Friday, April 20, 2012

You Only Think I'm Kidding Chapter 6


Guess what, America? I'm back with some knowledge.

But Prophet, you ask, how did you escape the clutches of the Oversoul and the wretched Dubstep? Hard work, my friends. Hard work and quality. You see, I realized that the Oversoul had suckered my unsuspecting psyche with its demonic electronica sorcery. So every time I tried to retrieve the fragments of my tortured individuality, I was drowned out by the raucous tyranny. My mind kept crawling for months over the crags of distorted sampling and disorientingly monotonous 4/4 bass lines. So when the time finally came to effect my escape, I knew I had to come up with something to distract the Oversoul. But how can you stifle what is designed to be stifling? With order, of course. I hummed the best song I could think of until I had escaped.

Eye of the Tiger!

One impressive montage later, I was back. And I have a new message for you fellow males out there:

Don't talk to women when they want you to.

"Wait a sec," you say, "we knew you were an opinionated, ignorant, carnivorous pontificate who calls women unwitting pedophiles and would inflame us with dangerous rhetoric whispered only in the deepest recesses of our souls. But a misogynist? That's a step too far." Well my dear ones, stop abusing verb phrases and listen close.

I love women. Too much even. The restraining orders are proof of that. I was born of woman, grew up in a house ruled by women, and will probably die under the care or knife of a woman. After all, my Y chromosome guarantees that cancer, heart disease, radiation, or bullets lower my male life expectancy below that of a woman. So understand the heart from which I say this: a cold, bitter one dead to all emotion but rage. (And hunger, if that counts as an emotion.)

But when a woman wants to talk, let us make no mistake: it is never good news. You see, there are several ways one may request a conversation. "Hey, let's grab coffee later and chat about the IPO report, Steven." "What time do you want to go over the economics project, Sandy?" "My lord, if we don't discuss the new dress code the royal guard might take to wearing Dave Barnes t-shirts in the imperial court. Then the rebellion will regard us as inglorious and bro-ish!" But there's one men never, ever, EVER want to hear from a woman.

"Can we talk?"

To say nothing of its even uglier sister and/or prom date: "We need to talk."

I remember getting these in the past way too often, usually right before the crippling cycle of depression and self-loathing completely unrelated to rejection. My favorite was one that worked something like this: I got a text asking if I was available around "4:50ish". My girlfriend Carly said we needed to talk. I considered this to be no big deal, figuring maybe she wanted to talk about how much fun she was having with me or how good I look in blue or what we should name our second child.

Since "Rattler Van Damme" is the obvious choice for a first-born.

So full of excitement for quality time with a beautiful woman, I told her I was available. This was, in fact, a half-truth since I needed to get a shift covered at work but I figured it would be no big deal. Carly replied, "Good. I have a pretty packed day and I have to work at 5."

What do you suppose was the content of this conversation? Duh, a rejection. So with another set of emotional baggage checked in at Heartsbreak International Airport, I gained a valuable example of this most basic truth.

You see, a woman never says y'all need to talk if it's something wonderful. It's never, "We need to talk... I just love you so much! That's all," or "Can we talk? I want you to watch more 'Battlestar Galactica' with your pasty friends" or "Can we talk? Why don't Catholic priests have beards? It's been bugging me all day, I thought you might know." It's always doom, fellow-males.... usually yours.

Now ladies, I know you are picking up stones to troll me in the comments, so let me make something clear: fellas do this too.  "Hey, babe, we need to talk or whatever," a man may say with his best James-Dean apathy.  Then he uses that to herald the announcement of his attraction to another woman with half the personality and twice the curves.  Yet a man doesn't do so exclusively to announce bad news.  His "need-to-talk" talk could mean that y'all "aren't working out but a floozier gal and I will", or it could just as easily mean, "Let's get married and stuff."  Or, "We need to talk... I'm bad at expressing my feelings so here goes...".  Or, "Can we talk later? ... Can I get out of your stupid friends' wedding to do something actually worthwhile or awesome?"  Note that there are a variety of things a man may mean by "We need to talk", typically as a segue into "Here's something I should say that involves my stupid feelings or sumthin'."  Could be bad, could be good.

But a woman never has good news when she just needs to talk.  Unless you count the perspective of the tight-trousered barista she met who "has a spark" with her. 

So how can we men respond to the omnipotent "Can-we-talk" talk? I have some suggestions:

1) Feign busy-ness, then never speak again. This may seem extreme at first, but the same effect is gained as if you'd had the talk. Just keep putting off the needful conversation and avoid it. Granted, the lack of communication will destroy your relationship. But isn't that what was coming anyway?

2) Counter with a talk of your own. This is a tricky strategy. However, if you can come up with an even bigger or more outlandish issue, that might distract her from the soul-crushing issue she wants to discuss. It's hard for a woman to break up with some guy for being emotionally distant when he's passionately convinced that she has a government microchip in her toe ring recording all his thoughts.

3) The jellyfish defense. This involves overdosing on apathy in the hours before the conversation. It can be tough to pull off, but substance abuse can help. Let me suggest a concoction of anti-depressants, ibuprofen, and a six-hour regiment of soccer matches. No heartbreak can penetrate that indifference!

4) The Chewbacca defense. Like option 2, this involves bringing in something of your own. However, unlike the counter-talk, the Chewbacca defense requires bringing in a completely-unrelated topic and obsessing over it until your time together is up. For instance, insist that it is total madness that Chewbacca, a Wookie, would dwell on Endor with the Ewoks. That Chewbacca doesn't really live with the Ewoks is irrelevant; either way, it's not about how she doesn't feel "the spark" anymore.

In the War of the Sexes, "Can we talk?" is the Big Bertha gun which has left many numerous casualties in its wake. Any flak-jacket we men can acquire will keep me from feeling lonely and rejected forever show the enemy who has the real power.

(Stay tuned, ladies.  Y'all're gonna get some useful knowledge 'bout the fellas next time.  Men are pigs... and I'ma fry up some bacon!)

1 comment:

  1. I don't care how old this is. Just read it and I'm laughing. Try explaining THIS: one of the 800 times when Daniel dumped me, he performed a variation of "1) feign business, then never speak again". I'm pretty sure he told me over the phone we needed to talk, and then just didn't talk to me again for a few months. He is a paradox.