Tag Archives: men

Who is Valentine’s Day for?

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Valentine's Day card - vintage, 04It’s Valentine’s Day again, and you know what that means.  This is one of those holidays with certain expectations, and it can cause great distress and disappointment in the relationship if those expectations aren’t met.  Let’s take a lighter look at that…

If you’re a man with a wife or girlfriend, you’re typically expected to buy her a nice (sappy) card, give her chocolates and roses (which are inconveniently greatly inflated in price during February), and take her on a romantic date.  These aren’t all bad things.  I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day or anything like that.  It’s good to show appreciation to your significant other, and we tend to take our loved ones for granted.  I don’t particularly like the idea of it being “forced” on a certain day, but it’s a good reminder.

So the woman in the relationship gets showered with nice stuff, like she deserves, because we cherish her.  What are the expectations going the other way?  Well, guys typically get a card, which may not mean as much as it would to a woman.  Now before you accuse me of being selfish, it’s not about that.  I don’t care about getting more gifts.  I just wonder who created these expectations and how many people are aware of how it is.  Why are they this way?  That topic is beyond the scope of this discussion, but it’s a good thinking exercise if you’re interested.

Maybe we should start some new traditions, for the guys.  What kind of affordable stuff would guys want to receive every year and which would also make them feel loved and appreciated?  (That “affordable” modifier limits the ideas, so no monster trucks or flamethrowers or tanks.  But we need to be practical, I suppose.)  For starters, how about cheese dip?  Either homemade or Stoby’s cheese dip would suffice (plus no comments about how it’s not healthy or that a tub of cheese dip is not a meal by itself).  Bacon should probably be included in this.  Maybe chicken-fried bacon for dipping in the cheese dip?  Just imagining that probably makes you gain weight…

I figure most guys would like a time of playing video games, since that time typically gets dramatically reduced when in a relationship (and more when married and even more when you have children).  This may not seem practical, since the day is about quality time in the relationship, and that’s fair.  It could be applied the next day.  Or the woman could join him in the games, if they can find something they both enjoy.  That would probably count as quality time, to him anyway.

These ideas might not fly, but that’s okay.  I can dream, right?  🙂  If you have any ideas, I’m open to suggestions.  (Your comments can be anonymous if you’re scared of getting in trouble for speaking out on this.)

Man Candles

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There are now candles with scents aimed at men, who might not be interested in collections like “Water Inspirations” or “Citrus Passions”.

YANKEE CANDLE COMPANY, INC

Man Town™ – Escape to the man cave with this masculine blend of spices, woods and musk.

First Down™ – This combination of orange, patchouli, vetiver and leather is as exciting as game day.

Riding Mower™ – Hot sun. Cool breeze. And the intensely summery scent of freshly cut grass.

2 x 4™ – The warm, unmistakable scent of freshly planed wood and sawdust evokes a sense of confidence and quality.

Apparently this is for real, even though it sounds like a parody.  They cost $27.99 each.  I’m no marketing expert, but men typically don’t buy candles to start with, and that seems like a high price to gain entry into this market (if such a niche exists).

I don’t have any review samples, but let’s consider the candles anyway, just based on the descriptions.  I’m not sure I’d want one that smells like a man cave.  Let’s think about this logically.  If a man is single, his bachelor pad may already smell like a “man cave”.  And if he’s single, he likely isn’t buying candles.  If a man is married, he probably already has several years’ supply of candles at his house, and his wife likely would not approve of these smells anyway.

There is a nice aroma of a freshly-mowed yard, but I’m not sure I’d want that in the house.  Plus, you get that every week or so anyway from mowing the yard.

Some guys might like the 2×4 scent, but I doubt it evokes “a sense of confidence”.  I don’t know about the First Down scent, either, but I’m fairly certain a candle won’t be “as exciting as game day”.  That’s some marketing malarkey!  But this is no review, because I haven’t tried them.  Nor do I plan to, because I’m married and I never buy candles anyway.  But if you have experience with these, let us know.

the game of housekeeping

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I was explaining to one of my single guy friends the other day how having guests come over to your house is a lot different when you’re married than when you’re single.  It’s not enough to just toss the piles of mail and other clutter into your bedroom.  No, it’s time for a whole-house cleaning and makeover!  This is usually difficult (read: impossible) for men to understand, so I will try to explain.  Imagine you’re on a TV game show and every time someone comes over, your house is judged in the categories of how well you decorate, organize, and clean.  Forget the practical aspect of your guests understanding that people actually live in the house.  Sure, that seems like a valid excuse, and it is, but it only works with men.  If I go to a friend’s house and it’s cluttered, I don’t judge him, nor do I really care.  As long as my life is not endangered by the clutter and dust, it doesn’t matter.  I understand houses get messy sometimes and that there are many things you’d rather do than clean your house every single day.  And if you have children, it’s advisable to give up that dream of a house that always looks like a show home in a magazine or on certain TV shows, or you’re going to be frustrated a lot.

