Women have been trying to unlock the secrets of the male mind for centuries. One man has attempted to decode the male brain and dispel some of the stereotypes that he considers myths. Neil Chethik, author of a new book called "VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment," explores the innermost thoughts and desires of the American guy and says that women will be surprised at what he has found.
Read an excerpt of the book below.
I was going through some dark times. All of a sudden, here came this girl. She was bubbling, extroverted. I got the enthusiasm.
-- Thirty-nine-year-old electrician
It began with the flash of an ankle.
On an unseasonably mild midwestern day in January 1989, Rob Reilly gathered up the dirty clothes in his apartment, stuffed them into a cloth bag, and hauled them through the student ghetto toward the local Laundromat. He was in a gloomy mood. In his first five months of graduate school, he'd already had his heart broken once. Then, just as things seemed promising with a second woman, she'd exposed a bigoted side that offended Rob. He'd determined to break it off with her this very night.
At thirty-two years of age, Rob was becoming "disappointed and discouraged, even pessimistic" about finding a woman to marry, he recalls. Approaching the Laundromat, "I was thinking: 'Maybe I'm just one of those guys who's destined to be alone. I'll become a career man.'"
This thought was particularly distressing because Rob had returned to school in part to find a life partner. After six years as an actor and waiter in New York City, he wanted stability. He'd even written down the attributes of a potential wife: She should be "smart, opinionated, independent, and sexy."
Was he expecting too much? Did he have what it took to attract such a woman? In part to take his mind off such questions, he had brought with him to the Laundromat his first draft of a letter to the governor of the state. Rob opposed capital punishment and planned to hone an anti-death-penalty argument while his clothes got clean.
The Laundromat was abuzz when Rob arrived, but he found a vacant washer and emptied his laundry bag. He plugged in the requisite number of quarters, then deposited himself on one of the anchored yellow plastic chairs that lined the room. Elbows on knees, he focused on the letter at hand.
A few minutes later, the ankle flashed into view. It was attached to the woman sitting two seats to his left. Wearing black pants and brown sandals, she crossed her left knee over her right to reveal, as Rob recalls, "several inches of leg, beginning just below the calf and narrowing to this perfect ankle. I've never been very interested in thin women, and this ankle wasn't thin. But it was the perfect shape...I caught it in my left periphery, and I thought to myself, 'Now that is nice. That is a really nice ankle.'"
For a few moments, Rob hovered over his letter, stealing occasional glances at the woman's lightly bouncing foot. Then, feigning interest in the status of his laundry, he glanced up to see the rest of the woman. She was dark-haired, dark-eyed, full-lipped, and broad-shouldered. His interest was in no way dampened.