For Men Only: The Secret Life of Women

 

That’s a photo of the little woman (Now don’t get all hissy. I warned you snowflakes of the female persuasion not to read this) with one of her BFFs. Marie the wife is on the left. 

Marie is fairly typical of her sex, I suppose. I don’t know for certain because I don’t know many women. What women I know, I don’t quite understand, but I’m willing to tell you the little that I do know.

I accompanied Marie one time to one of her regular lunches with the ladies. I’ve never heard such frivolous talk. They talked about quilts, babies, their outfits, the personality defects of those who didn’t show up. Whatever was on the surface of life, they talked about. I heard one of them say that dying wouldn’t be half bad if she could take her cute little outfits to the afterlife with her. (I think she was joking.)

They ate little salads and little sandwiches, sometimes with cucumbers instead of meat. Cucumbers between two slices of bread! My god, you might as well get down on all fours and munch on grass and dandelions in your front yard.

I think I cramped their style. I won’t be going back anytime soon, even if they let me. Which they won’t.

Men, I need to tell you a hard truth: Women have a better time when we’re not around.

If it weren’t for our almost incidental part in baby-making, women would probably marry women. They just seem more compatible with one another than they are with us.

Women don’t want to know how things work. Every now and then I try to mansplain to Marie how air conditioning produces cold air. But she doesn’t seem interested. I don’t know why.

I like to cuss. Milady doesn’t like it. I don’t know why.

The thing is, women are ignorant of the important things in life. For the life of her, Marie can’t remember automobile marques. When we stop behind a car with four rings, I ask, “What’s the four rings car again, Hon?”

“I dunno,” she replies.

“What do each of the letters BMW represent?”

“I dunno.”

And you know what? She doesn’t seem to care. Doesn’t care if a car is an Audi or not! Now that’s just pathetic.

They buy crazy stuff. We go to Safeway and Marie buys a few flowers for $10.99. They sit on our mantle and wilt in a few days. She buys makeup stuff from the expensive Clinique counter at Macy’s, 60 bucks for a couple of little bottles of something or another. You could buy a Bosch drill for the same money, and it’ll last a lifetime. Men are just more sensible about these matters.

Marie goes to various meetings largely as an excuse to talk to other women about their lives. Yes, she wants to know about their brothers, their mothers, their latest disease, whatever. She likes this kind of thing. Women are social. If Marie were still in high school, she would be called a sosh. Remember soshes? Women are, by their very nature, soshes.

Marie covets her friends. She takes them on and never lets them go. She started writing to a pen pal in Germany in the fourth grade. She still writes to her. That woman sitting with her on the bench in the photo above— Marie and she were pals in grade school.

Women have their moments. They seem brave in the face of pain that would reduce men to unmanly tears. Babies are cute and all, but to get one down and out the birth canal, women have to go through the most painful process one could imagine. I just wouldn’t do it. I once asked Marie if it hurt a lot when giving birth. She said it hurt like the dickens. “Imagine the most hellish bowel movement you’ve ever had,” she said. “Now multiply that by ten.” So you have to give them that.

They keep themselves excessively clean. Some of them, I’ve heard, change their socks and underwear almost every day. I don’t know why. Once a week seems just about right to me.

But if you still aren’t convinced that they are different from us, not just in degree but also in kind, go into your bathroom and look at the rows of little vials and bottles on their side of the bathroom. Here are a few of what I found on Marie’s side: Revitalize Lotion, Lubriderm, Thera-Tears, Fit Me, Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream, Olay Total Effects, Clinique Something or other, City Block Sheer, Lip Sense, and some other liquids without names. And a little angel with wire wings. My side of the bathroom counter has a bar of soap.

So that’s the secret life of females. It’s not a pleasant sight. We’re incompatible, guys. Somehow we tolerate one another. I don’t know how.

I usually ask Marie to read my essays before I post them. I’m not showing her this one. I think she would try to harsh my mellow. Women do that. I think they blame us for the pain of childbirth, and that makes them cruel to us.