Anyway, back to my analogy before I go into rant mode.  Imagine you’re on a game show.  You and your wife are the contestants, and your guests are the panel of non-celebrity judges (even if their opinions get treated like they’re celebrities).  You might as well pretend it’s Martha Stewart showing up to judge you for how your house looks.  And that’s a critical aspect here — you are being judged, not just your house.  If it looks like people live there, you are obviously a poor housekeeper, and your life priorities must be all wrong.  And the categories you’re judged in include much more than just how clean your house is.  Even if you dust everything, vacuum, sweep, mop, do all the dishes, clean the bathrooms, etc., you can still receive a poor score.  See, it also matters how your furniture looks, and what art you have hanging on the walls, and what curtains you have, and how recently you’ve painted, and what your “theme” is, and so on.  I could not possibly list everything on the list because I am male.  I just don’t get it.

So let’s get to the next part of the game show — the prizes.  Well, there are no prizes.  It is theoretically possible to pass through this test unscathed, but unless you enjoy the process of all this housework, it’s not going to feel like winning.  And notice I said it’s possible to win in theory.  Realize that the difference between theory and practice is a lot bigger in practice than in theory.  Most likely you will lose miserably.  In some cases, even if you do all you know to do, you still lose regardless, even if the house is spotless and clutter-free, because you should’ve done more stuff, like hanging new curtains and pictures.

There are also some special complications that are bonus during this ordeal.  If your guests are your parents or in-laws, you may automatically lose.  But don’t let that faze you — you still must try your absolute best or you lose in more ways than one!  Sometimes it is a no-win situation, so you may not feel like trying at all, but there are definitely different levels of losing.

Well, there’s my perspective on the game of housekeeping.  I would enjoy hearing other perspectives.  And if anyone knows how to explain this to wives, to make the situation better, please share.  (And if it works, you should probably write a book and go around the country teaching at marriage enrichment seminars.)  Also, know that you can leave comments under an alias so your spouse won’t know it’s you.  So feel free to speak the unbridled truth.

eating while your wife shops

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As I mentioned in the last post, I was recently in Branson with the in-laws on vacation for a weekend, and I knew the women would be doing some shopping.  There’s a few outlet malls there, plus the newer promenade mall.  I can take only so much shopping, unless it’s for electronics or games.

I was talking about this with one of my friends, and he had an interesting suggestion for something I could do while the women are shopping:

Find an all-you-can-eat buffet and try to make a day of it. If your wife mentions that you probably don’t need to eat that much, you can always reference the fact that she probably doesn’t really need to shop that much either. Tell her that the sooner she gets back from shopping to pick you up, that is the sooner you will stop eating.

I like this idea.  It would tie-in with the idea of the last post where a store offers an atmosphere for men along with lots of nachos and other good eats.  But even without such a place, there are plenty of all-you-can-eat restaurants in Branson.  If my wife thinks I should eat less to help me lose weight, she can shop less, which will save money.  So it’s a win-win situation!

I mentioned this idea to my wife, but she failed to see the logic of it…

a store for men is needed

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Recently I was on vacation in Branson, and one day the women were shopping at the different outlet malls.  Every time I find myself in this situation, I wonder why someone doesn’t open a store for men.  There is occasionally a tools store, but I still don’t want to spend all day there.  Even if I were to shop for clothes, it wouldn’t take very long.  (That’s just one of the areas where men and women are generally different.)

What I’m thinking of is a place where you can rent recliners for naps or to watch sports or play video games and/or eat nachos.  I think there’s a market for it.  I could justify spending a few dollars to do that while women look at clothes for hours.  Maybe we should open one — I’m certain we could make it awesome.

We could also sell new versions of the equipment in there — TVs, game consoles, games, recliners, etc., and have it delivered.  And we could sell off the used equipment at discount when it’s time to replace it.  If people can play video games, you’d surely sell some of them.  If necessary, you could occasionally show ads targeted at men, like for sports cars, tools, video games, action movies, flamethrowers, etc.  Ideally you wouldn’t have to show ads, but still, I could tolerate a few if it meant spending a few hours watching sports or playing video games instead of sitting around.

Why do women wear high heels?

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Have you ever wondered why women wear uncomfortable high heels?  From what I’ve heard, those shoes are very uncomfortable and are bad for posture and bad for long-term physical health.  So why do women wear them?  Is it to be taller?  Is it to look better?  I figure it’s some combination of those things.  But that leads to another question — is it worth the trouble?

A study at Northumbria University has determined that men cannot tell if a woman is wearing high heels when they walk.  In the experiment, men couldn’t tell when women were wearing high heels, unless they happened to see the shoes directly.  And from personal research, I’ll say that men tend to not notice what kind of shoes a woman is wearing.

In related news, men don’t notice what kind of handbag / purse a woman is carrying.  I don’t know if there’s a study for that, but I suspect it’s true.  I don’t know any men who care or even notice whether their girlfriend’s / wife’s purse matches her outfit.  So why is it such a big deal?

Also related, have you ever noticed women who are dressed nice and have their hair fixed impeccably yet are dating a guy who looks like he just crawled out of bed?  The woman appears to be really concerned about physical appearance in herself but not concerned about it with the man she’s with.  Does that make sense?

If you have answers for any of these confusing issues, feel free to explain in a comment.

a guy’s fairy tale

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Someone sent me an e-mail telling a story of what a guy’s fairy tale might be like.  (I don’t know who originally wrote it or I’d give them credit.)

Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess… “Will you marry me?”

The Princess said “NO!”

And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles
and went fishing and hunting and played golf and
played video games and dated women half his age and
had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up
and farted whenever he wanted.

The End