Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why Am I Single? Let Me Count The Ways

Recovery

Don't squat with your boots on.
Cowboy Euphamism


Let’s talk about recovery. Recovering from a failed relationship. I’ve tried to apply some mathematics to the situation like “x months in relationship = y months of recovery”, but it just won’t work out right. Of course, the data is skewed because there are so many people that were in long term relationships that jump right into another one without barely any recovery time and then there are those that were in very short (all be it intense) relationships that seem to take forever to recover. The worst are those that have one lost love or “loved from a distance” situation and never leave or, for that matter, enter the “recovery” period.

Strictly from observation, I think I’ve found that people who jump from one relationship to another (at least, a relationship where they professed to love the other person before leaving) have some profound problems. They either a) weren’t in love with that original person in the first place, or b) have serious problems with being alone (ie, co-dependency). ON the other hand, those that have that one relationship or “love from a distance” and never go out and try it again have some serious problems, too. I mean, whom are they kidding? That’s called “hiding”. It’s so easy to point to that one time and say, “see, I tried it, I can never do that again”.

Believe me, I can understand this “hiding” thing very well. There was a long period of time that I thought it was me. Not that I don’t hide some things from myself. One should be introspective, but, to sit there day in and day out picking all of your failings to pieces has got to be the sign of another kind of sickness.

Damn. I guess I’m saying, there are all sorts of people out there with all sorts of problems. However, I think, while possible to do, that humans like most animals were not meant to be solitary. I would say that 99% of all humans have a drive in them to meet and be with another human on some sort of intimate level. And, really, does it take a PhD in sociology to know this? Even we eternal singles are still constantly assessing people we meet for relationships. We can’t help it it’s in our genetic make up. Like lions or tigers or bears, oh my, we have something inside of us that will not stop until we’ve done some semblance of mating and spreading our genes around, even if it doesn’t necessarily result in gene spreading.

What I’ve figured out is that God had an incredible sense of humor. When he gave the lions this desire to mate and spread their genes, he also gave them a specific time or season which this was most likely to occur, specific acts that would be done by both genders of the species to entice the prospective mate and an innate sense of who would be the best mate. The lioness looks over the candidates and says, “hmmm..that one has big paws, deep chest, strong legs, a big mane of hair and listen to that roar. Com’ here big boy.” Raaawwrrr. Mating season is on. The other poor lions that were hoping to be the king for a day? If they don’t get the message, she smacks the crap out of them with her paw and they wonder off eventually to find the less antagonistic lioness.

Humans are not that lucky. God, with his sick sense of humor, gave us the drive, alright, but he conveniently gave us a brain. A brain that thinks. A brain that thinks too much, sometimes. It’s all supposed to insure that we are more capable of choosing the right course, up to and including the propagation of the species, but it has major drawbacks. Like over thinking, over analyzing and just plain out not listening to our inner voices warning us away from certain danger. The brain that thinks it can overcome that danger if we only apply ourselves some.

Guess what? You ignore that little warning voice and you are going to suffer. If the warning tells you to run, you should do it. If the voice tells you to grab on and hold on for everything you’re worth, do that too. But generally, that stupid voice is in the background telling you both. That’s when God’s sick sense of humor comes in to play. Free will and all that. You have to make a choice. No pretty black and white selections like the lioness has, “good protector = good mate”. Nope. We are trying to evaluate nine hundred little things that our brains register at any given time and come up with a decision balancing out all of these items and hope like hell that we make the right decision.

It gets worse as we grow older. Life experiences have a way of adding weight to one voice or the other. That’s not always good.

Why, oh why, can’t we be like the Moose? Cow moose sees a big set of horns on a strapping buck and she knows he has survived a long time and knows where the good forage is. Bingo, one moose relationship coming right up.

How come men don’t come with a set of horns?

Well, I’m going off on a bit of a rant. What’s this have to do with “recovery”? Well, first, we wouldn’t even be discussing “recovery” if we were like the moose or the lion. We’d just do our thing and go on until the next mating season. Second, I fully believe that people let off certain pheromones. Ones that say things like, “I’m vulnerable, come and kick me some more”, or “I’m vulnerable right now and will be a sucker for any poor schmuck that comes along”, or “I am so ready for a relationship right now, please ignore all the fucked up shit in my life” along with a million other little signals. And, we don’t even know it. Has anyone besides Freud and Jung done any real investigation into the human mating scene? We choose to ignore it for fantasies we see on TV because it’s easier to digest that the real shit that happens to people every day.

