Sometimes I feel like the least qualified person on Earth to dish out relationship advice. In fact, I probably am. And yet, from time to time I get asked by unsuspecting friends to chime in on their romantic lives. I try to do my best impersonation of a lawyer and conduct a very thorough intake session, leaving no stone unturned. For effect I’ll nod my head and chew on the frame of my glasses a la Bryant Gumbel. Once I’ve collected all the data, I go Encyclopedia Brown and carefully analyze all of the details no matter how seemingly trivial–food ordered on the date, jokes laughed at or not laughed at, meetings with parents, which emoticons were used prominently in text conversations. The secret to love lies hidden within the tangled web of these details. Like a Magic Eye poster, it just takes a little focus to be seen. And yet, no amount of focus from me ever yields a clear picture from the clutter of details. Is the secret compromise? Is it assertiveness? Is it a dolphin? After scratching my head for a while, I throw up my hands, toss the details to the side, and give my friend some general romantic advice that is universally applicable: men are scum, and women are crazy.
That men are scum is a pretty safe assumption. All men want to do is have sex with women, and they’ll do anything to get it. It’s not their fault. Men are hardwired with the compulsion to spread their biological material as far and wide as possible. Fortunately, evolution has led to civilization, which has in turn made brute force an unacceptable means to obtain sex. Unfortunately, evolution has also blessed man with enhanced brain power, which means brute force is replaced with false pretense. This could mean the use of the simple lie–“Baby, I love you, and I knew we’d be together for all eternity ever since we first met ten seconds ago.” Or the more elaborate lie of the “Nice Guy” routine. You know, trying to get in through the back door by being a girl’s friend and hoping that lurking around long enough will result in sex by temporary lapse in judgment. Despite how men get sex, once they do get it, there’s a good chance they’ll be gone like the wind with no hope of future contact, except maybe a response to your “just reaching out” text that reads, “Who is this again?”
That women are crazy is a bit touchier of a subject. Historically, women were viewed as “emotional,” which supposedly made them inferior to men. Because they were inferior, men had to use their big bad brains filled with reason and logic to protect women from themselves. This meant that women were thought to lack the capacity for independent thought and left out of making decisions and otherwise treated as second class citizens. This was all bullshit, of course, but it’s sadly how society viewed male-female relations, even in the not-too-distant past. I get that and am aware of the struggles women have been through in overcoming inequality. Still, I think women are damned crazy. But I mean that in a good way.
Women are “crazy” in the sense that they are intellectually superior creatures that know how to keep men off guard by deliberately manipulating and changing the rules of the game as it’s being played. Women will tell you that the rules of the game are A, B, and C then have you confirm to them that the rules are A, B, and C so there isn’t any confusion then make you do A, B, and C to prove their domination over you then get upset at you because you didn’t do X, Y, and Z like they really wanted you to do in the first place. You can get mad and cry foul all you want, but it won’t help because the Force is not strong in you, young love Jedi, and it never will be. Resistance is futile and just brings pain and suffering. And no sex. Ironically, women jujitsu the single-minded male drive for sex into a shield against men.
There you have it: men are scum, and women are crazy. Well, there’s a little bit more to it. Men are scum, but in differing degrees, some being more scummy than others. By advising my female friends to eye any new romantic potential with the suspicion that he is scum, this forces the guy to prove to my friend that he is not scum by completing a variety of trials. The successful completion of trials will gradually dilute the toxicity of his scumminess and make it more of a safe prospect that he won’t vanish after sex.
In a similar vein, there will be a point in time during the relationship where women will throttle back on their campaign of psychological domination and things will make a little bit more sense to men. When a guy friend laments about a fight with his girlfriend, I give him some variation of, “Dude, I hear what you’re saying that she’s being unreasonable, but just say sorry. I know you don’t think you did anything wrong, but you did. Trust me.” The initial reaction to this advice is betrayal. The guy wants so badly for me to tell him to stand up for himself and fight, but in the end he and I both know that this would be a bad idea. To make him feel better I throw in, “It gets better. Don’t worry.” What I omit is that although things get better, it might not be until the sweet, sweet slumber of the Death.
Hey, sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.
“Oh, a storm is threatening my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.”