This here post was kind of inspired by an argument Dave and I had.
As the title may have given away, this post is about things men don’t get about women. I came to most of these conclusions based on our interactions, but Dave reaffirmed that “periods and the way we think” summed it up. “Moods and emotions” were added. I’m sure that’s all covered here.
So here we go.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way (and by that I mean the next few things). Guys clearly don’t get PMS, as evidenced by the question, “Are you PMSing?” No, the person asking me if I’m PMSing has me pissed.
Dave routinely forgets that PMS is coming up or that I’m PMSing. When I eventually suggest it for a reason as to why I’m cramping or cranky, it’s like a light bulb goes on.
To them it’s a convenient catch-all excuse. Or it’s just us women being overly emotional for some strange reason. Maybe a full moon?
No, it’s more that you’re touching my boobs and it feels like you’re stabbing them and I feel like a jiggling walrus and I’m tired and everything you say is stupid.
The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to understand PMS (but imagine being deprived of sleep for a week, pumped with salt tablets and not allowed to drink, having every touch to your man-boobs feel like a nut-tap, and crying like someone’s just died over a picture of a kitten because it’s just so cute)…just don’t make it worse.
The natural next step.
Guys act like it’s so horrifying and awful. I asked Dave if he thought periods were “awful and horrifying” and he said “Yeah, probably…better you than me dealing with it.”
I’m not entirely sure what the big deal is. I asked Dave and he said “it seems like it would be painful…a shit ton of blood…I don’t know.”
I mean, cramps aren’t a ray of sunshine, but otherwise it’s not that bad, at least for me. Do I enjoy bleeding for six days? Not really. But tampons are a wonderful thing.
I asked Dave why guy are weird about buying tampons. He didn’t know; he’s not.
One day I’m going to make a point of asking him to pick some up whether I need them or not.
But seriously, it’s not like we don’t deal with some “gross” bodily functions of men. (Like honestly, being poked in the back every night? No thanks.)
Oh, and an important PSA to men: women can get pregnant while on their periods. Apparently this is a point of some confusion for men. I’ve had a number of boyfriends/male friends who try to tell me that I can’t get pregnant during my period. Nope, still possible. I’m less fertile, sure, but I still have viable eggs seeking sperm.
The only time during my fertile years that I can’t get pregnant is when I’m already pregnant.
The Importance of Foreplay
Men, imagine it’s five below and you go out and start your car. Do you let it warm up for a good ten minutes, or do you just go?
As I’ve learned from Dave, it’s better to let your car warm up for a bit before driving…even in the summer if you haven’t driven it in a little while. Let that oil run for a bit.
It’s the same with women. Start us up and get us running for a bit before, uh, driving us. I will be much more, ahem, receptive if you put time and effort into getting me warmed up.
I know men are ready to go in an instant (or maybe two instants), but women aren’t ready to receive your “gift” quite as quickly.
(And I didn’t put “gift” in quotes to be coy; sometimes it’s debatable whether it’s a gift or not.)
We don’t ask for foreplay to torture you or to put off sex as long as possible. We ask for it because maybe we’d like to enjoy sex too. At the very least, not grit our teeth in discomfort or worse, pain.
In this same vein (then it changes, I promise), men seem insulted that their ramrod isn’t enough. But needing “extra” stimulation isn’t all that odd.
(And those quotations mean it really isn’t odd, not that they/we require something weird or odd.)
Yes, men are — in practice — much simpler than women, but really women aren’t that complicated. Rub us, stroke us — it’s just more specific than a man requires. That’s all. Can you listen to directions?
Oh, you can’t?
Maybe that’s the issue.
Here’s an interesting link that even taught me something about myself: How a 3D clitoris will help teach French schoolchildren about sex. If I can learn from this, then surely men can too.
Related is the issue of orgasms. I only mention this because I watched a video earlier today by AsapSCIENCE on the issue (they also have one on Childbirth Vs Getting Kicked in the Balls in case you’re weird like me and want to know).
I’m going to maintain it’s a quality over quantity thing.
