For Brave Men Only


“To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little.  To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.”–Helen Rowland

I doubt there is a man alive who is interested in hearing my unsolicited, frequently biased opinions (about anything), but that knowledge has not stopped me from expressing my opinions in the past–and unfortunately, it is not going to stop me now.

Every day I hear men complaining about women (often about me specifically, sometimes about all women in general)–it’s so hard to understand us; it’s impossible to make us happy.  Okay, first of all, you men will probably never completely understand us women because, yes, we really are that complex.  And, secondly (and this is the real kicker), we’re not all alike–which means that what makes one of us happy might very well tick off the rest of us.

You can’t win.

We know we are complicated and frustrating and, at times, incredibly annoying, but we also know we are worth whatever trouble we put you through–and the sooner you realize our worth, the happier you will be!  And with a little coaching and a little attention to detail, even the most obtuse among you can at least improve your odds of buckling our knees and making our little hearts go pitter-patter.  So listen up, men; this one’s for you.

A Few Things You Need to Know About Women 

(Disclaimer:  This information was garnered from years of experience being a woman, as well as from countless hours spent listening to other women voicing their frustrations. This list is by no means intended to be all-inclusive!)

  1. We are not attracted to armpit hair.  Certainly, that does not mean we expect you to shave it–just cover it up in public (i.e., forget the tank tops and wife-beater t-shirts).
  2. We are not attracted to fake orange tans, either.  Seriously.  Don’t … do … it.
  3. We do not appreciate Facebook friend requests and messages from men we don’t know–do you not grasp the concept of “creepy”?
  4. We don’t like it when you try to drive while we’re driving.  Somehow, we manage to “keep it between the lines” when you’re not in the car, so trust us to do the same when you’re sitting in the passenger seat–and keep your directives to yourself.
  5. Arguing with us about the correct position of a toilet seat in a unisex bathroom is an argument you are never going to win.  Accept it and repeat after me–“Raise the seat before tinkling; lower it when done.”
  6. Sometimes we cry–deal with it.  And by the way, suggesting that our emotions are tied to our hormones (even if it’s true) is not a wise move on your part and will most likely elicit a blood-boiling tirade that will make your head hurt and your nose hairs quiver.
  7. We don’t want to hear how attractive or sexy other women are.  We understand that you are going to notice (and might even spend more time than necessary thinking about it), but you don’t have to say it.  Some things are better left unsaid, and this is definitely one of those things.
  8. You do not get brownie points for asking about our day if you don’t even bother to listen to our response.
  9. Suggesting that we might feel better if we exercised or asking questions like, “Are you going to eat all that?” have only one translation in our minds: “You’re fat.”
  10. Don’t be mean to our kids or our dog.  Ever.
  11. We appreciate eye contact in any conversation; however, please note that our eyes are located on our faces and not below our necklines.
  12. We do not enjoy that condescending tone of yours, especially when you are trying to explain something mundane that seems to be beyond our level of comprehension (like car repairs or stock options).  It may be that such topics are simply beyond our level of caring.
  13. When you ignore us–when you pretend you can’t hear us or you don’t respond to our questions–you make us feel unimportant and irrelevant.  We do not like feeling unimportant and irrelevant, and the easiest way for us to appease our battered egos (and punish you at the same time) is to spend copious amounts of your money.
  14. Social myths to the contrary, most mature, intelligent women typically prefer nice guys and gentlemen over “bad boys”–and prefer intriguing minds over bulging muscles.
  15. When you ask us what’s wrong and we say, “Nothing,” we are probably lying.  And if you do not try harder to find out and fix whatever is troubling us, you will lose points for your lack of persistence and caring.
  16. When it comes to aftershave or cologne, less is more.
  17. When it comes to soap, deodorant and toothpaste … let’s just say that clean is sexy.
  18. Despite popular belief, most women do NOT go to the bathroom in packs.  And if we do, it’s only because we want to laugh about you behind your back.
  19.  Expensive gifts and grand gestures will never replace day-to-day attention, appreciation, and respect.  (You can still buy the expensive gifts and make the grand gestures–just know that they alone are not enough.)
  20. And the best gifts of all are those little, unexpected ones given for no other reason than you were thinking of us and wanted us to know.  Those are the ones that make us melt.
  21.  If we agree to watch football with you, it may not have anything to do with the game or even with the opportunity to bond with you–it may just be that some of those players look REALLY good in those tight pants.  Really, really good.
  22. Sometimes we feel ugly and fat.  It is your job to make us feel otherwise.
  23. The dirty, wrinkled, unkempt look stopped being cute in college.
  24. Don’t show up unarmed for a battle of wits.  Total annihilation is not pretty.
  25. We act tougher than we are.  Beneath that stone-cold exterior are a myriad of insecurities, doubts and fears searching for a chink in the armor.
  26. If you’re already parked in the recliner when we get home from work, the first words out of your mouth should not be, “What’s for dinner?”
  27. We like to be teased, especially when it’s good-natured and slightly risque.  We do not like to be emotionally bullied.  Know the difference.
  28. Shopping is therapy.  You may buy beer when you’re in need of a pick-me-up; we may buy shoes.  Same difference.
  29. An apology goes a long, long way.
  30. When we don’t respond to one of your smart-aleck comments, it’s not that we aren’t capable of an intelligent, quick comeback; it’s either a) we have already lost interest in your presence, or b) we are already ten steps ahead of you, plotting our revenge.

