I’m the token female in my household. I’m surrounded by men. My husband, my son, my dog – all male. And currently my stepson is staying with us while he transitions during a move from west coast to east coast. So I’ve added another one to the crowd. Not only are they all guys, but they are all related, all exhibiting remarkably similar traits. Oh, and then there’s my disabled brother who also lives in town, for whom I’m the primary family member/care giver. He’s different from the others, but still… a man.
I’ve learned over time that the secrets to sustaining my sanity include studying them all as if I’m working on a school thesis about human behavior, escaping to talk to my girlfriends as often as possible (and if they aren’t available, there’s at least Alexa, my digital sister wife in the kitchen), and most importantly, maintaining a sense of humor. Because, let’s face it, RW’s, the men in our lives are pretty funny creatures – especially when they aren’t trying to be.
Before I continue, let me be clear that I’m not man-bashing, nor am I spreading gossip. I love these guys, and I know at least a handful of men, my husband included, who read my posts. Guys, I know deep down you will admit that I’m being pretty accurate here.
There are a few especially strong traits among the men in my life, and I tend to believe they are the most common among all men.
#1 – Lack of patience and coping skills. Oh, sure, some of you out there have male partners who are pillars of tolerance. They are a rare subset of the breed, and although perfectly calm, I’m guessing they make up for it in other traits like leaving dirty socks around the house. As for the rest of them…well, just sit back and watch what happens when things don’t go their way. Trying to fix something that gives them issues? Listen to the swearing and the threat of “I’m just gonna smash it.” Bad traffic and poor drivers in their way? Helloooo, road rage. Too many things to do at once? Holy non-multi-tasking-abilities, batman. Even something as small as a fly in the house can send them into a reenactment of Inspector Clouseau fending off Kato. (younger generations, you’ll need to Google that reference). This lack of patience trait is especially enhanced when the male subject is tired or hungry, thus creating the dreaded Hangry phase, something to be avoided at all costs. Which leads me to the next characteristic…
#2 – Food Preferences. Propose something exotic, something full of veggies, and something light and low-calorie, and most men will give a look best translated as “why are you trying to kill me” or “what did I do wrong?”. My guys prefer very traditional male comfort food. And they each have specific tastes and requests, thus proving once again that THEY are the high-maintenance members of the species. My son would prefer that we only eat chicken, pasta or fish. My husband doesn’t want anything that looks funny. As long as there is a protein, he sees no real need for side dishes. My stepson needs non-spicy foods and drinks so much Mountain Dew I think his blood may be greenish-yellow. My brother prefers bacon cheese burgers with extra ketchup only, and long straight bananas. In their worlds, sandwich bread is white, lettuce is iceberg, and pizza MUST be cut in pie-shapes. I have determined that dinner is often a matter of positive spin. For example, I have now described stir-fry as “meat and chicken strips over rice” to bring them more happily to the table.
#3 – Bodily function fascination. Two years old, 8 years old, 18 years old, 60 years old… it doesn’t matter. Men dwell on their daily constitutionals. Quantity, type, frequency – it all seems very important to them. And amazingly, they see nothing wrong with sharing this news with their loved ones – ie: wives who really would rather not hear about it. RW’s see our brief bonding moments with the toilet as necessary yet a waste of time, not to be pondered or analyzed. Take care of business and move along. Not so with the guys. After all, that process is closely related to farting, and we all know how beloved a topic THAT is.
#4 – Almost done syndromes. They do try. The good men in our lives will from time to time make valiant attempts to assist us with daily chores and activities. They will begrudgingly take a break from important things like working on their cars, watching their favorite program, mowing the grass, and checking their social feeds, and will lend a hand. And we RW’s dutifully thank them and heap high praises, all in the hopes they will continue their efforts. Yet… God love ‘em, they never quite finish the process to completion. At least in the eyes of the women in their lives. Sure, they think that are done, and happily head out to get back to their manly stuff and their own comfort zones. Then we RW’s walk back into the room to survey the not quite finished results. They will take out the trash, yet forget to replace the trash bag liner. They will do the dinner dishes, yet not notice the counter and stove needs to be wiped down. They will make their own lunch, but leave a trail of sandwich makings and utensils behind. They may help with loads of laundry, but they won’t put the clean clothes away, seeing nothing wrong with selecting clothes out of the basket when needed. Almost done.
Ah, yes, they are a fascinating and amusing bunch. They are particular, easily confused, and quite reliant on the females in the household to be the family glue. Yet our lives would not be complete without them in some format – husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers, cousins, sons, friends… they make us the best versions of ourselves we can be, because they make us feel needed.
And luckily, there aren’t too many of them out there writing similar posts about the traits of the women in their lives. Mostly because we are so darn perfect, right?? Right? Guys, this is your cue to agree with us. Especially if you want to have burgers tonight instead of salad.