Where is the reality show or documentary that follows people around and dissects human mating habits? Is it me or is anyone else interested in seeing a national geographic special about human mating habits? Do you really give a shit about gophers or prairie dog mating habits? Does anyone think that prairie dogs equal humans in the screwed up crap they can do to each other?

Frankly, I haven’t seen one documentary on animal habits that have helped me figure out humans.

I can tell you from my own experience that recovery was helped and hindered by a number of factors. For instance, I know for three months I did not want to go out and see people at the clubs like we had been doing. Not that I was against seeing my close friends, but our acquaintances were just too painful to see. Mostly because they had not clue what was going on and had a tendency to make comments or ask questions that opened up the wounds. Like, “So, when his Carlos coming back” or, “when’s the wedding date” or, “When you talk to him next, tell him I said “hi”.”

Uuuggghhh. So, I didn’t actually go out for the first three months afterwards. I went to dinner, saw a movie with friends, but going out and visiting the old places was too painful. It was helpful as well because the friends went out before me and spread the word, “Carlos and Kansas broke up. Don’t ask her any questions because she’s a mess.” By the time I was ready to go out, it was largely cleared up except for a few of the more oblivious. I always love those people that don’t have enough angst in their lives that they have got to ask somebody that they barely know questions like, “Why’d you guys break up? You seamed like such a good couple.”

Whatever. They didn’t really know us, just by acquaintance and they wanted the dirt. Be gone bloodsuckers. This isn’t some damned movie or soap opera to titter over with your friends and enjoy somebody else’s pain to mitigate your own sad freaking existence. That’s what I felt like anyway.

After the first three months, I started making tentative steps to go back out with my friends and have a good time. Not that I was as near as outgoing and fun as I was before then. I was still a mess and I absolutely could not hear that song by Garth Brooks, the dance, without getting all choked up. I was still trying to find the major pieces of my heart and put it back together. Within six months, I could go out and enjoy the time out, but still was very leery of “interest” from the opposite sex.

Strangely, the pheromones I was talking about must have been in over drive. In a bizarre twist of fate, at my most vulnerable and pain ridden moment, I couldn’t have been anymore popular than I was. There were definitely times I felt like a wounded animal surrounded by some very large wolves, licking their chops and saying, “ahhh, fresh meat, only recently left on the side of the road after that diesel hit her. Should be nice and tender right about now.”

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much, believe me. I knew the difference. Before, I had been subject to occasional interest. A date here or some dates there, but nothing too intense. At the point of recovery, I think I was asked for my number, to dinner, on dates, to dance, whatever, more than I’d been asked before my association. For instance, the infamous Cruz came out of the woodwork and was in hot pursuit. If I was someplace, he was someplace. He wanted to dance all the time, go to breakfast with the group, get my number, take me out, whatever.

Frankly, he didn’t stand a chance in hell. Mainly because I had seen him around the clubs and how he acted with the girls. Particularly, his last “girlfriend”. Even more so, I swore of military men. Particularly those of the latin persuasion. However, it was some small balm to the ego to know, even after complete rejection, I still held appeal to SOMEBODY.

There were plenty like him, too. I guess recently dumped girlfriends are not off limits in the world of men. Friendships can survive that sort of thing in the man’s world, but I will tell you that for women, no matter how amicable the break, recently dumped boyfriends are off limits to their girlfriends. It’s a territorial thing, I think. If a girlfriend of the dumper or dumpee expresses interests, it implies that they had an interest all along. Just plays havoc on the friendship.

The other thing that happened was that the Silver Rose burned down. I swear it wasn’t me. I was nowhere near when it happened. I was at work. They say it was electrical short anyway.

In any event, I was spared the continuing need to go to this club and make appearances or associate with some of those same people. A new club had opened called “The American Cowboy” over in Cherry Hill near the racetrack. All sorts of military guys went there of course, but also people associated with the horse thing and plenty of urban cowboy type guys, lots of New Jersey women, too, which was frankly hilarious to see some folk’s version of a “cowboy” in their interesting urban cowboy clothes. There were times I just wanted to grab some of them and say, “look nimrod, those stupid little bon jovi boots with the flashing lights in the heel that go off every time you take a step are annoying, not cute and not cowboy.” Or, “Hey, bozo, people don’t actually go to bars with spurs on their boots in the great west anymore. And, this isn’t a fucking scene from “A Chorus Line”. If your boot with that stupid spur comes up near my head again, I’m going to rip it off and shove it up your ass.” Or something to that effect.


Yeah, I was a laugh a minute.

