Monday, October 27, 2008

Short Comment On Long Hair

Men love long hair…on women, that is. No matter what your husband, lover, boyfriend or significant other may say, all things being equal, your guy would rather see your hair long and luxurious than short and stylish.

This may not be exactly what you want to hear (especially if you just coughed up a ton o’ cash on a fashionable, cropped do), but it is nonetheless generally true. From the time we are little boys, along with “sugar and spice and everything nice,” long hair represents to us femininity at its most basic level. And as we grow, we come to associate long hair with such words as “beautiful” and “sexy,” while with short hair, best you get is “cute.”

Why is the length of your hair such a big deal for us? Because we are visually oriented, and like it or not, how you appear is a primary factor in what attracts us to you. In other words, long hair gets us hot. And short hair gets us…lukewarm. So it is a source of great frustration and disappointment to American men, that unlike their European, South American, Polynesian, and Asian counterparts, American women have a tendency to cut their hair as they age. And what choice do you have? If you don’t trim your mane, you are subject to the ridicule of your peers who chide you for trying to look younger than you are (isn’t that also the purpose of makeup, hair dye, Botox, and plastic surgery – all things that are much more generally accepted), or for looking ridiculously age-inappropriate (who exactly wrote the guidelines for what was age-appropriate – and what were their credentials?). And then, strangely, after you’ve succumbed to the pressure of your short-haired sisters, you quickly join the chorus of derision aimed at others who have not yet seen the error of their long-haired ways.

The bottom line is this: You may have simply given in to peer pressure, or actually find your low-maintenance, new quaff, “chic,” but either way we are bummed. In our minds, short hair makes you look more like the thing we generally find least sexually attractive…us.

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Men Are Simple

I think it is appropriate that my one of my first few columns should deal with the most fundamental truth about men, and that is this: Men are simple.

I know some of you may be thinking that I’ve completely sold out my brethren in an effort to pander to my female readers and gain their trust. But that is just not true. Because “simple” is not bad, or inferior, or lacking value and substance. “Simple” means simply…not complex. It does not mean devoid of emotion or intelligence or empathy. No, men are quite capable of deep emotion, tremendous empathy and stunning feats of intellectual prowess. It’s just that men epitomize the axiom, “what you see is what you get.” You may try to credit us with great depth and complexity, but truly you are “barking up the wrong tree.”

It is quite understandable, however, why you would believe that there is much mystery and intrigue bubbling just under our hairy surface. That is the way you are (minus the hairy surface, usually). Because, unlike men, women are amazingly complex creatures. When you speak, your words are often filled with subtext and deeper meaning, which other women inherently understand. But men are oblivious to the subtle nuances of your conversation. Sure, they understand the words, but they fail to grasp the hidden messages, the unspoken emotional underpinnings. They take your words at face value. Why? Because men are simple.

I know this may be hard to believe, but consider this: How often have you asked your male significant-other, “what did you mean by that,” only to have him stare blankly back at you as if you’d just spoken to him in ancient Aramaic? From your point of view, your question is perfectly valid. He said he doesn’t feel like going to the beach today, but you know that what he really meant is that he’s noticed you’ve packed on a few pound and is ashamed to be seen in a public place with you and your flab. And you know this because you “read between the lines,” and ferreted out his true meaning. Thus, you are justifiably indignant. How dare he comment on your girth, when the last time he saw his toes, Paris Hilton was just a luxury hotel in France. And your assessment of his contemptuous comment would be absolutely accurate, were he a woman. But he’s not – he’s a man, and he’s clueless about subtext. So, when he said he didn’t feel like going to the beach, what he really meant was he didn’t feel like going to the beach. Nothing else. No underlying meaning. No couched insult. And he gazes helplessly back at you and your indignation, mind-racing, trying desperately to figure out how his lack of enthusiasm for surf and sand have provoked your ire.

You see, men talk in an overtly literal manner. For us, words are merely tools of communication (pretty much all things are tools to us – you know how we love our tools), which we employ, with no great pleasure, for their utilitarian benefit in attaining a specific goal. We want something, so we ask for it. We like something, so we praise it. We hate something, so we denounce it. Very practical…and very simple. Consequently, we don’t understand the fact that you regularly dissect interpersonal intercourse, extracting information that completely escapes us. You are complicated. You are analytical. You are deep. We just want you to like us, laugh at our jokes, and have sex with us at the drop of a hat. See? What could be “simpler” than that?

© 2008 David M. Matthews. All Rights Reserved.