I’d do a section on childbirth but I’ve not yet had that pleasure, so I’m not going to try to write about it…except that my mom once thought she was in labor but it was just dehydration cramps, and I’ve been told that labor feels like bad menstrual cramps, and I’ve had both dehydration and menstrual cramps, so…if a guy asks what it feels like, just kick him in the balls. It may not be accurate but I’d get a laugh out of it.
Makeup (and Our Morning Routines in General)
I don’t really do makeup, but I do spend 15-20 minutes doing what I call “fixing my face,” which is basically just taming my eyebrows, doing hygiene-related things (which is just vague enough to sound weird), and trying to get a brush through my hair. So really the difference between male and female here is that, while Dave can roll out of bed, throw anything on, and be ready to go, I require some time to find clothes and make myself presentable. Usually I’m ready to walk out the door in half an hour or less…if I don’t eat.
But why do we bother when we supposedly look just as good without makeup? When men don’t even see a difference?
Hell, my brother’s ideal woman is a “classic” woman: brown hair, average height, no tattoos, no piercings unless they’re in the ear (lobe, I presume), and no makeup.
So why take the time if men don’t really care?
I’m going to guess that it has to do with insecurity. When I was a new teenager, I wore foundation, blush, lipgloss, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara…I think maybe I was hoping to distract from my fatness by making my face “pretty.” When I had acne, I used foundation to try to cover it. Eventually I was down to just mascara because I thought I looked boyish without it. Now I’m just too lazy to spend that extra two minutes (unless I know I’m going to be in photos and want my eyes to stand out a hair more). These days I spend the most time on my eyebrows, because I hate them the most. (But they are real, not drawn on.)
Let me explain it like this: let’s say you have a truck with a decent amount of rust (and if you live in New York, then you do). This is the case with my truck. I’ve bought fender flares to cover some of it, and I plan to truckbed coat the section below the body lines to cover the majority of the rest. I want my truck to look good, but I can’t fix the rust, so I’m covering it up (and hopefully preventing more).
So the same applies with faces and makeup: if you can’t fix it, cover it.
Hair Supplies (and How Much We Pay for Haircuts)
Honestly, I’ve been amazed by my best friend’s collection of hair stuff. It’s like a store in her room. Even my cousin’s makeup stash is…impressive?
I admit I own lots of lotions, body sprays, and scrubs and such.
I think it’s because women are expected to exude, well, femininity. And how better to do that than by luscious locks, smelling nice, and having touchable skin?
Maybe we’re selling out. (Though I only grudgingly shave twice a year. Okay, a bit more often.) But I take pride in my long hair and it makes me feel good to take care of it. I only use men’s 2-in-1 shampoo,* but I don’t need a lot of frills to keep my hair healthy.
*This started when one day I ran out and Dave said I could use his, plus it’s cheaper, and my hair still smells girly despite the manly scent. It must be magic.
But if it makes us feel good about ourselves, are you really going to complain?
Oh, and I wish my haircut cost $10 instead of $50 (tip included). But I’m a girl and have long hair, so…I pay the price.
That is some bullshit!
I’m not above wearing camo with plaid, or either one of them with tye-dye. It’s happened before and will happen again.
I abide by a few fashion rules, like no brown and black, no spots and stripes, no beige beasts…but I know that if I’m going to break fashion rules, I might as well destroy them.
Hence tye-dye shirt with camo shorts.
But when I want to match, I can. And sometimes I just feel the need to match, especially with lingerie. Dave doesn’t get it, because according to him “it looks best when it’s not on me,” but I match meine Unterwäsche because, well, it gives me a sense of peace, even if no one else knows. It’s pretty much the same reason I love my knee-high socks; no, nobody even knows I have them on, but it makes me happy to know that I do.
Matching is just a thing with us. Maybe because society tells us we have to look nice to attract men. Like you. And to us, matching is looking nice.
Why Certain Things are Tasteless and/or Unacceptable
I never thought I’d be this girlfriend, but when Dave’s beaters are more holes than fabric, I have to speak up. I’ve bought him beaters and socks because he won’t and I get tired of seeing his dirty, holey, disgusting clothes.
I also ensure the sheets are washed from time to time, and urge him to wash up before going to visit my grandparents.
