Hi, guys. It’s time for straight talk, you know, just between us malepersons. How to cope with the cultural shock that the women of Dallas manifest in their certain ways. How the fearsome and heady changes that are occurring at sometimes exponential rates in our caves leave us freaked out or undecided about how to handle the things that used to come so instinctively to born chauvinists.
We’re going to approach this the same way in which the various women’s blocs do it in their various bloc publications, which is a simple survey/poll/quiz/guide/ etiquette updating helpful collection of common-sense nuggets.
First, let us define our partner in this symbiosis, the Dallas Woman. There are two extremes of Dallas Woman. On one side of the spectrum, we have a woman such as the one I saw on a downtown elevator recently, mid-twenties, Steinem glasses, sleek and squeaky-groomed, gently carrying a blanket-covered bundle in her arms. Another woman said, “May I see the baby?”, whereupon the girl gave a lusty longshoreman’s laugh and peeled back the edge of the white furry blanket to display a long black metal box which was a bramble of electronic microcircuits – a housing assembly for a telecopying machine, on its way for repair. The blanket was to protect and keep it dehumidified outside the building.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the fiftyish woman in one of Norell’s matron lines, sticking her head around the corner of a Texas Stadium Circle Suite and shouting to her husband. “Billy Joe, Ah need ’nuther Scatch and soda in here.”
Taking these as the extremes of our parameters, it is a simple matter to interpolate and arrive at the exact average profile of the Dallas Woman, which is a blonde former Pi Phi at Texas who has taken such care of herself that she can still fit into her Hockaday blouse, lives in ZIP code 75205, takes the L. L. Bean catalog, doesn’t like to buy Sandwich Slices, and has rabbit-punched a member of the opposite sex only once, when he told her, “You’re right, Pru Mackintosh is a helluva writer. I think one reason she’s so good is, she writes like a man.”
Some may scoff and say no such combination of traits exists, and they would be right, of course, but remember we’re only dealing in averages here: how to react to a mean woman, mean as in median composite average.
Try these common-sense tips and you’ll find adapting to the new rules is easier than you thought. No more moments of hesitancy and uncertainty in knowing how to react.
1. There’s only one hard and fast rule. When you’re around a group of women whose stand you’re not sure of, tell the joke about Bella Abzug and the bowling ball. If they look at you hard, get out of there.
2. Women respect a man with a flair for organization. Set up a schedule with the women you know, offering to open doors for them on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and to light their cigarettes for them on Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday.
3. Don’t consider it a threat to your atavism when she wants to be the one to pour the briquets and tend to the cookout fire. Let her do it during the months with an ember in them.
4. Sexual advice? Why not, this is an unremittingly viable service guide. If a man should experience phases of impotence, he should not rush in the next day and try to change the subject by announcing, “Hey, I just came from firing shots into the study of a retired right-wing general.”
5. Telling the truth is generally safe ground. But, you are probably asking yourself, “What if I happen to wander into a singles bar for a drink after work and some lithe young woman I don’t know accosts me and asks. ’Hi. what’s your sign?’ “
Be frank. Look her in the eye and tell her, “Look. You had no way of knowing, and I don’t want to sound patronizing, but I don’t particularly get off on having some person I don’t even know come up and ask me such a basically personal question. I realize that you probably are hoping that this chance encounter of the frozen margarita kind can lead to something quite a bit more profound than might superficially suggest itself, but the fact is that 1 don’t know you, don’t know anything about you, don’t like your cavalier and banal approach, and 1 don’t believe in that astrological stuff. All us Aries are like that, as a matter of fact.”
6. Talk things out. Get together with other couples and discuss whether Adolf Hitler did the right thing by marrying Eva Braun on the last day in the blinker.
7. Learn to intelligently alternate some of the formerly man-only roles when possible. A good local example would have been, let her sign the register at the Coralita Courts.
8. Keep her off-balance by occasionally doing endearing things. Take her to dinner, for instance, and when you tell the counterperson that you want a couple Quarter-Pounders and he or she asks. “You want cheese on that?” don’t just blurt out “Hell no.” Turn to her and ask, “You want cheese on that?”
9. Show that you are always thinking about cementing the solidarity in your partnership/relationship. Stop whatever you are doing, shake hands and say, in measured tones, “Hey, (Skeeter, Pudge, Schatzi, Honey, Babe, Darling, Butternut, Monkey Bread. Honored Associate, Hubcap, or Other Affectionate Sobriquet of Your Choice), thanks for a lotta things – but mainly for turning me on to Erma Bombeck!”
10. Again, guys, as your consultant on changing mores I can’t overemphasize the importance of doing things together, effortlessly, as equals. She may look askance at first – for remember, much of this is new to her,too- but you’ll find that there’s nothing quite like the crystal gleam in her eye that flashes when the two of you pull up at the Dallas North Tollway gate and you turn to her and say “Let’s go Dutch. Got change for a quarter?”