January 21, 2007

Juan L. Mercado

Of women—and men

Suppose you stumbled across the advertisement below in your favorite newspaper. (The one you’re now reading, of course.) How would you respond? The Atlanta Journal, in fact, published this ad in its Sunday edition–and got over 15,000 responses. Check it out.

“SINGLE FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good girl who loves to play. I like long walks, cozy nights, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips. Dinner by candlelight will have me eating out of your hand. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call 875-6420 and ask for Dolly. I’ll be waiting...”

And over 15,000 men found themselves calling up the SPCA or “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”.

But do you know how to make your wife—or fiancée—happy? No sweat, emails this optimist. He’s so sure, he jotted down a 54-point formula titled: “Making Woman Happy: Easy Task With List”. For good measure, he tossed in a two-item checklist for the weaker of the species. They appear below. Now, get cracking—and tell me if it works for you.

It’s not difficult to make a woman happy. A man only needs to be: 1. a friend; 2. a companion; 3. a lover; 4. a brother; 5. a father; 6. a master; 7. a chef; 8. an electrician; 9. a carpenter; 10. a plumber; 11. a mechanic ; 12. a decorator and 13. a stylist.

In addition, he must be: 14. a sexologist ; 15. a gynecologist 16. a psychologist 17. a pest exterminator; 18. a psychiatrist; 19. a healer; 20. a good listener; and 21. an organizer.

As a 22. good father, he will be : 23. very clean; 24. sympathetic; 25. athletic; 26. warm; 27. attentive; 28. gallant ; 29. intelligent; 30. funny; 31. creative; 32. tender; 33. strong ; 34. understanding; 35. tolerant; 36. prudent; 37. ambitious; 38. capable; 39. courageous ; 40. determined; 41. true ; 42. dependable; 43. passionate; and 44. compassionate .

At the same time, he must never, never forget to: 45. compliment her regularly; 46. love shopping; 47. be honest; 48. be very rich; 49. not stress her out; and, very important, 50. not look at other girls.

Furthermore, he should always 51. give her lots of attention, but expect little himself; 52. lavish lots of time on her, especially time for herself; and 53. give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goes. Number 54 is equally important: Never forget: birthdays, anniversaries and arrangements she makes.

It takes two to tango. Remember? So, here’s how to make a man happy: 1. Show up naked; and 2. Bring Beer.

But the man-woman relationship looks very different when seen by children. Here are some questions popped to kids, between the ages of 6 to 10. The answers are refreshing, even unnverving. Q. How would you make a marriage work? A. “Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.” (Ricky, age 10.) Q. When is it okay to kiss somebody? A. “When th

ey’re rich”. (Rita, age 7. This girl will go places.) Another answer from Tony, age 8: “The law says you have to be 18. So I wouldn’t mess with that.” Q. Is it better to be single or married? A. “It’s better for girls to be single. But not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. (Anita, age 9).

Q. Would the world be different if people didn’t get married? A. “There sure would be a lot of kids to explain.” (Ricardo, age 9) Q. How do you decide whom to marry? A. “No person decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all the way before. And you get to find out who you’re stuck with later” (Carmen, 8)

Q .How can a stranger tell if two people are married? A. “He’ll have to guess. Are they yelling at the same kids? (Kristin, 6) Q. And how would you make a marriage work? A. “Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.” (Ricky, age 10.)

Of course, the man-woman relationship alters when you’ve grown up (O.K. Grown older). How do you tell that when you’re what former President Bill Clinton called: “near-elderly”. Some prefer: “junior senior citizen.” Here are some signs:

Dinner and a movie are now the whole date instead of the beginning of one. You go to the drug store for antacid, not pregnancy tests. And older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you. You take naps. And sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

You actually keep more food than beer in the fridge. And 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed. You eat breakfast food at breakfast time. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” has replaced “I’m never going to drink that much again.”

Now, 90 percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14. You also hum the songs you hear in the elevator. And you’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the p.a. system.

Finally you start dispensing freely unsought advice on how to stay young like: “”Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down” Or: “Keep learning. The devil’s name is Alzheimer’s!”

(E-mail: juan_mercado@pacific.net.ph)

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