I haven’t told him to redecorate (yet, though that Red Sox picture should go), nor have I gone so far as to tell him to sit instead of stand in the bathroom (I know a woman who did this and somehow enforced it), but bit-by-bit, ever so subtly, I bend him to my will.
I think again it comes down to what society has told us women should be: neat, clean, at our best and on our best behavior at all times…
But it may also have to do with the fact that we, like anyone, like to look good. Not just physically, but in public. Men get lucky in that women, like cats, engage in a lot of self-grooming. And if you’re with a woman who doesn’t care to wash her hair, wears ratty clothes, and so on, you probably don’t want to take her in public. Hell, you’d probably never be with a woman like this. Because you want to look good.
But the public’s opinion of you is more important than your lover’s opinion. Believe me, Dave shares everything from pimples to when he’s experiencing GI upset (my family’s term for diarrhea). For some reason, when he gets home, the walls go down. Boundaries do not exist. Dave will gladly use the bathroom with me in it, but I try to avoid it.
Anyway, I think women prefer to maintain some mystery at home, which translates into a favorable public impression, which involves critiquing things like your neck beard. And somehow, for us, even your ratty beaters affect your, and therefore our, presence in public.
No, it’s not shallow; we know you’re a prize; that’s why we’re with you. We just want everyone else to know (and see) what a prize you are, so they can know how well we did.
Okay, maybe it’s a bit shallow.
But ultimately it’s a compliment to you, right?
What Women Find Attractive
I saw something recently (I think it was in Cosmo) that showed men that women find attractive, men that men find attractive, and those few whom we both find attractive.
I tried to ask Dave what men he found attractive and he had some sort of mini-panic attack and said none and stuck to it.
I don’t get what the issue is (because there’s nothing wrong with being gay).
As a woman in a heterosexual relationship, I can claim other women are attractive and it doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them. I’ve seen plenty of beautiful women and wished I had their looks, but they don’t turn me on. I’m confident enough in my sexuality to say such things.
Anyway, because Dave has been watching American Grit, I asked him if he thought John Cena “looked good.” He said he’s jacked but has a weird head…and that’s all I was getting.
So my point is, men find jacked guys attractive, and so of course they aspire to be jacked. Because they think that’s what women want.
But what do women really want? Well, if you have a beard (and maybe glasses) and don’t have a six-pack (and are open to wearing a kilt), then you’re attractive in my book. As I’m sure I’ve said before, think Seth Rogen.
Oh, also be smart. I love that shit.
Yes, I think Zac Efron and Ryan Reynolds are good looking fellows, but it’s really, actually, honestly their faces that get me. Not their bodies. Of course their faces (and bodies) don’t compare to Dave’s. But if I were asked specifically about celebrities, they would be the winners. And Seth Rogen.
I actually had the chance to date a guy who looked like Seth Rogen (also named Dave, who worked at RPI), and yet I went with my Dave. Clearly my Dave is more attractive.
Women don’t necessarily want jacked. Every woman is different. And I’m sure many are happy with perfectly average guys.
I know I’m not the only one who goes for a Seth Rogen type. Just saying.
So I’m willing to bet that a lot of guys are wrong about what type of guy a woman is attracted to.
On this same note, while it may not be something men don’t get, it’s definitely a difference: men have a harder time admitting other men are visually pleasing than women do lauding another woman’s aesthetic appeal.
Are men fundamentally less secure in their sexual orientation? So much so that they can’t even give a guy props for looking good?
Calling Her Fat
Being told I’m fat (“because I drink wine like a sieve”) and being told I don’t turn him on anymore are both things I’ve been told.
It hurt. A lot.
To a woman, calling her fat = she’s unattractive by society’s standards = she’s ugly by society’s standards = she’s ugly by your standards = you’re not attracted to her = you don’t want to have sex with her anymore = you’re going to break up with her. Oh, and then she’s too ugly for anyone else.
It’s scarring. Telling her she doesn’t turn you on anymore cuts to the chase, but may be even worse because you hated her so much that you didn’t even bother trying to “save” her ego by saying she just gained weight (note “gained weight” as opposed to “fat”); no, she’s so hideous that she can’t even coax the weakest reaction from your loins anymore.
If you have an issue with your woman’s image, either grow a pair and leave her, or grow a pair and (gently) communicate what’s putting you off. Don’t just say we turn you off or worse, walk away with no explanation.