But, as I was saying, incredibly and insanely popular. Sometimes, the nastier I was, the more popular I was. That’s just another screwed up part of the human psyche, way too many people with verbal masochistic tendencies. I swear it was like, “You think I’m an asshole? I’m in love with you.” Okaaaay. As the old joke goes, “Next.”

Craig, our friend and adopted brother, was still hanging out with us. He would go dancing with us every weekend and he was a very good partner. He could swing dance really well. He and I would often clear a portion of the floor when we got going. Of course, he was throwing me around like no tomorrow. Except for the flip. I never would let him flip me over his shoulder or to the side. I mean, the boy was 6’2” but he weighed less than I did at the time. I was way too scared of the consequences. On one occasion I recall that we were doing a long spin where I spun around for about 10 revolutions (you try it sometime and see how hard just doing three is with out tripping on your feet or getting dizzy; it’s all about “spotting” – google it with the word “dance”). Our hands were really sweaty and I went spinning off into space, only to run into a couple that was beside us. The man had just let go of his partner and, in a bizarre, nearly choreographed moment, caught me right before I my ass hit the ground. He pulled me back up in a quick move and sent me spinning back to Craig. The whole place thought it was planned and erupted into applause. I was just happy that I hadn’t dusted the floor with my ass. When the song was over, Craig and I apologized profusely to the other couple who were very nice about it all. I made Craig wipe his sweaty palms off. Déjà vu.

Honestly, though, I was not adverse to being a trouble maker at that time. I just sort of, let loose in some respects. One thing that was a big deal (and still a big deal) is dance floor etiquette. If you recall my other post, when bumping into someone you say “excuse me” and do other polite things while dancing in that atmosphere. At least, if your parents raised you right. Unfortunately, there are way too many people that need to have their parental history reviewed. Not that I’m putting the area down or anything, but I swear that Cherry Hill has the rudest and snobbiest people I’d ever met in my life. Well, barring some folks from the Main Line in Philly I had the pleasure to meet.

The country and western thing was just taking off and the club, though a pretty big one actually, was packed all the time. This meant that it was difficult to walk through without bumping into someone. Most of the time, I still said “excuse me” and “sorry”, but there were plenty that weren’t so damned nice. The cowboys that had went over to the new club from the Rose, the real ones who were in the navy (is that bizarre?) had a major problem with some of the patrons of this new club and were wont to teach some folks manners occasionally.

The dance floor pet peeve of almost all of the “dancers” were the people that would stand on the dance floor with their beer or wine while the dancers were forced to try and go around them. Also, the people that had a tendency to lean on the little corral fence around the floor and put their heads, hands and feet within very close proximity to the floor, if not extending over it. When the floor was packed, everyone was dancing right up to the edge and things were constantly getting knocked off, bumped and a few other issues. The DJ was constantly reminding people to get off the floor if they weren’t dancing.

One evening, we were dancing and one of the cowboys that we knew accidentally knocked somebody’s bottle of beer off the corral and the patron was unhappy. A general shoving match with some fists being thrown ensued and the cowboy was thrown out of the club while the patron remained with a number of his rowdy, guido looking friends (think, Night at the Roxbury) who were gleefully trumpeting their victory over the cowboy in question. I guess the cowboy didn’t have the right accent or something since it was evident that the Guidos started the incident.

Being of similar persuasion to the guy that was thrown out, namely transplants from anywhere but there and general adherents to courtesy and the cowboy way of life, the ten or so guys that we knew had decided to teach the impertinent easterners a lesson in manners. All very subtle (some may say, passive/aggressive), but we were trying to do so without being thrown out of the club. Me, I was looking for trouble I think. I was pretty much up for anything. I was full of angst and not adverse to sharing it. So Craig asked me to dance as the next song came on and we all grabbed a place on the extreme outside of the floor. If anyone knows anything about the classical dance position of a woman’s left arm on the guy’s shoulder and the right hand in the guy’s left hand extended out, you will understand that, in relaxed settings, one has a tendency to let your left elbow droop and to pull your right arm (for women) up to avoid smacking people in the head as you toured the floor.

In competition dancing (try watching PBS), the position is actually to have your left elbow very stiff and sticking straight out as well as holding the right arm straight out. It’s a matter of form and does lend to better control of the dance. In large crowds, this was not usually done, but we trouble makers had determined that classic position was what was called for: elbows and arms out.

