By John Gray
The holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s time for me to partake in an annual tradition. Thanksgiving with the family?A special trip up a mountain to pick out the perfect Christmas tree? Nice ideas all, but this is something a little different. I like to go to the attic and dig out my tranquilizer gun and head directly to the nearest mall. Don’t worry, I’m not hunting some poor defenseless animal, but searching for men who have lost their way. My goal – tag em, bag em and return them to the herd. Confused? Let me explain.
Picture it, you’re at the mall – Crossgates, Colonie Center, it doesn’t matter which one – and you find yourself in the women’s lingeriedepartment at Macy’s when you see it. It’s a man, or what used to be a man before Dr. Phil and Oprah got a hold of him, and he’s standing outside the fitting room holding a woman’s purse. If some of you need to stop reading now, I totally understand; I know this is upsetting to hear. Our hero has a look of absolute desperation and defeat on his face; one that says, “She makes me do this.” It’s at this moment that I and a team of other men who drink beer, eat wings and watch Roadhouse once a week on VH1, shoot him with a tranquilizer dart and whisk him away from this madness. When the man wakes up, he finds himself in the camping section at LL Bean where the rich aroma of propane and fishing lures (yes, they have smells) brings him back to the place we call “Manhood”. When the woman comes out of the changing room all she finds is her purse on the floor and a postcard with a picture of Austin Powers. When she flips it over, written in bold black letters it says, “He’s a man baby. Yeah!”
Since this month’s issue of CRL is dedicated to women,I thought I would tell all women that even though your man loves you, he does not want to hold your purse or stand around in Victoria’s Secret while you try on bras. As I get older, it’s clear to me that men and women don’t understand each other, so today I offer (free of charge) my insight into how the opposite sex ticks. I’m 44 and I’ve been a man almost my whole life. There was that one summer I watched “Beaches” three times and took up crochet, but I don’t like to talk about it. Be that as it may, the best way I can help men and women is by taking the things they say and translating them into the things they really mean.
Let’s start with women and the things they say to men.
“I’m fine.” means – I’m not fine. Actually I’m as far from fine as a person can be. You’ve done something wrong, but have so much sludge in that head of yours you can’t figure out what it is. So I’ll just stand here being ‘fine’ till you retrace your steps and stumble upon your incredible error. Here’s a hint: it probably has something to do with an anniversary of some sort.
“What are you doing Saturday?” This is deceiving. While this certainly sounds like a question, it’s actually a statement. When a woman asks her man this question, what she’s really saying is, “I don’t know if you were planning on laying on the couch all day Saturday and watching college football, but that’s not happening buddy. We’re going to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick out bedding and curtains for the baby’s room. What baby? Oh yeah, I’m pregnant, now get your coat.”
“Do you think my friend Kelly is cute?” This is a trap. Don’t answer it. If you say “yes” then you’ll never hear the end of it. Twenty years from now she’ll ask you toweed the garden with her and when you refuse she’ll say, “Oh, but I bet if Kelly wanted you to weed with her you’d do it wouldn’t you?!” And if you tell her Kelly is ugly she’ll know you are lying and wonder what else you are hiding.
“Do you know what Sarah’s husband did for her today”? This is a bad one. It sounds innocent enough, but trust me, no matter how she finishes that sentence what she’s really saying is, “Sarah married a man who actually does things for her, nice things and you don’t have a romantic bone in your body. A body, I might add, which hasn’t seen the inside of a shower in two days. My mom was right. I should have married Brad Brentworth. He’s a dentist now. Our children would have perfect teeth.”
“We need to talk.” – Run. She’s either breaking up with you, or if you are single, wants you to buy her a ring and make beautiful babies. Speaking of which, if you are single please pay close attention to the following translations.
“Want to go to the mall?” Let’s go to the mall and shop for an engagement ring.
“Do you like October?” Let’s go to the mall, get a ring and get married in October.
“Please pass the green beans” After we eat these beans lets go to the mall, get a ring, get married in October and have beautiful twin boys named Brad and Taye. This, of course, having nothing to do with her infatuation with Brad Pitt and Taye Diggs.
Okay, enough picking on women. Let’s translate what men really mean when they speak.
If he says “That outfit looks nice on you,” it means, “I’d like to rip that outfit off of you and get frisky.”
“The stock market did well today,” “I’m rich and I’d like to rip that outfit off of you and get frisky.”
If he belches loudly it means, “I have no manners. That said can I rip that outfit off of you and get frisky?”
If he says “Your mom is staying with us instead of a hotel. Great,” this means: “There goes the weekend. Not only can’t I watch the Giants game, but nowI’ll be hearing all about Brad Brentworth and his kids with perfect teeth. Plus, with that battle ax in the house there’s no way we can get frisky.
“What did you do with my shirts that fit me?” I haven’t gained any weight since high school, so clearly you have either shrunk all my shirts ‘cause you stink atlaundry or you just plain lost them. Either way, it’s your fault this shirt doesn’t fit anymore. That said, can you please pass me that big plate of brownies so I can inhale them?
“Yes, I’m going to the bachelor party, but as far as I know there are not going to be strippers” This is a trick. Guys, figure if they don’t know any details of the party, then you can’t blame them later if some girl named Chastity shows up wearing dental floss and a smile. “I had no idea she was coming” is what you’ll be told and he could pass a lie detector test when he says it. Parental tip: if you name your daughter Chastity, Porsche or Sahvana h you are increasing the likelihood she will choose a job in the ‘personal entertainment’ industry. Just a little heads up there for you expecting parents.
I see we are running short of space, so let’s give you gals a few quick ones if you are ever in a bar and a guy approaches you.
“Can I buy you a drink?” Let’s get naked.
“Don’t you work out at my gym?” I’ve seen you half-dressed and sweaty, so do you want to get naked?
“I like to keep my options open” While I’m looking at you right now I’m secretly checking out every other girl in the place, and if I can get a ‘better deal,’ I most certainly will without a shred of guilt. I’m a pig. See my curly tail? Oink, oink.
“Girlfriends are cool, but I like to hang with my boys” Even though I’m 34, I still act like I’m 14 and if I have to choose between you or an evening of making fart sounds with my friends, you will lose every time.
All kidding aside, I would offer this simple bit of advice to anyone in a relationship, married or otherwise, and it comes with three simple words: I appreciate you. Because when you get right down to it, that’s all any of us want to hear and know. The burnt dinners and yard work, trips to the dry cleaners and pharmacy; you don’t mind any of it as long as you know it is truly appreciated. Those three words at the end of a long day can be enough. Oh, and flowers wouldn’t hurt either.
John Gray is a Fox23 News anchor and contributing writer at the Troy Record. He can be reached at email@example.com