No, we may not change, but we’ll know that (or why) you were such a dick and we’ll look out for that in the future.
Also, if you call her fat or tell her she doesn’t turn you on and in her most divine mercy she decides to keep your sorry ass, you’d better make her feel like a fucking queen and let her know just how much she drives you wild — so wild you can barely contain yourself around her.
The Way We Think
This may be the most challenging one to discuss.
My first boyfriend once told me men’s brains are like boxes, and women’s are like spaghetti.
Accurate, in a way.
Yes, to me everything is connected.
That thing you said to me just now reminds me of that insult from 32 days ago at 6:33 PM, which, come to think about it, sounds an awful lot like what you said in argument number 212 which you said you’d never say again! Oh and your behavior on six different occasions supports it, especially from April 17th, June 22nd, and September 6th. Just TRY to defend yourself or talk your way out of this one!
Or, another example: I need to buy cat food, which reminds me we’re low on cat litter as well, and I need to clean the litter boxes even though you said you would just like that time you said you’d do the dishes and didn’t — which reminds me, I need to buy dish soap and a sponge. I’m still annoyed that that sponge scratched up my truck so badly. Weren’t you supposed to help me find a way to buff that out? You always forget. You said we’d go to dinner last week and we never did. Hell, I gave you a six month anniversary gift and you never gave me one. It’s over a year later! I need to start thinking about Christmas gift ideas. Ugh my bank account is already in pain. But what would he want? He still hasn’t used the dart board I got him last year. What did he even get me? I hate the holidays.
If I had to guess what men think like, I’d basically compartmentalize all that…and probably leave a lot out:
I need to buy cat food. Oh, and we’re low on cat litter as well. I think we need something else. Hand soap? Maybe? I also need to clean the litter boxes before she starts nagging. Oh, and I need to help her with her truck before I have to hear about that, too. Shit, I promised her dinner as well. Maybe she’ll forget? With all the money I’ve spent on dinner I could’ve done so much to my truck.
Women may overburden themselves with so many tangential thoughts, but without some of those connections, things would be forgotten. Also, a lot of our thinking is tied to emotion (because strong emotion makes things memorable). I’m not saying we’re irrational; I can be logical to a fault. But I think men tend to separate thoughts from associated emotions. Emotion connects things. Remove the emotion, and you can sort things neatly into boxes.
Bottom line: emotion = spaghetti.
Just tonight Dave and I had a “discussion” in which he criticized women for overthinking everything, but then said that’s just what we do. I replied that men don’t think at all…which is why women have to overthink. He disagreed.
But I believe the way we think (and even overthink) has to do with our ability to multitask. If everything wasn’t interconnected and our thoughts weren’t divided between 20 things at once, we wouldn’t be able to juggle doing 20 things at once.
I can drop 20 hints in a day and Dave still won’t have any idea what I want or am trying to say. Women want to be subtle so as not to be seen as nagging. We think if we causally mention something or give you clues, maybe it’ll act as a subliminal message and you guys will somehow magically come to the conclusion yourselves.
Yes, I have successfully “planted seeds” with guys, but that mostly involves me mentioning something only once, in such a persuasive and innocuous way, that it’ll worm its way into his brain and sprout days or weeks later as his own idea. I just have to cross my fingers and hope it works.
Venting Versus “Fixing”
I once dated an engineer. At the same time, I was going through some really tough stuff at home (like my mom going to prison and dealing with my grandparents trying to control me). I would try to talk to him about what was bothering me (he told me to tell him about what was going on with me because he “read that’s what girls like.” Gee, thanks…), but instead of just listening and being supportive, he’d try to tell me how to stand up to my grandparents. I remember specifically one incident when my grandmother, after my grandfather had been badgering me to ask for more hours at work, went in and talked to my supervisor herself. I was livid. I was so mad I went home and called her to “ask” her about it. She said he came up to her and started talking about it…which smelled like bullshit to me.