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There are 70 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Ken,

    While wholly ignoring your “For Men Only” (patriarchal nonsense) stipulation, I read and laughed. Poor Mr. danys also only has a bar of soap. He tries to explain things to me after 9 pm and I’m not receptive.

    Dear God,

    Please bless all the good men, the patient, humor-filled, generous husbands and fathers. We loving women admire and enjoy them. Amen. 

    • #1
    • April 19, 2019, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Member

    Yep.

    One thing that strikes me as strange is when I’m in the company of two or more women they will talk about female things endlessly, completely unconscious of how boring would be for a man. Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

    I’m convinced women handicap themselves in their professional lives by spending so much effort on their clothes, hair, makeup, shoes, nails.

    My wife ( who is not this type, or at least she has it all down to a science ) was recently admiring Nancy Pelosi for looking so good for her age and being stylish etc. ( and she’s not on board with her politics)

    Women admire other women for this stuff!

    The glass ceiling has makeup smudged all over it.

    • #2
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:11 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Member

    KentForrester: Some of them, I’ve heard, change their socks and underwear almost every day.

    Only every day? After Mrs R had her knee replacement, it was my job to help her with her clothes. She changed socks when she went to physical therapy, when she came home from physical therapy, and a few other times each day just because. And of course it was several weeks before she could change her own socks. Gradually she was able to take care of herself in most respects, but she needed help with those socks for a long time. Maybe it was just to get me to kneel down at her feet. 

    I, too, had thought changing them every day was excessive, though now she’s got me doing it, too. Every day that I exercise on my bicycle trainer or get sweaty on a ride, I take off my socks. That isn’t so bad, but now I don’t put them back on until they’ve been washed. You’d think at my age I shouldn’t be developing new bad habits.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:11 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Thatcher

    KentForrester: I usually ask Marie to read my essays before I post them. I’m not showing her this one.

    She must have her CWP . . .

    • #4
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    danys (View Comment):

    Ken,

    Dear God,

    Please bless all the good men, the patient, humor-filled, generous husbands and fathers. We loving women admire and enjoy them. Amen.

    Danys, what a wonderful prayer. I’m pleased that you enjoyed my post.

    • #5
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Franco (View Comment):

    Yep.

    One thing that strikes me as strange is when I’m in the company of two or more women they will talk about female things endlessly, completely unconscious of how boring would be for a man. Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

     

    Franco, I’ve never observed this. But as I said, I don’t get around much, particularly in the company of women outside of my wife. And like Pence, I’ve never dined out with a woman who was not my wife. I have a hippy female friend in Eugene and a businesswoman friend also in Eugene. But that’s about it.

    • #6
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    KentForrester: Some of them, I’ve heard, change their socks and underwear almost every day.

    I, too, had thought changing them every day was excessive, though now she’s got me doing it, too. Every day that I exercise on my bicycle trainer or get sweaty on a ride, I take off my socks. That isn’t so bad, but now I don’t put them back on until they’ve been washed. You’d think at my age I shouldn’t be developing new bad habits.

    Reticulator, I really ought to change my socks more often, but it’s just too much trouble at my age. I hardly ever work up a sweat these days.

    • #7
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    KentForrester: I usually ask Marie to read my essays before I post them. I’m not showing her this one.

    She must have her CWP . . .

    Stad, nah, she’s a pussy around firearms. She might garrote me in my sleep, but she wouldn’t shoot me. 

    • #8
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:32 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Member

    Kent, this was somewhere between funny and hilarious, and somewhere between insightful and profound, and somewhere between good fun-to-read writing and really fine writing.

    (I’m leaving you room for improvement. They taught us that in IBM First-Line Management school.)

    • #9
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:36 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Member

    By the way, I feel like I remember a R’teer from way back with the same username as yours, but I could have sworn I didn’t much care for his posts. (I’ve never told anyone this but my wife, but there are R’teers whose posts I don’t much care for!) Did you purchase the name from a user who had retired, or was banned? Or did you undergo a religious conversion?

    I am likely just confusing you with someone else, maybe it was another guy with a dog picture by his username. My memory is awful.

    • #10
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Member

    Well, as Dennis Prager says, stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

    That being said I just took an inventory of our bathroom vanity.