It is only fair to note that there are many, many men who are already doing an exceptional job of understanding and appreciating women–or so I’ve been told.  For the rest of you, maybe my female readers can offer even more suggestions for your benefit.  How about it, ladies?

(And just so you know, men, we love you no matter what.  We’re like that.)



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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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12 Responses to For Brave Men Only

  1. Hello

    I love the site – although i was a tad phased by your desire to sing Vanilla Ice ditties – could I suggest a medley including MC Hammer and Ray Parker Jr? Broaden the appeal and fan base.

    Hope this helps!

  2. BrainRants says:

    Not a bad list, if I could only figure out which day of the week it applies to…

  3. Homestead Ramblings says:

    Excellent dear lady, you have great insight!

  4. bronxboy55 says:

    As usual, Iced Tea, I agree with almost everything you said. But the double-standard evident in points 7 and 21 is something I still need help with. I rarely hear men commenting on how attractive other women are. I hear women doing it all the time. (I regretted it when I brought this up in one of my blog posts several months ago, but this time you started it.)

    Your honesty is always refreshing.

    • I remember that blog post of yours–and I admit to making such comments about gorgeous George (Clooney) and beautiful Brad (Pitt). But I (and some of my friends) have sometimes had the displeasure of listening to the men in our midst commenting on the attractiveness of nearby women (not the unattainable athletes on television or the celebrities on the movie screen but the women at the next table over). Perhaps it just depends on the company we keep.

  5. Hello Karen, I just discovered your Blog site this evening and have read several of your recent posts! Each has been enjoyable to read but this post is my favorite so far. I especially liked your opening paragraph and numbers 5, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 26, 27, 29 & 30. My suggestion to the many men, who don’t understand and appreciate the women in their lives, is this; the answer is very, very simple. All you got to do is Memorize and Always Follow the Advice in the list of “A Few Things to Know about Women”! Besides in case you men haven’t figured this out yet, it’s incredibly annoying & frustrating for us women that this information after years of human evolution is something not learned long ago & now genetically passed on through the male gene pool, put instead needs to still be taught in kindergarten. So “clap-clap” your attention please- all you men out there who are complaining about women … It’s really just this simple, forget about the notion that you need to understand us to make us “happy” all you got to know is this:
    1. Reread the list of “A Few Things To Know About Women” Giving Special Attention to #13!
    2. Always! Remember to Follow All the “Rules & Tips” from the list of “A Few Things To Know About Women”!
    Why?! Because it works! These things make us “Happy” & if we’re “Happy” than you will be “Happy” too! Jezz ..Come on guys..it’s so simple!

    p.s. Thank you, Karen, for your “unsolicited opinion” by posting your great List “A Few Things To Know About Women” & making it possible for me to share mine too! (Men! Gotta Love ’em!)

    • Apparently, we think a lot alike! Would you be surprised to know that some of the men in my life took exception to my list? (Yeah, I didn’t think so!) Thanks for stopping by–I’ll have to check out your blog as well!

  6. warren gunter says:

    i read your post. and i do agree with most of what you said. there are a few fellas out there , like me, who are exceptions to the others. i have always taken the side of women. maybe thats why i like them so much. men are men. and most of the time there is no changing them. its not a excuse. its just genetic. but i love your blog. will try to keep up with it as much as i can.

    • Warren, thank you so much for visiting my blog; I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I do hope you will continue to stop by! And yes, I know there are quite a few men out there who treat women with love and respect and kindness, even though we ARE often “complicated and frustrating and, at times, incredibly annoying”!

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