Quotes from my journal that day:
“Ben called and I was talking about Gramma’s bullshit earlier and he just doesn’t understand why it pissed me off so much. He doesn’t see what was wrong about what she did. It’s so frustrating when someone hasn’t been in your situation and yet tries to give you advice. And it’s even worse when they suggest that you’re overreacting or aren’t reacting appropriately. Like I said, I don’t want to be fixed. I just want someone to listen and I don’t want to be told it can’t really be that bad. It is. Stop telling me it’s not. Sometimes I feel like I should just keep my complaints about them to myself (venting only to you [my mom], someone who understands), but then he asks me how I am, what’s going on with me, what’s wrong, and so on, and expects me to complain. But when I do, he tells me it’s not really that bad. Also, I don’t want to have to censor myself.”
“When I said Gramma had just lied to me, Ben was like, well old people have a different perspective on things. He said maybe Tony [my supervisor] said hi to her so they started talking. I told him Tony said Gramma approached him. Also, for Gramma to say that Tony struck up a conversation is odd because Tony doesn’t know she’s my grandmother. So why would he suddenly start talking to her about me? Think your lies through, people! I’m sorry. I know this is stupid but it really irritates me. It bugs me what Gramma did and it irks me that Ben seems to think I’m being too hard on them. No one but you will ever know what I’m going through so I should stop trying to explain it to them.”
While looking for that I also found this:
“I was talking to Ben and he was going through my schedule with me and trying to suggest ways for me to get more sleep, have more time, etc. Guys like to fix things – but it doesn’t help for him to tell me “maybe less TV time” because I’m up until midnight most nights. I get done with schoolwork around ten and I want to write and relax for a bit, you know? (Also, he skyped with me until after midnight last night.) And he didn’t seem to understand why I get up so early, but you know I like a leisurely morning. I told him I get chores done and do my prayers. I appreciate that he wants to help and that he’s taking the practical guy (and engineer) approach to this, but it actually just stressed me more because it started to sound like a lecture. I have my routine and it’s not changing. It’s after nine right now and I still need to walk Milo and then I’m going to watch TV for an hour while I have ice cream and then I’ll easily spend half an hour or more writing. I deserve this time to myself, right? I work hard all day long and then I want to unwind and it pisses me off when people write off the importance of “‘me-time’.”
Yeah, don’t dismiss my me-time. I used to have a bowl of ice cream literally every night while I watched TV/browsed the interwebs/wrote. It was my time to decompress.
Anyway, I thought maybe it was an engineer thing, always wanting to “fix” problems, but I’ve realized since then that it’s just a guy thing. Maybe it makes them feel useful?
But really, often a woman just wants to vent. She wants validation, not a solution. She wants you to hold her after a rough day at work, not tell her to stand up to her boss. She wants you to nod when she complains about her dumb colleague, not explain how she should handle it. She wants you to tell her she’s right and that her friend was inconsiderate for canceling last minute or not returning a text — again! — not explain away her actions. We’re strong, smart people. We can figure things out ourselves. We can take care of ourselves.
Still not sure whether we really want your help? Here’s a hint: if we want it, we’ll ask for it.
What We Do with Our Friends
This is kind of that same vein. For some reason Dave is convinced that whenever my one bestie and I decide to hang out, that we’re going to go to a bar, hit on guys and be hit on, and get shitfaced.
We’ve never done this. Ever. The one time we did go to a bar, Dave was with us.
He’s also convinced that all we do (and all I talk about with her) is bashing him. No, we have lives, thanks. My existence is more than my relationship with you. Shocking, I know.
However, when we do talk about the men in our life, and even when it’s negative, it’s not what you think.
As I said above, we like to vent. Just vent. Not seek advice. My bestie has confirmed this.
All I want is for my friend to agree that you were an asshole, or acknowledge that I’m rightfully upset…basically validate me so I know I’m not just overreacting (because we get told so often by men that we are).
Here’s the difference: I vent to my friend and she tells me I deserve better and I agree. But she’s not going to judge me when I don’t leave Dave.
Dave’s friend once, out of the blue, told him to “ditch the bitch” and go south (me being the bitch, obviously). One, Dave wasn’t even complaining — he had just told him I was going to RPI on a full ride with a job. Two, you don’t just randomly bitch about your “best friend’s” girlfriend. Three, you don’t randomly tell him to leave her. Four, you don’t call her a bitch.