As we began to spin around the floor, we hit the first area of impolite folks, those that were standing on the floor conversing near the steps down to the dance floor. Bing, off came the first hat, “So sorry”, bang, right into somebody’s arm making them spill their beer, “My apologies”, boom, smacked into the back of one of the people standing on the dance floor and knocked them into one of their associates, “Excuse us”. All said with appropriate smile and ingratiating manner. All ten couples as we spun around the floor. The guys behind us, in the navy as well, started calling out, “Make a hole” (classic squid speak for when they were on the ship trying to go through a narrow passage way full of guys), “Coming through”. Some people got the hint and started moving off the dance floor. Others were learning the hard way.

A number of other dancers behind our group started getting into it as well and pretty soon we had a little rebellion going. Classic dance position: get out of the way or get a stiff arm to the head, shoulder or beer.

As we approached the side of the floor where the original Guido incident occurred, we were about thirty strong, spinning down the floor with some decent speed and vigor. Roxbury boys were leaning out over the floor, tipping their beers up in a fashion that was forcing some of the dancers ahead of us to dodge or side step, all the while, the Guidos were laughing and making rude comments about “cowboys” and “hicks” and dancing in general (that was just another interesting aspect of this club; how many total urbanites came just to take a gander at something they could not fathom).

I remember Craig looking at me like, “Are you ready?” I stood up straighter and stiffened the elbow and arm and returned the look, “ready as I’ll ever be”. Bing, bang, clink, crash. Curses flying liberally as we knocked down beer bottles off the fence railing and out of hands like a game at the carnival. How many could we take out in one turn? “So sorry. Pardon us. Excuse me. My apologies.” Fifteen couples clearing a space at the rail in a matter of seconds.

The Guids jumped up and acted like they were going to get tough, then realized that there a lot of people involved and five of them didn’t stand a chance. I noted that they had walked off and we thought that was the end of that. However, they were just running off to get the manager. Seems they were under the impression that they knew the fellow and a few of the bouncers.

After some guffawing, several other dancers got into and our number multiplied. Pretty soon, people were ducking and jiving, grabbing their beers off the fence railings all over the place and trying to leave a space between them and the floor. When the dance was done, the whole damned floor (probably about 100 people or so) started applauding and hooting and hollering. We had reclaimed the floor. This wasn’t some damned hiphop club where dancing was barely important in the whole scheme of seeing and being seen. We were there to dance. Do it or get the hell out of the way. Show some manners why don’t they? They didn’t teach that up there in the northern climes?

As we left the floor, along comes the manager and two of the bouncers followed closely by the Guidos of Roxbury. Guess who the manager was? Why, our friend from the Rose. One of the bouncers used to be the doorman there as well. “Craig, Kansas, long time no see.”

Craig and I were in the lead of our small group. I immediately went over to the manager and kissed him on the cheek, “Oh, it’s so great to see you, too. Are you working here now? And, Ken, so glad to see you, too,” as I went over to the bouncer and repeated the hug and kiss on the cheek. The Roxbury boys were looking a little confused.

The manager explained the Roxbury boys’ problem in an incredulous tone as in he didn’t believe that nice folks like us would do whatever these guys were claiming. “So sorry. The dance floor was a little crowded. You know how it gets when everyone is crowded together,” I said. Butter couldn’t have melted in my mouth. Of course, cleavage helped some.

Craig steps forward and apologizes as well, offering to buy the men some more drinks. Several of the squids with us follow suit, “No harm, no foul intended, huh?” he said reaching for his wallet. The manager turned down Craig’s offer. Since the Roxbury’s had been involved in an earlier dispute and no manager worth his salt was going to come down on people he would hope to be regular patrons as compared to the once in a lifetime Roxbury guys, the manager asked the Roxbury group if they wouldn’t be more comfortable at the bar and the house would replace their drinks. Roxbury hooligans got loud and insulting and the bouncers moved into to ask them to leave. They were escorted from the bar. All in all a good evening.

There I was, six months into my recovery and just starting to learn how to have fun. Having a small group of friends that knew us or knew our friends and being from similar backgrounds helped to form a bit of a cocoon. As much as I was terribly popular, I had my small guard of people and my personal bodyguard, Craig, would warn off anyone that was too persistent. Of course, that has its drawbacks. Namely, me being embarrassingly approached by some guy later on who tells me he was warned off and demands to have the whole story from me about whether so and so was really my boyfriend when I had said otherwise or makes some comments about me being a tease or something equally dastardly when I was, in reality, simply trying to recover my self, the pieces to my broken heart and put them together along with some highly damaged ego.

