chalk board.

“Your momma,” he mouthed.

Years later, that feeling of embarrassment was something I was determined to spare my own sons. The truth is, women are much more aware of their bodies and sexuality, and at a much younger age, then men. The male culture communicates about sexuality in much the same way it does about sports: through stats and stories. Anything deeper than that, and the shoulder punching begins. However, it was important to me that my sons not only understand the physicality of reproduction and, unlike me, never find themselves shocked by a vagina, it was just as important that they understand sexuality is not a statistic or story to be told — it’s how we communicate love beyond our words.

*shoulder punch*  Continue reading

Men: The key to romance? Don’t be afraid to look foolish

(A year ago today, the lovely and talented Sisterwives invited me to offer a man’s perspective on Valentine’s Day. I saw it as my opportunity to open the lines of love-communication between the sexes. As the Day of Love approaches, here’s hoping men and women get something other than a busy signal…)

imageSince the dawn of time, man has feared Valentine’s Day. I’m a journalist, so you can trust my facts on this. And because I’m a man, you can also trust me when I tell you our fear isn’t because we don’t want to express feelings of love and romance; it’s because we are afraid of looking stupid while doing so.

This fear has been documented as far back as prehistoric times, in a pair of cave drawings paleontologists say depicts a caveman named “Glork” trying to court a cavewoman.

Image one: To demonstrate his masculinity and win a cavewoman’s affections, Glork fights a saber-toothed lion

Image two: Glork is eaten

Millions of years later, though the risk of being eaten by a large predator is relatively low (not counting cougar attacks), men still fear that their attempt to express love could lead to a fate worse than death: EmbarrassmentContinue reading

Evidence in my fridge supports phenomenon known as Gender-Vision®

imageYes, this is an honest, unaltered view of the current state of our refrigerator. It’s exactly how it looked when I opened it this morning. If I were a scientist, I would call this my “control subject.” I would also probably be wearing a Haz-Mat suit complete with breathing apparatus. Maybe even a caged canary. Not that our refrigerator itself is a bio-hazard. It’s actually pretty clean. It’s the stuff inside the small containers somewhere in the back, tucked behind the Christmas dinner leftovers (Hey, from 2015!) that pose the biggest threat should their air-locked containers be accidentally breached.

Me: Hey, what’s in this Tupperware container? [Pffffffft!]

My wife: WAIT! No, you fool!

Me: My GOD! I’ve KILLED US ALL!

My wife: Hey, maybe the boys will eat it?

Me: Oh, right…

However, the potential threat my refrigerator poses to anyone within a three-mile radius is not the point of this post. It’s actually to provide official documentation a phenomenon I am calling Gender-vision®, which is: The viewing of the same image by two individuals, but with different points of interest depending on their gender.  Continue reading

Men are from NAPA, women are from Macy’s

image There are thousands of books offering insights into the male/female dynamic. Coincidentally, these books are generally located next to the section labeled “divorced/end-of-relationship” section. If you want to observe the true difference between men and women at its purest form, without a divorce attorney present, simply study their shopping habits.

With the holiday buying season now officially underway, there’s no better time to witness this phenomenon for yourself.

Here’s a brief study guide to get you started.

Women:
a) Define an outfit as something comprised of at least three pieces of clothing, all of which are interchangeable and flattering.
b) Have researched the best buys and know where there’s a sale today.
c) Are undecided about whether or not a drop-waist makes them look fat.
d) Will try on all clothes within arm’s reach of the fitting room.

Men:
a) Define an outfit as something comprised of jeans. And maybe a fishing lure.
b) Have researched today’s game schedule on ESPN and know they can get to the store and back during halftime.
c) Are undecided about how to answer when their wives ask if a drop-waist makes them look fat.
d) Won’t get within arm’s reach of the fitting room. Continue reading

Men: Consequences you can expect from really bad pick-up lines

(Because you can never emphasize enough the importance of avoiding these kinds of ridiculous pick-up lines, especially since my oldest daughter is now out on her own in the dating world, I decided to post this column from a couple of years ago as a public service message. Trust me: It could save lives…)

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one. At least it was until yesterday, when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Eques, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines no woman could resist. Assuming, of course, the women in question were all desperate to gain U.S. Citizenship.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those horrible pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should the words actually leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

After 50 Shades of Magic Mike, men are trying to recover their manhood

image It was a tough week for the male persuasion. However, now that the 50 Shades of dust has settled, men are emerging from the proverbial rubble a bit shellshocked and checking for survivors. Not only did we go head-to-head with the release of 50 Shades, we were also flanked by Valentine’s Day AND word of a release date for “Magic Mike XXL.”

We were out manned. Out gunned. And when compared to Christian Grey, in most cases we were probably… well, out maneuvered.

In the aftermath of this three-pronged attack on our general manhood, only the strong have survived. Plus maybe that guy too busy playing Assassin’s Creed in his mother’s basement. Whatever the case, men are now regrouping for a counter offensive. Something that will “shock and awe” the women in our lives into surrendering — at least in terms of the totally unrealistic expectations that have now been set for us men.

Yes, we realize trying to live up to an unrealistic standard of beauty and sexuality is a daily occurrence for women everywhere.

Yes, we know men are largely responsible for this.

But will you please stop thinking about yourselves and your own needs for one minute? Sheesh! Besides, this is totally different because, uh… we’re men. And if that isn’t enough of an explanation, consider the fact that in most cases we haven’t had to face our blatant inability to measure up since showering in high school gym class. (More at Long Awkward Pause!)

When it comes to 50 Shades of Magic Mike, let me be the voice of reason

image Ask just about any man, and he’ll tell you this past week has been a tough one thanks to the triple-threat of Valentine’s Day, the release of 50 Shades of Grey AND (What’s my safe word!) confirmation of Magic Mike XXL — which I assume means the other 29 sequels to Magic Mike must’ve gone straight to DVD?

Whatever the case, producers say Magic Mike’s plan for a major release everywhere in July is firm, and any talk of an earlier release would be premature — and only through a soft opening.

My point is, all this talk has many men a bit shellshocked from trying to measure up to the unrealistic standards set by Christian Grey and Magic Mike. Especially while trying to compete with the experience of IMAX 3D and THX Surround Sound. Sadly, this has prompted some men to try duplicating the movie experience by using a Mr. Microphone and providing their lovers with a magnifying glass. Continue reading

Men, show your love this Valentine’s Day by looking foolish

(As I mentioned Friday, I’m a guest at The Sisterwives today, where I’ve been asked to provide a man’s perspective on Valentine’s Day because — not to brag — but I’ve been called “a master of romance.” Or so I’ve been told while standing in front of my mirror…)

image Since the dawn of time, man has feared Valentine’s Day. I’m a journalist, so you can trust my facts on this. And because I’m a man, you can also trust me when I tell you our fear isn’t because we don’t want to express feelings of love and romance; it’s because we are afraid of looking stupid while doing so.

This fear has been documented as far back as prehistoric times, in a pair of cave drawings paleontologists say depicts a caveman named “Glork” trying to court a cavewoman.

Image one: To demonstrate his masculinity and win a cavewoman’s affections, Glork fights a saber-toothed lion

Image two: Glork is eaten

Millions of years later, though the risk of being eaten by a large predator is relatively low (not counting cougar attacks), men still fear that their attempt to express love could lead to a fate worse than death: Embarrassment. (continue reading at Sisterwives!)