Thursday, January 26, 2006
MIKE SPRADLIN SAYS, "I’M NOT AN EXPERT, AND I DON’T PLAY ONE ON TV. BUT HERE IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ‘HOW GUYS THINK’."
I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what I could bring to the table when the goddesses of the blog here asked me to guest squawk about how “guys think.” Talk about a broad subject. No pun intended. Entire books and numerous talk shows have been devoted to this topic. I don’t claim to be an expert on any of this stuff. And since I obviously can’t speak for all guys I thought I might just tell you a few things I’ve learned.
I wouldn’t say they are earth shattering, or even all that profound. After all, it’s no secret that men and women are different. Vive la difference! Maybe it comes from my own experience growing up with a mom and two older sisters and being surrounded by fiercely independent women from a very early age. My Dad, rest his soul, when he wasn’t yelling at me to clean my room and mow the lawn, was a World War II generation quiet type.
So I was mostly raised by women. And now that my son is off at college, estrogen outnumbers testosterone in our house by 2-1. 3-1 if you count the dog. And I do. I think almost 24 years of marriage teaches you a few things. So here goes. Buckle up while we go deep inside the mind of a guy…
I have learned that there are three very important words that must be at the foundation of every good relationship and those words are: I was wrong. (Face it. You all thought I was going to say I love you! Psyche!)
I have learned that the amount of ironing I do is directly proportional to the amount of football I’m allowed to watch.
I have learned that it doesn’t make you less of a man if you stop and ask directions. (Although, with Mapquest and on board GPS we as a society are losing the ability to drive anywhere without help).
I have learned that most men are not good at multi-tasking. I do not know why that is. Some scientists have said it’s because men’s brains are hard wired differently through thousands of years of evolution. Men went out into the woods to get meat and had to have a single minded focus to avoid starvation. While female brains were hard wired for multi-tasking. While the man was out hunting, the women were minding the children, gathering the berries, planting the crops, balancing the checkbook and watching for predators all at the same time. This may be true, but I also think it has something to do with men wanting to avoid having to help with the laundry.
I have a theory that American football is a metaphor for the historical settlement of this continent. American football began its rise to prominence in the late 1890’s just as the American frontier was finally settled. With no more mountains to climb or lands to conquer, men turned to conquering the gridiron. I’m very serious about this. As George Carlin said: Football is territorial acquisition through the use of controlled violence. How was America settled? Territorial acquisition through the use of controlled violence.
I have learned that white chocolate is not chocolate. White chocolate is an abomination.
I have learned that Hell hath no fury like a fourteen year old girl denied hair products.
I have just recently learned that my 20 year old son is going to Greece this summer for his study abroad program. Out of the 24 students in his group, 23 are women. Why did they not have programs like this, when I was in college?
I have learned that being a stay at home parent is, hands down, the hardest job there is. Raising children is no day at the beach, and certainly not all parents are able to stay at home with their kids, but for those that make it work the payoff is spectacular.
I have learned that life and especially romance is not like it’s portrayed in the movies. I have found that the true meaning of for better or for worse lies not in the grand romantic gesture, but in the everyday things. A supportive pat on the back. Turning on the coffee pot in the morning when you don’t even drink coffee. Your wife quietly replacing the tie you’ve picked out with one that better matches your suit when you’re packing for a business trip. The rare moments when the kids are asleep and the two of you can just revel in the quiet of your home. Of those things, good marriages are made.
I have learned that most marriages work best when the man is just a little bit afraid of his wife.
I have learned that most women on average are smarter about life, relationships and people. Call it women’s intuition or whatever you want. I think smart men realize this and take advantage of these qualities in their spouses.
I have learned that it makes me angry to see the way that most husbands and fathers are portrayed on TV and in the movies. In 90% of the movies and TV shows out there the husband/father is a liar, cheat, and a general all around louse. Where are the portrayals of the husbands and father’s who love their wives, adore their children and go to work every day and do the best they can to help support their families? I can name about 50 guys like that that I know, but I couldn’t name five on TV. Maybe the ‘regular guys’ just don’t make good drama.
I have learned that it is very hard to raise children but in my opinion it is much harder raising girls in this day and age than boys. Maybe that’s the father-daughter thing versus the father-son thing. I love both my children equally, but I have worries about my daughter that I just don’t have about my son. We live in a world where my daughter is four times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than my son. That keeps me up nights. Still, despite the sleepless nights, I wouldn’t trade her for anything. Or him.
I have learned that very few men have been as lucky in finding their soul mate as I have.
I have learned that every time I think I have a greater understanding of women, I find out I was wrong to think that.
I would love to know what you have learned about these things…do you have any of your own secrets about how women think to share?
Thank you all for reading and responding to my postings here this week. It has been a blast. Thanks to Christina, Terri, Connie, Liz, Lisa, Eloisa and Susan (that would be the legendary Susan Elizabeth Phillips who suggested to the Squawkers that I be a Guest Blogger) and all the divas of Squawk Radio for this opportunity. I’m richer for having known all of you. I hope I can come back sometime…
This is The Romance Guy signing off and wishing love and happiness to all of you…