Those of you who know me know that I use my column as an excuse to ask people awkward questions (often via text), then I spew out a half-page rant that I expect people to read (occasionally I even expect you to enjoy it). The worst part of my chronic column abuse (other than my fear that the Supreme Court might one day deem it a felony or misdemeanor on par with substance abuse) is that I’m narrow-minded in how I go about it.
As a female, I think like a female and everything I complain about in this column is “girl stuff” (e.g. panty lines, designated brow lines, how the line for the women’s bathroom is always longer than the men’s, etc.). Today, however, I’m going to bat for the other team. Today, I’m going to man-up, so to speak. So don’t think of me as Hazel when you read this column, but as Harold, Hector, Harvey or Sohan Jain a.k.a. the sexiest man at Cornell (but seriously).
Ladies of the world, you may wonder, “What is it that irks men?” Well, we are angered by lots of things. We don’t like putting the toilet seat down and we usually hate being dragged to chick flicks (although we must admit that Titanic gets us every time). We also don’t want to be interrupted during televised sporting events or car chases (can’t we do the dishes after the Celtics lose, again?). Worse still are the women problems we endure, the worst of which is that women never tell you what they actually want. They assume that you, the Boyfriend, can read their minds.
Well, dear Girlfriend, the truth is, I don’t have any crystal balls hidden in the 476 pockets of my cargo pants (I do, however, have several condoms tucked away). When you said it was okay for me to cancel our date to play basketball with my friends, I thought, “Great, I can work on my jump shot!” How was I to know that what you really wanted me to do was come over as planned and tell you that I decided I’d rather bake banana nut muffins with you than play a pick-up game with the boys?
Don’t even get me started on all the birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc. gift issues. When you say, “I don’t want anything for my birthday, really,” that, to me, indicates no obligation to get you a gift. Yet when your birthday rolls around and all you get is a card or (more likely) a Facebook wall post, you’re so mad you don’t even comment back (and that’s just rude).
Then there is that thing you do when you say, “I don’t know what I want for Christmas — surprise me!” But you don’t want to be surprised because you know exactly what you want — you want tickets to some lame play on Broadway. How the hell was I supposed to know that? Maybe if you’d said so, you wouldn’t be stuck with the gift card I got you to Dairy Queen (yes, some people find that romantic).
We men have it rough. We have to be one step ahead of the game and yet we have no idea what the game even is. Perhaps if there were concrete rules like in hockey (now there’s a manly sport) we could be expected to play along. Here, however, there are no rules as far as I, Harold/Hector/Harvey, can see.
Give me a second now to get back into my feminine state of mind.
As a female, I get why a girl expects her boyfriend to read her mind. I understand that we want someone to be thoughtful and for this thoughtfulness to be unprompted. But having spoken for Team Manly Man just now, I can see how this is sometimes completely absurd. Would it be nice for a guy to get the hint and buy you tickets to see The Lion King or whatever else is playing? Yes, yes it would. But what are the chances he’s going to pick up on your hint, and when he inevitably doesn’t, can you really be that mad at him?
It is not my place to categorize males or females, but I’ve often heard that men are dogs. My stance on the matter is as follows: While all men may be dogs, some are good breeds. Even the cynics among us ought to admit that.
Happy holidays — I hope you all fall in love and get mushy because the truth is, I do believe in love. But it’s still for dopes.
Hazel Gunapala is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Appropriately Cynical appears alternate Thursdays this semester.