Five, Dave, you don’t let him talk about me like that!
Female friends know it’s not their place. If they feel really strongly, they’ll find a way to communicate it without being a dick. And if they speak up, it’s because you were already upset and probably want to feel better about how much you’re pissed at him right now.
When my best friend started seeing a guy I had misgivings about, given the situation, I gave her a gentle warning, saying I hoped she didn’t get hurt and maybe even saying what I would do, not what she should do.
Women get that we just seek validation, not solutions. Men think we want to be “fixed.”
Still going with the same idea, I feel that some men expect women to be very dependent, always wanting a man’s support or company, when women are happy to be independent. As I said, we’re strong and smart…and don’t need a male counterpart.
Women don’t need men. I mean, if we want kids, ultimately we require a male’s donation, but we don’t need a man to get by.
Let me also note that I realize some men would rather be with a woman over a man. I’m not ignoring y’all, but this post is about what men don’t understand about women. You’re females. Hopefully you understand us. You got this.
I’m mostly with Dave for a best friend. Someone I can tell anything to. Someone I can let see me at my worst. Someone I don’t have to fear judgment with. Yes, I have this with my besties, but with an SO it goes farther. Dave sees me at my day-to-day self.
Yes, it’s nice to share a bed so we can cuddle and whatnot, but that’s more of a benefit.
The only problem is that I have to train him to respond like a female.
For the longest time, I hated shopping. At the very least, I had little to no interest in it. Yes, after my horseback riding lessons my mom would take us to Crossgates to wander around, but it was mostly for Nate to get a pretzel and )maybe for me to get a smoothie?). As we got older, Nate hated being brought along on clothes-shopping-oriented trips to the mall.
But as I got older I realized that taking a friend along was fun. So began the phenomenon of shopping-and-bonding.
If asked (by a male for certain, and possibly by a female) whether or not he enjoys going shopping with me, Dave would probably say no. However, for our second date we went Black Friday shopping (he bought me jeans), he’s told me I need a new purse, he’s bought me Victoria’s Secret gift cards (and of course goes with me when I spend that), and he’s justified a lot of purchases I’ve made so I don’t feel guilty about spending on myself.
So despite his supposed aversion to shopping with me, he doesn’t really seem to mind it that much. (I’m pretty sure he secretly loves the domesticity of grocery shopping.) I mean, he bitches every time I go into this one shoe store (my aunt keeps giving me gift cards to it even though I can never find anything I like), groans when I go into Old Navy or Forever 21 (to try to spend gift cards) and hates when I head for JC Penney because he knows I’ll “look at a lot and not like any of it”…but he’s okay with Victoria’s Secret (go figure).
Yet recently he actually led me into Bath & Body Works…which he usually hates.
The point here is that men either actually hate shopping with their female counterparts or, probably to reassert their masculinity to themselves (and all males around them), roll eyes and voice complaints about being dragged along for shopping when they really don’t mind it or even — gasp — like it. The long-suffering boyfriend is a well-known stereotype.
And why is this? I’m going to hazard a guess that guys just don’t get shopping. Yes, they’ll grudgingly run to the supermarket when they run out of food and when every pair of pants is too holey for church (get it?), maybe they’ll make a trip to get a new pair or two…if their girlfriend or mom doesn’t do it for them first. (Dave only buys jeans on Black Friday, so…once a year.)
But with women, shopping is a freaking event. It’s a thing we actually plan to do with our female friends. It’s a bonding experience…perhaps like guys playing video games? (I admit, that’s one thing I, and I’m sure other women, don’t get about guys: the gaming obsession.)
But for women it is a chance to stroll and chat and accomplish something — plus they’re there for input (or moral support when you suddenly feel like a fatass).
Like I said above, women aren’t afraid to compliment other women, plus we trust our besties to be honest when something just isn’t working on us. I’m pretty sure Dave would be uncomfortable shopping with a guy friend and sending him selfies asking how these jeans made his ass look.
However, when Dave and I shop, I hope he appreciates my input on what would look good on him (if anything, I tuck it away as a gift idea…there I am connecting everything).
Plus it’s a reason for women to vent about body image issues and reassure each other. Sure, I could bring up how I feel like an elephant and I could share clothes over a meal, but it’s more relevant (and necessary for support) during clothes shopping.
