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MANNERS EIGHTIES ETIQUETTE

How to survive in the gender jungle.
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SURE, YOU know better than to forget her birthday. And she’s learned at long last not to shave her legs with your razor.

Maybe you even took her to the ballet last fall. Swan Lake wasn’t so bad. And she reciprocated by sitting through a Mavericks game when the Lakers came to town. The two of you have learned the art of compromise; you get along.

But how much do you really know about each other and the opposite sex in general? Are you sure you really want to know? Too late to back out now. The following is a mandatory pop quiz, so sharpen your pencils and your wits, class.

The test, in two sections, deals with how much women really know about men and how much men really know about women. You may grade yourself on this simple basis: Get half of the answers right in your category and you may call yourself a thoughtful and perceptive representative of your gender. Score less than half right and you may be in need of a few remedial sensitivity lessons.

Eyes on your own paper. You may begin. Questions for women:

1. Alan and you are living together but are not married -at least not to each other. This frequently proves awkward when introductions are being made. Which is the best phrase to employ in describing your relationship?

(A) “This is my boyfriend, Alan.”

(B) “This is Alan, my partner in life.”

(C) “This is my friend Alan.”

(D) “Meet Alan, my ol’ man.”

(E) “This is Alan, my live-in lover.”

(F) “This is Alan.”

Answer: (F). Trendy and traditional euphemisms are not only goofy but are also confusing. “Boyfriend” suggests a letter sweater, cowlick, and zits; “partner in life” smacks of a contractual agreement; “friend” is not only faddish but ambiguous (Erika at the office is also your friend); “ol’ man” is a term another generation called its fathers; “live-in lover” is gauche and graphic.

A simple “This is Alan” should suffice. Your relationship, after all, is your own business.

2. While visiting a date’s home, you peruse the medicine cabinet of his bathroom in hopes of picking up insightful clues regarding his personal habits. This examination proves most alarming if you happen to discover:

(A) Fifteen half-squeezed tubes of Clear-asil

(B) A Polaroid Onestep with attachedflashcubes.

(C) Colognes or after-shaves with such names as “English Leather,” “Stud,” “Chaps,” “Longhorn,” or any other fragrance that might suggest he is into leather.

(D) A dog-eared copy of Jokes for theJohn.

(E) His wedding ring.

Answer: None of the above. You have no right to be alarmed at the discovery of any of these items since you shouldn’t have peeked in the first place. A man’s medicine cabinet is sacrosanct. (How would you feel if he checked out your purse while you were in the john?)

3. As any woman should know, the quickest way to turn off a man is to:

(A) Get an ultra-short haircut.

(B) Pull out a pocket calculator from your purse at S&D Oyster Co. to figure each person’s share of the lunch tab.

(C) Wear knee-high nylon hose underneath a pair of pants.

(D) Get into a giggling contest with a woman friend.

(E) Ask another woman to accompany you to the restroom of a restaurant orclub.

Answer: (A). While all of the above practices are guaranteed to set a man’s teeth on edge, nothing so discourages a man as to see a woman he’s fond of cut her hair. Short hair is a fashion that few men appreciate, no matter how much less trouble it represents for women to keep up. (Incidentally, why women want other women to accompany them to the restroom does not irritate a man so much as it mystifies him. Why do women have to go to the restroom in pairs?)

4. A nice, non-occasion surprise gift for any man would be:

(A) A new set of Ben Hogan registeredwoods.

(B) A subscription to American Voyeurmagazine.

(C) An 8 x 10 glossy of yourself from OlanMills.

(D) Fresh-cut flowers.

(E) A cheery note from you written incoed style (multiple exclamationpoints, an overabundance of ellipses,circled i’s, drawn smiley faces, thensigned with the words “Just Me.”)

Answer: (D). This may come as a shock to some women, but men love flowers just as much as women do. Many men feel their macho quotient slipping if they buy flowers for themselves, but are delighted whenever a woman brings them a bunch. (Note: Any man who feels threatened or insulted by a gift of fresh flowers is hopeless.)

5. The greatest myth that men believe about women is:

(A) That a man’s sexual urges are primarily physical while a woman views lovemaking as an emotional or even spiritual experience.

(B) Freud’s basic question: “What dowomen want?”

(C) “They’re only good for one thing.”

(D) “Frailty, thy name art woman.”

Answer: (D). Of all the persistent mythsconcerning womanhood, the male insistence on the frailty of women is least supportable. The “weaker sex” is not onlyless susceptible to most seriouS diseases,but also outlives its male counterpart byan average of nearly two years. Also, incivilized societies where qualities like vulnerability and flexibility are justly regarded as strengths, women are judged tobe superior.

6. The single most galling stereotype that offends men is the frequently held female belief that:

(A) Man was placed on this earth to movea woman’s furniture into her newapartment.

(B) A mother is more necessary to a child’sgrowth and development than is afather.

(C) Men must receive rave reviews after intimate relations or else they will wilt indespair.

(D) While women are gentle and lovingcreatures, men are basically brutes.

(E) All men are little boys at heart.

Answer: (D). There is some evidence tosupport the claim that men have becomemore romantic than women in these so-called liberated times. Recent polls showthat women are more reluctant to marry orform strong liaisons than are men. Thenecessary pragmaticism that accompanieswomen’s increased career drives seems tohave shoved romance to the back burnerin many instances. Thus, men are calledupon more and more to stoke the fires ofromance. How’s that for role reversal?

7. The man you care about is down with the flu and you’re not quite sure how to handle this turn of events. The best course of action to follow is to:

(A) Rush to his bedside, fluff his pillow,bring him home-cooked chicken soup,take his temperature, and murmursympathetic noises.

