READY: What every man and woman should know

Mary Ready, Ready or Not

Among my favorite column topics is the male vs. female mystique. The persistent myth is that men are relatively simple creatures while women are complicated and enigmatic. A few years ago, a best-selling book was entitled "Everything Men Know About Women." Reminiscent of the pet rock, millions of copies sold in spite of containing only blank pages.

Those email forwards I’m always getting from friends sometimes contain useful or entertaining information. Two recent ones were devoted to the Mars/Venus mentalities.

According to “The Man Rules,”

• Men are not mind readers.

• You’re a big girl. If the toilet seat’s up, put it down.

• Subtle hints do not work. Tell us what you want.

• Come to us only if you want a problem solved. We don’t do sympathy.

• Christopher Columbus didn’t need directions. Neither do we.

• If you don’t like something we said and it can be taken two ways, we meant the other thing.

• Peach is a fruit, not a color; we have no idea what mauve is.

• If we ask what’s wrong, and you say “nothing,” we will assume nothing’s wrong.

• When we go somewhere, whatever you’re wearing is fine … really.

• If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

From “Men Are Just Happier People,” we learn that if Laura and Sarah go out to lunch, they will call each other Laura and Sarah. If Mike and David go out to lunch, they will refer to each other as Bro, Dude, Davey Boy, or Mikey. When the bill comes, Mike and David will each throw in $20 even if it’s only for $32.50. Neither will ask for any change back. When the bill comes for the girls, out come the calculators. A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn’t need because it’s on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom. The number for a woman is more than 200. A woman has the last word in an argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting she won’t change, but she does. A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man doesn’t worry about the future until he gets a wife.

A woman dresses up for most public outings. A man dresses up for weddings and funerals. Men wake up looking the same as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dental appointments, romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret hopes, fears and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house. A man can forget his mistakes because the woman will remember all of them for him.

A man’s last name stays put.

For him, chocolate is not the stuff of life. You can be president. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park or NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. Wrinkles add character.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. Belching is OK. You have one mood all the time. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get lavish praise for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. It’s no big deal if another man at a party is wearing the same shirt.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Some may not find humor in this stereotypical gender thinking. But I wonder if God in His infinite wisdom decided that humanity would be much more interesting if He created Adam and Eve with distinct personality quirks. These differences attract man to woman and woman to man, balancing their strengths and weaknesses to bind them in love.

By Christian and Judaic philosophy, He created male and female with complementary gifts to serve family, church, and community. But, I think He also knew how much fun it would be to watch the sparks fly between two people who love each other even as they argue over leaving the toilet seat up or down.

Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.