Plus I’m pretty sure guys don’t care about shoes. Dave just needs one pair of reliable boots and he’s good. I mean, I really only need a pair of flip-flops and a pair of boots and I’m good, but I have a huge collection of other shoes I rarely wear…because I liked them.
Anyway, maybe our obsession with shopping — again — has something to do with the pressure to look good. The media puts a lot of pressure on women to look good, but I don’t feel that men are as heavily targeted. And if you thin about it, most clothing stores are geared toward women, with a minimal men’s section. We’re raised to shop. We’re bred into this.
So while men are content to wear their small selection of holey jeans, ratty T-shirts, and (one pair of) years-old shoes, women feel like they have to have a large wardrobe so they can always dress their best and impress others.
I have lots of clothes. But I only wear a few outfits because I’m too damn lazy. I feel like I’m an outlier or an exception to lots of things here, but I still get it on some level.
Anyway, I feel that it’s the opposite of nature. In nature, males are all flashy and fancy and colorful to attract females, who are usually dull and boring. With humans, females are supposed to be all dressed up and flaunting it while males…apply minimal effort.
I’d like to note, in case I’m pissing anyone off, that I’m going based on hetero males and females, because this post is about things men don’t understand about women, and I’m getting my info from my relationships. And yes, there are well-dressed straight guys, but I’m with — sigh — Dave, so that’s what I know. And I’ve gone through periods where men’s clothes were the shit — they still are because they have nice, deep pockets, but the shorts are too long and the pants are too baggy for me now…even though I’m about to cave and buy men’s camo pants because I hate skinny jeans and that’s all women have for camo. Anyway, I’ve been through my not-caring phase and now, even though I don’t care a lot, I do care some about fashion.
So I dared to ask Dave about this one — not in reference to me, of course — but why do guys feel so differently about getting engaged than girls? Yes, I realize not all women aspire to engagement and have their weddings planned before they’re ten (okay, I was 19 before I really started thinking about getting married) and can’t wait for the day they get engaged.
But I feel like many — enough — do that it’s still a subject of uncertainty for men.
Women tend to be like “OMG I want to get engaged!”
Despite what Dave thinks, I’m not like that. I’d rather never get married than marry the wrong person. He thinks I was pestering him about buying me a ring, but really I saw him spending money on lots of things for himself when he had told me he was saving for a ring, and I was hurt.
Anyway, his answer was that the wedding is really about the woman and it’s really up to her.
But after thinking about that, I realized that was about the wedding, not getting engaged. So I revised my question.
He said getting engaged is just more headache and stress and the man is “just like yeah fuck you” and the woman gets crazy about wedding planning. Because wedding planning starts right after engagement.
Not necessarily…anyway, it’s a good thing we probably won’t make it there…even though he thinks we will.
But again I’m going to guess that, for any women who hope to get married and have a family, getting engaged is an important step and event in her life. It’s not about the ring (although if you can drop $10,000 into your truck over two years you can buy me a decent ring — Dave said I was starting bullshit with this observation); it’s not about everyone else we know doing it (and no, its not really “everyone,” clearly); it’s not even about planning a wedding. I want to be engaged to feel even more confident in our relationship and to know that THIS is the guy I’m going to be with and I can quit looking or waiting and I’m getting my life underway. I like to have as many aspects of my future nailed down as I can.
Not that anything is really certain. Not that people don’t cheat and get divorced and whatnot, but still…I don’t want kids right now, but I could handle being engaged or even married.
And of course it’s a big deal to women…you don’t hear about that many women proposing to their man, now do you? (I mean, my aunt did suggest this to me, but I told her Dave was saving up — about a week before I found out he wasn’t saving up.) Women are supposed to just wait around for their man to decide their truck (or whatever it may be) isn’t that important for a bit and save up for a ring…and then wait for him to plan (and execute!) the proposal.
We women, if we want it done traditionally, have no control over the whole thing. And if we’re really traditional, then we have no idea he’s even planning on proposing. (Clearly Dave and I have discussed it, much to my chagrin.)
