They’re All Liars & Other Lessons I Learned About Men
Last night, inspired by the first crush story, I was talking to this guy about his first crush. He shared a cute story about being infatuated with some child actress before asking me about mine. I was too ready to share. My first crush was a boy named Alex. He was a fourth grader I’d spotted in the hallway one day. Though he was two years my senior, (I was a second grader at the time), it was infatuation at first sight. The boy was gorgeous. After weeks of practically breaking my neck to catch a glance at him, I decided to share my crush with one of my closest confidantes: my grandmother.
“Grandma, there’s this boy at school named Alex and he is sooo cute.”
Immediately, I could tell that she wasn’t going to share my excitement. She frowned, her lip curled, transforming her face into a mixture of concern and disgust. And that’s when I learned my first lesson about men…
Lessons before Boys
My grandmother was so concerned because she knew that boys can be major distractions from school work. Had I not been so concerned about being smart and making my parents proud, I could have easily let Alex consume my every thought. Though, I thought my grandmother was overreacting at the time; as I got older I saw first hand what can happen when boys and men become a woman’s everything. We all know women who had their ish together until they let a man come in and knock them off course.
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Last year, I was in Washington D.C. visiting my cousin. She’s my cousin but she recently turned 80 years old, so she has generations of insight and wisdom I try to tap into whenever I visit her. We were sitting around having one of our chats when she, out of nowhere, asked me if I had a boyfriend. A bit thrown off by the question, I sheepishly told her no. I thought she would have been surprised or even disappointed by my answer but her response shocked me. “Good! Because they’re all liars anyway.”
I can’t say that I believe all men are out here plotting and scheming, lying about who they really are. Thanks in large part to my father and other upstanding men in my family, I still believe that there are good men; but on the other hand, I’m not stupid. I know there is no shortage of down right scandalous men out here.
All They Want is Sex
I can’t even tell you where I’ve heard this piece of advice…probably in every form of media, from several female relatives and friends to stray female cats on the street. There’s no shortage of information about the male sex drive. True, most men want sex. Shoot, most women want sex. But the notion that all men don’t want you for anything but sex is a falsehood. Trust me.
To be fair, all people are selfish. But if you compared the sexes, men would win the “most selfish” prize every time. Really, it’s more about conditioning than it is about their actual nature. From early childhood, women are encouraged to be nurturing and attentive in ways that men just aren’t. Often times this conditioning comes in the packaging of one day making a good mate, other times it comes in the packaging of being a good mother in the future. Though many men will eventually become husbands and fathers, for them it’s more about learning on the job as opposed to preparing for it beforehand.
Man is the head but the woman is the neck
If you have a strong, womanly influence in your family, whether there are men present or not, you know that women can be shot callers in many ways. And not in the ways prime time television would have you believe that they are. You know, the women who can’t communicate a message without nagging or bossing their man into submission. I mean the women who know their men so well, they know how to persuade them to “do the right thing.” The perfect example of this phenomenon can be found in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the mother was able to convince her husband to let their daughter, Toula, go to college, though the father and husband was originally, vehemently against it.
I don’t mean physical strength. In most cases, men have obviously got us on that. What I mean is emotional, psychological strength. This isn’t anything someone told me, this was something I observed for myself and later had confirmed by other women. For evidence of this, you need look no further than the way men and women behave when they’re sick. While women often go to work, take care of their kids and cook dinner, men are completely laid out at the mere threat of a sore throat. Women are socially conditioned to be multi-taskers, even if you’re just juggling your own emotions.
What lessons were you taught about men?