    Mr AZ’s side: two hairbrushes, electric shaver & case (the shaver NOT inside the case), Amope callus remover, bottle of Theraworx, hair spray, q-tip dispenser, two almost empty TP rolls, dried washcloth hanging around water faucet, Professor Amos drain cleaner, bottle of hard water stain remover.

    My side: Hair spray, hand lotion, box of Kleenex.

    However, my point is that one of us doesn’t actually use more or fewer products or devices than the other, but that I PUT ALL MY STUFF AWAY.

    • #11
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  12. Member

    KentForrester: Men, I need to tell you a hard truth: Women have a better time when we’re not around. 

    Each summer my friend has a party that always seems to work out the same way. The women all huddle inside (no doubt complaining about the husbands and complimenting each other’s shoes), the men are all out on the patio having conversations that never make any references to wives or kids, and the kids just run around and do whatever (last year we found the kids by following the smoke coming out of the woods). We arrive as a family and leave as a family but in between . . . A good time is had by all.

    • #12
    • April 19, 2019, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  13. Member

    Just a delightful post. Thank you!

    • #13
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Well, as Dennis Prager says, stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

    That being said I just took an inventory of our bathroom vanity.

    Mr AZ’s side: two hairbrushes, electric shaver & case (the shaver NOT inside the case), Amope callus remover, bottle of Theraworx, hair spray, q-tip dispenser, two almost empty TP rolls, dried washcloth hanging around water faucet, Professor Amos drain cleaner, bottle of hard water stain remover.

    My side: Hair spray, hand lotion, box of Kleenex.

    However, my point is that one of us doesn’t actually use more or fewer products or devices than the other, but that I PUT ALL MY STUFF AWAY.

    Justmein, I think you have a point. At any rate, I’m much neater than Marie.

    • #14
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    By the way, I feel like I remember a R’teer from way back with the same username as yours, but I could have sworn I didn’t much care for his posts. (I’ve never told anyone this but my wife, but there are R’teers whose posts I don’t much care for!) Did you purchase the name from a user who had retired, or was banned? Or did you undergo a religious conversion?

    I am likely just confusing you with someone else, maybe it was another guy with a dog picture by his username. My memory is awful.

    Mark, probably the same guy. You probably didn’t care for my posts on vegetarianism and empiricism.

    • #15
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Just a delightful post. Thank you!

    Thanks Jim. I had fun writing it. 

    • #16
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Thatcher
    EB

    Franco (View Comment):
    Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

    NEVER have I EVER seen this happen. As a matter of fact, I had a dinner party inviting 2 other couples. I made the mistake of inviting couples where both the men had very similar interests as my husband (aviation.) They completely took over the dinner conversation.

    After that, I have always made sure that at least one of the husbands invited had slightly different interests from the other two. This helps keep the conversation on broader and more interesting topics.

    • #17
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:49 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    EB (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

    NEVER have I EVER seen this happen. As a matter of fact, I had a dinner party inviting 2 other couples. I made the mistake of inviting couples where both the men had very similar interests as my husband (aviation.) They completely took over the dinner conversation.

    After that, I have always made sure that at least one of the husbands invited had slightly different interests from the other two. This helps keep the conversation on broader and more interesting topics.

    EB, I feel for you. There are few things worse than having someone (or one sex) dominate the conversation. I usually interrupt, sometimes without much tact, to steer the conversation away from those who talk, talk, talk without stopping. Annoys the hell out of me. 

    • #18
    • April 19, 2019, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Member

    EB (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

    NEVER have I EVER seen this happen. As a matter of fact, I had a dinner party inviting 2 other couples. I made the mistake of inviting couples where both the men had very similar interests as my husband (aviation.) They completely took over the dinner conversation.

    After that, I have always made sure that at least one of the husbands invited had slightly different interests from the other two. This helps keep the conversation on broader and more interesting topics.

    I have, but it depends on the situation. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a dinner party so it might be different there.

