Excerpt: 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man'

You: "I walked into work today and before I could get to my desk, I saw Tanya walking over to the coffee machine and wouldn't you know that heiffa had on the same shirt as me?"

Your man: "Really? Don't wear it anymore."

End of conversation. It's that simple for us. In this particular instance, and many more examples such as this, we can't get more worked up than that. How you felt at work while you had to sit there with this other woman on the other side of the room with the same blouse on is irrelevant to us.

As far as we're concerned, the problem has already been fixed—you came home. You're not looking at the woman in the identical blouse anymore. And if you don't wear that particular blouse to the office again, you won't have to deal with that particular problem again. In our mind, problem solved—no more talking.

All of this is to say that we men aren't in the talking business; we're in the fix-it business. From the moment we come out of the womb, we're taught to protect, profess, and provide. Communicating, nurturing, listening to problems, and trying to understand them without any obligation to fix them is simply not what boys are raised to do.

We don't let them cry, we don't ask them how they feel about anything, we don't encourage them to express themselves in any meaningful way beyond showing how "manly" they are. Let a little boy fall off his bike and scrape his knee—see how fast everyone tells him to get up and shake it off and stop all that doggone crying. "Be a man," we demand. There's no discussion about how he felt when he hit the ground—nobody's asking him to talk about whether he's too scared to get back on the bike and try again. Our automatic response is to tell him to get over it, get back on the bike, and figure out how to ride it so he doesn't fall again.

Now that he's grown and in a relationship, you expect that same boy who was told to keep quiet and keep it moving to be a man who can sit and listen and communicate and nurture? I'm telling you now: your expectations are off.

Women have different moods, and ideas in their head, and you all expect us to fall in line, and if we don't, it's a problem—you're telling your girlfriends, "He won't talk to me," and "I can't get him to open up." But opening up is not what we do. Profess, provide, and protect—all our lives, that's what we men have been taught and encouraged to do. This, we've been told, is how a man shows his love. And The Fix falls firmly into the "provide" category.

For sure, provision isn't just about money; for us, providing also is about righting what's wrong, and figuring out what's going to keep everybody happy. Because any man with sense knows that when mama's happy, we're all going to be happy. And when you're happy, there is a great return for us. So we provide and fix.

I'm telling you right now: if you go to your man with a situation that's fixable and he doesn't try to fix it, he is not your man—he is not in love with you.

Go ahead, I dare you to try it for yourself. When your man comes over, tell him, "You know, I just can't stand this kitchen this way. The color just throws me all off, the cabinets are all wrong, they don't go with the stove and I can't get my mind right in here when I'm trying to cook." If he's all the way in it with you, he will say, without hesitation, "What color you want this kitchen to be, baby?" Tell him "pink," and see if by next Saturday the whole kitchen isn't painted pink, cabinets and all.

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