None of which these guys could fully understand or appreciate, never having enjoyed such a pain themselves, I was sure. Or, at least they attributed their own behavior to something else.

It was at this time that I met “Joe” who was a fireman for the local district and for whom, had I had half a brain, I should have fallen for.

Yeah, we can make life hell on ourselves. Believe me. But it sure can be fun getting there.



Don't drink down stream from the heard."
-cowboy euphamism
.

12 comments:

Donal said...

There is a documentary-type series that dissected human mating rituals it was called The Human Animal: A Personal View of the Human Species. It was fascinating- it looked at cultures around the world looking at similarties and differences in rituals, desire, etc. It was produced in 94 and I couldnt find a DVD version for sale. But if you ever happen to see it on tv- watch it.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Women won't ADMIT to dating the exes of their women friends, but they do it. Sometimes they even sleep with the current boyfriend of their current "best friend", but again, it's all hush-hush and kept secret. Women love secrets.

cjufnf said...

How 'bout this equation: y=x*i

'y' is the recovery time in months.
'x' is the length of relationship in months.
'i' is a positive coefficient standing for the intensity of the relationship.

If the relationship wasn't very intense at all, then 'i' is a fractional number (therefore reducing the recovery time.) If the relationship was very intense, then 'i' will increase the recovery time. Now we just need a scale for 'i'. Of course, maybe 'i' can't be a fraction at all, and the least it could be is 1? That I can't help you with seeing that I've never been in a relationship.

cjufnf said...

But wait a minute! I forgot another variable....

y=x*i*p

'p' stands for personality. Maybe normal (does that really exist?) should be 1 so that it doesn't affect the previous equation at all. That way, a normal person would recover in (i*x) months like a person should. Yay for theory! Everything works in theory! Don't know the scale for 'p' either, but once people figure out the scale for 'i' and 'p', it'll prove a most useful equation.

Kat said...

Donal..I'll go look for that documentary. Should be rather fascinating. Is it the one that is narrated by Kathleen Turner?

Ciggy..I didn't say they didn't date exes. What I said was that it probably meant the end of a friendship between the two women. Not sure that happens with men. Maybe you can supply that info?

CJ...so glad to see you. I see that they are actually teaching you something up at university. That is a lovely theoretical equation. I think I'll have to post that up somewhere. Maybe the heading of this blog. Take down Mr. Lawrence until I return to middle eastern subjects. Of course, I'm still of the opinion that the scale is too wide. I'm not sure what number to assign the personality types either. some of them are too damned un-stable. LOL

Donal said...

No it wasnt the Turner one, although I saw it- not nearly as good. It's a BBC=produced docu that was aired here on the learning channel. It was narrated and I belive writen by Desmond Morris, a world-famous zooligst. I just found out that he also wrote a few books on the subject, which might be easier to obtain. The documentary is fascinating- they have all this footage from countries around the world showing the different ways men and women express intrest in each other.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Kat, in a way what I've seen corroborates what you say, because some of the female-female friendships continued on, even though one was SECRETLY dating the ex of the other, and it was always paramount that the relationship remain a secret. And in those situations, the guy in question always had a hard time understanding the reason for the secrecy. "I'm not with her anymore, so why should she care whom I date?"

With men I've seen it go either way. If the breakup is a complete and total one, if anything a guy will ENCOURAGE other men to date the woman, and that's usually out of a sort of mischief of knowing that the woman's traits that proved to be so irritating and/or unattractive to him, will then torment his friend--and then he can poke mildly sadistic fun at the friend's troubles. "Hah, I TOLD you so, didn't I?"

On the other hand I've seen some men, especially of Latin descent, who remained territorial well after any sort of a breakup, no matter how furious and final it seemed. In fact most Latin relationships I've seen (Hispanic or Italian) tend toward a love/hate mixture. It was even explained by Victoria Gotti on her reality show: "We love hard, and when we fight, we fight hard!" Because of the love/hate/passion/argument cycle of those relationships, it's common to HEAR them say "it's over" but then the very next day you see them together again. So over doesn't really mean over, to them, and it's difficult to tell whether or if it's ever alright to start hitting on a Latin/Italian man's ex-girlfriend (and ex-wife, that's always NEVER for them).

And some men just have a female level of territorial attitude about them. "I used that, so now, nobody else can."

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Of any of my exes, I would have no problem at all seeing other men date them, even my ex-wife, but if a man is dating my ex-wife, since my daughter lives there, I would take a keen interest to make sure he isn't some sort of a creepy crawlie who isn't to be trusted around her. And even then I'd be nervous. If my ex-wife lived alone and I had full custody, she could whatever she wants with whomever, and I wouldn't care.

peterC said...