Can you blame us for being a bit antsy? We’re actually trusting you to pick out a ring we’ll like and relying on you to actually plan a proposal — and then go through with it!
I guess we just have little confidence in men to shop and spend (when we know they hate that), plan something (when we know they’re bad at that), and actually carry it out.
So you just need a bit of nudging.
Or we move on with our lives…
I’ve never been a bride, but I’m a control freak, so maybe I can relate. It’s all about money and deadlines and so I suspect that micromanaging and focusing on the minutest of details might be a bride’s way of escaping from the stress of the larger issues.
Plus, nobody’s thrilled when things don’t go right…especially if you’re paying good money for them to, well, go right.
That’s all I have on that.
So you survived what I think men don’t get about women.
Here are some things that I, as a woman, still don’t get about women.
Taking Forever in the Shower
Maybe this is one I agree with men on. Maybe it’s because I camped so much as a young one, but I trained myself to be quick in the shower — under five minutes if I have to (this probably stems from unpleasant camp showers that gave five minutes of lukewarm water for a quarter).
Yes, I take a bit of time because I have a lot of hair to wash and women are required by society to shave most of their body. Still, I’m pretty sure I take less time than Dave, who maybe washes his ever disappearing hair.
I can make excuses to a point ladies, but really…
My aunt can take like an hour, plus another hour (it seems) for makeup. That’s incredible to me. Like should we call Guinness or what?
The Duck Face
Who the hell decided this was attractive? Do you think you look like you’re about to pucker up to kiss someone?
I’ve seen my one cousin (plus many other Facebook friends) do the duckface and I just don’t get it.
I tried to take a selfie of me doing it and I just couldn’t. It just looks so stupid.
Fellow femmes: please, have a little self-respect and take good selfies! (And save the nudes for the guy you’re like 99.9% sure you’re going to marry.)
Why does anyone think this is cute, much less sexy?
It’s like you sewed your shorts to your shirt, or you couldn’t decide whether you wanted to wear a dress or shorts.
On this note, women’s pants have like no pocket space. I wore men’s shorts for a long time and I loved all the pockets — deep pockets!
I just don’t get the romper trend…or the high-waisted pants/shorts trend. I’m pretty sure you would’ve once been embarrassed by your mom for wearing something like that.
Let’s just say I don’t get women and trends.
Talking in the Bathroom
For some reason, women think it’s totally cool to hold a conversation from the point you enter the bathroom until you leave.
The last thing I want while I’m sitting on a strange toilet is for someone beside me — or worse, a few stalls over — to try to talk to me. If I wanted social hour in the bathroom I’d figure out a urinal.
In the same vein, I’m always shocked by how dirty/messy/disgusting women’s restrooms are, especially compared to men’s (and I’ve used enough men’s rooms to know). Do we really spend that much more time in our assigned bathrooms to dirty them up so much more?
Supposedly we’re the neat and clean ones. I guess our restrooms pay the price for that facade?
I never understood why women hate their bras so much, or why they love going braless.
Braless translates into nightmare or probable-wardrobe-malfunction for me. I like everything securely held in place. Plus it’s just uncomfortable to have everything swinging freely. Even dresses/tops that really call for foregoing a bra leave me trying to figure out how I can discreetly wear a bra under them.
For years my cousin would be like, “Yeah I didn’t need to wear a bra today,” or “I didn’t want to wear a bra, so I didn’t.” And I’m just like, “I’ve been wearing one literally every day since fourth grade.” Literally. In the correct usage.
Suffice to say I could never be a hippie.
This may seem like an odd last subject (yes, I said last), but maybe it epitomizes everything I don’t get about women (and probably a good chunk of what guys don’t get). I haven’t chosen to wear nail polish in years. Last year my bestie wanted to paint my nails, so I let her…but within hours it had chipped and I was peeling it off.
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy manis and pedis, but nail polish just seems impractical to me.
Why would you either pay money or spend a chunk of time getting your nails done (I’ve known the struggle of using a bathroom with wet nail polish) when it’s just going to chip by the end of the day and look like absolute shit by the end of…day three? It’s been a while.
Many things women do just seem so impractical, unnecessary, inconvenient, and just odd…if I can’t understand them in their entirety…how can we expect men to understand us at all?