Along with the majority of other men, my lack of understanding concerning the nature of the female frustrates me continually. As the Norm character on "Cheers" summarized, "Women! You can’t live with ’em — pass the beer nuts."
The fifth anniversary of my bachelorhood came and went a week ago, and I’m puzzling over its significance. Am I, in the words of the "Seinfeld" title character, part of the 95 percent of the population that is undateable? Or does it have something to do with my lack of resolve in actually seeking out companionship?
But why am I so quick to let women off the hook? According to several members of the so-called fairer sex, they don’t understand themselves either.
I wonder if they can explain why bad boys attract women? They might give the same answer as a female friend who responded that women like a guy with rough edges that they can smooth down into Mr. Right. She herself ended up falling in love with a man who had a drug problem and literally ran away from the relationship to another state.
Maybe the problem is that I’m competing with another "man" — the government. Conservative icon Bill Buckley pondered, "Isn’t it possible that unmarried women find themselves, in the absence of a husband, relying on somebody else to help with the usual social anxieties? … It’s Uncle Sam." That would explain why single women are such a large Democratic constituency; the government is their safety net, health care provider and educator of their children. Why would they need a man?
But there exists a distinct possibility that I’m afraid to probe for fear of its accuracy, and that is my high level of femininity. More than one friend has complained to me that the way I flip my hand when shrugging something off is rather dainty. That may attract chicks at radical-left state universities, but the traditional heterosexual persuasion and fear of gayness on the part of SPU women probably makes them uneasy around a fruity guy like me.
On the other hand, I enjoy the rough-and-tumble of power politics and prescribe revolution as the solution to most problems at this university, which are widely recognized masculine qualities. So how do these characteristics mesh with my feminine side?
I’m afraid to admit that I might be, in the words of the girl-power Oxygen network, a "hairy-legged feminist" trapped in a conservative man’s body! Feminist Colette Dowling argues that women need to wrestle social and political power away from their testosterone-filled oppressors by first "achiev[ing] physical parity with men." This has frightening appeal to an unmanly man who hasn’t really achieved physical parity with his own gender yet.
But am I really missing that much by not dating or having a girlfriend? The happiest times of my life have occurred sans girlfriend. When I was 18 I spent most of the time with my two best buds and told them sincerely they were better than any girlfriend I could have. A male cast member from MTV’s "The Real World: New Orleans," declared that his best relationships are with guys, and women are just for "libidinous purposes."
Staying out of the relationship game might prove the most fulfilling for me. In high school I used to arbiter between one friend and whoever happened to be his girlfriend that month when they were fighting. That seems to be my most positive contribution in relationships: arbitration. I’ll only cause problems if I’m actually one of the parties.
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Title: Women: mission impossible | Author: Greg Piper | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2000-11-29 | Internal ID: 1697