"The Human Animal: A Personal View of the Human Species" on dvd can be bought
here Hope that worked. But at $480!! Not much use. It was produced for the BBC but is not sold at the bbcshop. I left them feedback. Hopefully they will supply an answer.
To Kat - All Amercans I have met have been very polite and not aggressive. But wow, some of the things you say! :). I realise some folk "dont do mornings". This must play havock with one's love life, but at least I had thought us males would be safe after 9am.
My last partner was from Chicago, but brought up in the south, and she thought most of us NZers rather rude. I guess the next episode will explain why Joe lost his chance. Suggestion: get a copy of Steve Winwood's :Arc of a Diver" and play "When You See A chance" several times before going to the dance. Hopefully it will lead to the promised fine romance.
Incidentally the BBC's "Of the Shelf" this week has been 5 short stories from "The Ring Road" each about 14 minutes long and can be heard on-line here It is well presented and amusing.

Kat said...

Peter, safety of the male species after 9AM is completely dependent on the amount of sleep and caffeine BEFORE 8:49 AM. LOL

Generally, I find people's "politeness" to be in direct proportion to the region and culture they were brought up in. I cannot confirm all areas, but having visited many parts of the US, I would say, the area around New York was my worst experience. I remember being in Hoboken New Jersey for three days visiting a facility there and, going to McDonald's for lunch, as I approached the door, I noticed an old lady who was about 80 with a walker coming up slowly behind me. I opened the door and stood back, motioning for her to go before me.

She literally stopped in her tracks and was looking at me like I was crazy or a criminal or possibly both. I motioned again, she still stood still. Finally, I said, "After you." with a big smile and, pausing a few more moments she finally entered before me.

My guess was that she hadn't been exposed to any such niceties in the last 20 years or so of her life and was very confused. LOL

Anyway, in Texas and Louisiana, I found people were generally polite, held doors, talked to strangers fairly friendly, wished people good day, would help you no matter what (try comparing being stuck on the side of the road in New York as opposed to Texas and figure out who will be helping you faster), I was invited to visit in many people's homes. I did not get the same experience in the north, barring a few very nice Italian families who still adhered to some older traditions regarding guests.

The rest of the folks were pretty much sizing you up as to whether you would steal their silver or not. LOL

Thanks for the connections to those series. I'll be listeniing to them in short order.

Yes, I will talk about Joe and a few other things on the next post. Not that inspiring, just foolish.

Kender said...

Cig smoker man is dead on in his views of friends dating exes when it comes to men. Men will send their friends along with a cheery smile and words of encouragment and advise on what to say/do and how to act, knowing full well that he will be laughing in short order. It is almost an assured good time by the guy sending his friend in.

As for the politeness thing. I was raised in CA. by family from the south. Politness is ingrained in me, opening doors? S.O.P. Yes ma'am no ma'am thank you ma'am please. Manners are dying in this country.

BTW, how do you keep a man happy? The same way you do a dog...feed him well, pet him alot and show him tons of affection and he will defend you to the last breath...smack him on the nose too many times and he will dig under the fence and go running all night long.

Kat said...

Kender,

I couldn't agree more, courtesy is a dying art in this country. My parents taught me the same, Yes sir, no sir (insert ma'am when appropriate), excuse me, help people when you see it and don't be a general putz. Came in handy any number of times.

As for men, I'd say that you are more complicated than the feeding and petting, although, I would also say that it is a major component. All the men so for on this blog have pretty much indicated that those were main things they looked for.

I'd say women want men to tell them they are beautiful (no matter what, never say "fine", it implies "you're fat, ugly or I just don't give a damn anymore), treat them like queens (open doors, say their beautiful - do I gotta keep repeating that?), give them little presents (and they can be little, like a card or a flower, or a scarf they were looking at; unless of course you are the kind of guy that buys $300 power tools or the latest and greatest computer gizmo or whatever, then the guy had best be prepared to purchase trinkets of equal value for the woman lest the ugly beast of low self esteem or butchered ego or jealousy -pick one- arises and don't let any of them fool you with that "oh, I don't need anything" attitude because you'll pay for it later, trust me) and/or an occasional romantic moment (which can include very simply, sending the kids off to Aunt Becky's, renting a movie SHE wants to see and either cooking for her or ordering in, just sit on the couch and put your arm around her - I guarantee you will be a god even if you couldn't fix the plug in the sink).