Friday, November 30, 2012

Looking For Mars

I went to an all-girl schools most of my school years and grew up in a house of women. With my live-in grandmother, mom and eight sisters my father never stood a chance. Perhaps it was because of our influence, or maybe it was just how he was wired, but he was not your typical guy’s guy. I don’t remember him watching TV, playing sports or being a handy man. Instead, he seemed to spend his time dodging the never-ending stream of rants, melodramas and PMS-induced episodes.

It wasn’t until I went to college that I got my first glance into the world of men. I remember when the guy behind me in class asked me a question. I wasn’t sure if he was being nice, hitting on me or just trying to get the answer to the problem. To me, men were the unknown, foreigners from another world. And I was scared.

As I spent more time in the company of men I discovered just how different they were from me. To begin with, they were simple. The things they talked about were straight forward: no talk of feelings, no conflict of emotions. Just a simple problem and the pursuit of a solution. Women, on the other hand, have to look at the problem from every angle, even when it’s not all that big of a problem to begin with. We phone a friend, read some books and then begin to psychoanalyze it to death -- something a guy would never do.

After a while spent driving myself crazy trying to solve the secrets of men, I decided to act like a guy and take things one gender-different moment at a time. I’d laugh it out, skip the self-help books, and resist the urge to survey every woman I’d ever known. In short, I was going to trust myself and my instincts.

What I’ve learned is that men are never going to be like us. And why would we want them to? Most women describe their ideal man and it seems they’re just looking for the masculine version of their girlfriends. Not me. I want a man who is a man. Someone who is the compliment to me, not the mirror of myself. I want a man and all that implies: someone to order my drink and move me to the inside of the sidewalk, someone who will treat me like a lady, protect me in a crowd and make sure I make it home safe.

So for all truth there is in the statement that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” I think that may be why we’re so attracted to each other. It seems those “foreigners” I was so perplexed by as a child were the very thing I was looking for.