    • #19
    • April 19, 2019, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    The post brought back a funny memory for me. Years ago, we–my husband, me, and our kids–went to one of my husband’s friend’s fortieth birthday party. The friend’s wife gave her husband a beautiful new grill. When she unveiled it, every guy at the party looked up and went over to ogle it. It was so funny. The grill called out to the guys somehow in a voice the women didn’t hear. :-) 

    I’ve often wondered if there were only women on the planet, if there would be the inventions–the airplanes, the cars, the skyscrapers, the ships–that there are today. It’s impossible to know, of course, what interests and curiosities and natural talents women had in prior centuries. In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf asks about Shakespeare’s sister. :-) So who knows what inventions and art women had in their hearts and minds. 

    But, among the women I’ve known, I have trouble seeing enough of them with the enormous field of vision it requires to build cities, cathedrals, skyscrapers. Maybe there would be. I don’t know. It’s just one of those idle thoughts that sometimes comes back to me on long drives. :-) 

     

    • #20
    • April 19, 2019, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The post brought back a funny memory for me. Years ago, we–my husband, me, and our kids–went to one of my husband’s friend’s fortieth birthday party. The friend’s wife gave her husband a beautiful new grill. When she unveiled it, every guy at the party looked up and went over to ogle it. It was so funny. The grill called out to the guys somehow in a voice the women didn’t hear. :-)

    I’ve often wondered if there were only women on the planet, if there would be the inventions–the airplanes, the cars, the skyscrapers, the ships–that there are today. It’s impossible to know, of course, what interests and curiosities and natural talents women had in prior centuries. In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf asks about Shakespeare’s sister. :-) So who knows what inventions and art women had in their hearts and minds.

    But, among the women I’ve known, I have trouble seeing enough of them with the enormous field of vision it requires to build cities, cathedrals, skyscrapers. Maybe there would be. I don’t know. It’s just one of those idle thoughts that sometimes comes back to me on long drives. :-)

     

    Marci, I think you’re probably right.

    Off track: I was once called in at the last minute to teach a seminar in women’s literature. I was ill suited to the task. However, one of the novels I taught was A Room of One’s Own. I can’t remember a thing about it now. Your description of the theme, however, sounds intriguing. 

    • #21
    • April 19, 2019, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    You’re a lucky man, Kent.

    • #22
    • April 19, 2019, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Member

    EB (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    Now, if I’m with a group of guys and a female joins the table, I, and usually they, will avoid the guy talk ( sports, cars, science) for her sake.

    NEVER have I EVER seen this happen. As a matter of fact, I had a dinner party inviting 2 other couples. I made the mistake of inviting couples where both the men had very similar interests as my husband (aviation.) They completely took over the dinner conversation.

    After that, I have always made sure that at least one of the husbands invited had slightly different interests from the other two. This helps keep the conversation on broader and more interesting topics.

    Ok. So I guess you have to invite me ( and my wife) to your next dinner lol.

    • #23
    • April 19, 2019, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Thatcher
    She

    Delightful post, as usual, @kentforrester. I will add lunch with the lovely Marie to my bucket list. Although I have little knowledge (and less interest) in the bottles and jars of potions on her side of the bathroom, I long to talk to her about quilts and babies and such.

    And I hope that one day, you and I can go toe-to-toe on the relative merits of Bosch vs. DeWalt. (For outside jobs, I’m a Stihl girl, and have a representative sampling of much of their stuff, including a couple of chain saws, so mind your P’s and Q’s. If things get too rough, I have a backhoe too, so I can hide the evidence, and no-one will ever find you.)

    I’m quite happy chatting among a group of ladies, or in a group where I’m the only one (lady).

    Please, just never turn me loose with a bunch of academics of either sex any gender. Something approaching my idea of Hell on earth. The fallout and follow-on won’t be pretty, I promise you.

    • #24
    • April 19, 2019, at 11:15 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  25. Member

    My husband has recently starting watching some TV shows about restoring and auctioning classic cars. He has them on all the time – and he’s not even a “car guy”. At first he would tell me about the cars, the guys who did the work, how gorgeous the cars were and I would try to pretend that my eyes were not glazing over. But he got so obsessed that I finally fessed up. I don’t mind fishing shows (but really, how can you just watch people fishing?), shooting shows, poker shows, but please, please, not cars!