(B) Conclude reasonably that exposure tohis illness could make you sick, too, and thus offer sympathetic condolences from a distance – preferably by telephone.

(C) Hire a singing telegram service to dropby unexpectedly to cheer him up.

(D) Allow him the human dignity to besick without witnesses.

(E) Take out a membership at the nearestspa and find a healthier specimen.

Answer: (A). Men do, in fact, revert to mewling infants when they are sick. They need care and sympathy -mothering, if you will -during these traumatic times. A woman should never feel compromised by taking care of a man when he’s down, provided he provides the same sympathetic services when she is ill.

8. You awake in a man’s apartment after an enchanting evening, and discover that you are not only comfortable with him, but also feel a strong urge to continue seeing him. The best way to communicate your desires is to:

(A) Wash any dishes you may find in hissink or bring him coffee in bed.

(B) Write your phone number in lipstickon his bathroom mirror or on thefront windshield of his car.

(C) State simply and honestly upon parting that you had a wonderful time.

(D) Let him know in no uncertain termsthat you will be angry or hurt if hedoesn’t call you.

Answer: (C). A romantic interlude shoula not place obligations on either sex. If the beginning of an affair is pleasing to both parties, then nature should be allowed to take its course. (Incidentally, the phone works both ways. There’s no law that states you can’t call him.)

9. He seems disinterested, inattentive, and lately can’t seem to tear himself away from the office-all the classic signs that he is seeing another woman. The best way to handle the situation is to:

(A) Purchase a handgun.

(B) Confront him coolly and directly by asking him if he’s seeing another woman.

(C) If he seems too confident in denying the above allegation, demand to know if he’s seeing another man.

(D) Call his best friend and demand to know the truth.

(E) Call out the name of a former lover the next time the two of you make love.

Answer: (B). The direct approach is best, but don’t necessarily expect to learn the truth this way. Research shows that while women lie more frequently than men, the male gender is most adept at telling convincing lies. Above all, resist the urge to pump his best friend. The unwritten code among men is that a man will never, under any circumstances, rat on a member of the same gender.

Questions for men:

1. As any man should know, the quickest way to turn off a woman is to:

(A) Plan her life for her. (“Friday, I’ve gottickets to the hockey game. Saturday,we’ll meet Doug and Sue Ellen fordrinks at Houlihan’s. Sunday, we’ll getmarried, and …”)

(B) Ogle other women or speak graphically of their physical attributes.

(C) Wear nylon underwear.

(D) Ask her to join you in silent prayer atthe end of your first date.

(E) Advise her constantly of what a bignight she has in store.

Answer: (A). Of all the transgressions men commit against women, the most officious and presumptuous is the notion that she was drifting about aimlessly until you came along. Possessiveness is a turnoff to both sexes, but this tendency is becoming increasingly obnoxious to women who value their independence. Incidentally, why do some men feel free to stare openly at other women while out on a date? If women were to stare at other men, their dates would start to hyperventilate.

2. The divorce rate in Dallas Countycould be cut in half if husbands would only:

(A) Observe the precaution of having pre-nuptial agreements drawn up by acompetent attorney.

(B) Open a charge account at Frederick’sof Hollywood.

(C) Remove matchbook covers from Debonair Danceland, the It’ll Do Club,and other incriminating evidence before returning home.

(D) Take their wives dancing a minimumof four times a year.

(E) Obtain overdraft protection on herchecking account.

Answer: (D). This is a generalization, to be sure, but there are few things more pleasing to women than an evening of dancing. Men seem to chafe at the idea, but almost always enjoy themselves more than they expected.

3. What is your idea of a nice place totake her on the first date?

(A) Dallas Tornado game.

(B) 8.0 Bar.

(C) Three Vikings Restaurant.

(D) Royal Tokyo’s sushi bar.

(E) Antares Restaurant in the Reunion Tower.

(F) A faith-healing revival in Waxahachie.

Answer: (C). If a restaurant must serve as a statement of your intentions, at least make it an understatement. A quiet, unpretentious, but lovely restaurant such as Three Vikings allows both of you opportunities to converse.

A place like Antares is a little showy for a first date (besides, she won’t be able to find the revolving restroom). Any sushi bar is definitely out; no one should be expected to eat raw sea urchin on the first date. The 8.0 Bar is fun and flip, but you’ll both have to shout to be heard over the Vaughn Monroe jukebox. And if you feel the need for company at a sports event, better ring up one of your old high school buddies.

4. What women want most from men is simply:

(A) Companionship and protection.

(B) Financial security.

(C) Exciting underwear.

(D) Sex and laughs.

(E) Love, tenderness, and respect.

(F) A date on New Year’s Eve.Answer: (E). No surprises here, though itcould come as a slight jolt to some thatmen would choose the same answer forthemselves.

5. Both of you like to cook, but she is the one who usually winds up cleaning the kitchen after your culinary excesses. She has noticed this phenomenon, too, and is none too pleased over the development. Which is the best manner in which to equalize the situation?

(A) Buy her a year’s supply of paperplates.

(B) Give her a dishwasher for Christmas.

(C) Work out an intelligent system fordealing with the problem. One simpleanswer is when she cooks, you cleanup and vice versa.

(D) Tell her she ought to thank her luckystars she has a man to clean up after.

(E) Inform her that your mother nevermade you clean up, and that men areill-suited for such tasks.

Answer: (C). Obviously. Paper plates are for picnics, and dishwashers still require preparation at the sink.

Sharing the load is equitable, loving,and boring. The fact is nobody is happydoing the dishes. So why don’t you takeher out to dinner, cheapskate? Wheel upto Keller’s Drive-in and spring for a coupleof No. 5 hamburgers with Tater Tots.Demonstrate you know how to show a girla good time.

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