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Translating Female Speak: Being Romantic

October 15, 2013

I awoke suddenly to the crackling sound of the Nightrider theme song of my cell phone ringing.  I looked at the time – it was only 4:01pm, which meant I had been home from work and napping for only 5 minutes.  My cheerful friend Dre was on the other end, sporting her signature bubbly voice upbeat female vibes.  Jesus, I thought.  What kind of creature could be so happy at this hour?

She began to tell me about her day at work while she fiddled with Lord only knows what in her kitchen, while the entire time balancing my groggy voice on her phone clenched firmly between her cheek and shoulder.   Days before her birthday, she tells me her plans to take her boyfriend back home to her parents’ in Ontario, and begins to explain her weekend plans.  Then she lays it on me.

“I told my boyfriend not to buy me anything at all for my birthday.  I just told him to do something romantic and surprise me.”  My eyes widened with the brotherly horror I instantly felt for her man.  Holy shit, I thought.  There is no way this can end well..


Look, not to crap on mankind, but lets be honest here.  Leaving “romance” fully up to the man is not only bold, its downright irresponsible of you.  Ladies, without direct instruction your man will almost surely be lost for any fresh romantic ideas.  And this doesn’t mean men can’t be romantic, it just means what YOU think romance is probably won’t enter our brains.

Example, you expect something like a dimmed candle lit house to come home to, with a tub drawn and the extended version of Sade’s Smooth Operator softly playing in the background while your man pulls you out a chair to a home cooked dinner he made on that dining room set you never use other than Christmas when your relatives from out of town show up uninvited.  Right?  You want to know what us men find romantic?  Show up naked.  Bring beer.

Seriously, try it.

Look, I realize that sounds ridiculous and downright outlandish, but what you have to realize is that your man is a loving compassionate creature who too wants to connect with you just as bad as you want him to.  We’re just very bad at reading our women, let alone being burdened with the responsibility of handling a romantic mind puzzle you throw at us.  We only can visually detect two female emotions – randy and angry.  On rare occasions, both at the same time.  And where we want so desperately to succeed and please you, it can only lead to your utter disappointment.

Let’s be fair to the men thrown into your battlefield, though.  Once you tell him you want him to “surprise” you, YOU don’t even know what you want!  Ergo, since there’s nothing set in stone that would declare your birthday a win by default, he’s sure to lose.  Probably dramatically.  I’ve seen it happen.  Every year, my poor, poor father..

I suppose in the end, ladies, just be fair to your man.  Allow him to go out on his own and attempt something romantic on his own terms.  Giving him romantic freedom on your birthday is just as tragic as allowing him to plan your wedding.  Just let him buy you something.  Expensive.  It’s easier on both parties.  Worst case scenario, you can always return it for the cash.  And thats truly something we both know you’ll really like.

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