    He likes grills too but at least I get to eat what comes off those.

    • #25
    • April 19, 2019, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    Delightful post, as usual, @kentforrester. I will add lunch with the lovely Marie to my bucket list. Although I have little knowledge (and less interest) in the bottles and jars of potions on her side of the bathroom, I long to talk to her about quilts and babies and such.

    And I hope that one day, you and I can go toe-to-toe on the relative merits of Bosch vs. DeWalt. (For outside jobs, I’m a Stihl girl, and have a representative sampling of much of their stuff, including a couple of chain saws, so mind your P’s and Q’s. If things get too rough, I have a backhoe too, so I can hide the evidence, and no-one will ever find you.)

    I’m quite happy chatting among a group of ladies, or in a group where I’m the only one (lady).

    Please, just never turn me loose with a bunch of academics of either sex any gender. Something approaching my idea of Hell on earth. The fallout and follow-on won’t be pretty, I promise you.

    She, I’ve owned both, but I’m currently in love with a Bosch portable drill. I’ve cut down many a tree for firewood with a Stihl.

    I don’t think I’ve been around an academic since I retired. I’m all done with that. I don’t even read 18th-century lit anymore.

    You don’t have jars of potions? Really? What are you, some kind of hippy?

    • #26
    • April 19, 2019, at 11:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Thatcher
    She

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She, I’ve owned both, but I’m currently in love with a Bosch portable drill. I’ve cut down many a tree for firewood with a Stihl.

    I love the Bosch hammer drill, which can core drill through concrete. (Reminds me of the time I rented a bigger one, to put a six-inch hole through the foundation block. I broke it. The guy I returned it to at the rental place assure me that it must have been defective, because surely a “little lady” such as I didn’t have the strength to accomplish that. I was happy to agree.) For the rest, though, I’m fond of the DeWalt.

    I don’t think I’ve been around an academic since I retired. I’m all done with that. I don’t even read 18th-century lit anymore.

    I plead guilty to reading some stuff every now and then, but only what I like. And my best friend of 40-years standing could fairly be described as a bluestocking. But she’s a lovely lady with many other interests, so I forgive her.

    You don’t have jars of potions? Really? What are you, some kind of hippy?

    Yeah, I know. It just never interested me much, and I’m a redhead, so lots of things that ladies do interesting and beautiful things with, especially on their faces, quite literally give me a rash. The limited amount of stuff I have is from Burts Bees, because their stuff doesn’t make me break out or itch. But that’s about it.

     

    • #27
    • April 19, 2019, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Yeah, I know. It just never interested me much, and I’m a redhead, so lots of things that ladies do interesting and beautiful things with, especially on their faces, quite literally give me a rash.

    Hah, I should have known. I’m also a redhead. At least I was when I was younger and had more hair. A colleague used to call me Barbarossa because of my red beard. When I was a kid, I was a flaming redhead.

    • #28
    • April 19, 2019, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Thatcher
    She

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Yeah, I know. It just never interested me much, and I’m a redhead, so lots of things that ladies do interesting and beautiful things with, especially on their faces, quite literally give me a rash.

    Hah, I should have known. I’m also a redhead. At least I was when I was younger and had more hair. A colleague used to call me Barbarossa because of my red beard. When I was a kid, I was a flaming redhead.

    Yep. Sadly, not too terribly much remains at this point in my life . . .

    • #29
    • April 19, 2019, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Member

    She (View Comment):
    And I hope that one day, you and I can go toe-to-toe on the relative merits of Bosch vs. DeWalt. (For outside jobs, I’m a Stihl girl, and have a representative sampling of much of their stuff, including a couple of chain saws, so mind your P’s and Q’s. If things get too rough, I have a backhoe too, so I can hide the evidence, and no-one will ever find you.)

    Someone I pass on my way home from work has a used skid steer loader for sale. I long to stop and see what he wants for it, but my wife would never approve.

    • #30
    • April 19, 2019, at 1:08 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
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