Our dads taught us lots of useful stuff growing up but somehow, when it comes to women, they never quite managed to impart all of their hard-won knowledge (that is, if they ever had any in the first place). To help correct this unfortunate oversight, here’s a list of things us guys usually have to learn without (or despite) parental guidance:
A womanlike an elephantnever forgets.
Okay, maybe that’s not the metaphor to use if you ever discuss this topic with your girlfriend. But the fact is, anything that impinges even the teensiest bit on the emotional nerve center of a woman’s brain a casual joke you made 10 years ago, that anniversary present you gave her that didn’t quite measure up to the one she gave you will lodge in her cerebral cortex for the rest of her life, available for full-color 3-D recall at a moment’s notice.
You can’t always buy your way out of an argument.
I don’t know about you, but present-giving (mainly from dad to mom) was always a big thing in my suburban household, and while it may occasionally have bought a peaceful respite, most often it was a holding maneuver until the real cause of the fight had been dug up and extinguished. The lesson: Go ahead and buy those dozen roses (or, if you’ve really screwed up, those diamond earrings), but don’t expect that to be the end of the story.
Women can be a bit, er, irrational.
Your dad never came right out and said so even if the two of you were on a father-son camping trip 500 miles away from home probably because he couldn’t trust you (or any kid, for that matter) not to repeat this little gem in front of the wrong person. So the next time your girlfriend dumps a plate of linguini in your lap or calls your cell phone at work to accuse you of not loving her, you’ll know who to thank for being unprepared.
For women, form is more important than function.
You can turn yourself inside out explaining that the laptop you just bought has 4 gigabytes of RAM and a killer graphics card; your girlfriend will simply wonder why you chose the one with a horrible puce-and-magenta shell. This fact also explains your mate’s strange obsession with coasters (an unsightly dinner table being a far worse disaster than a PC with insufficient memory) and her possession of 78 different shades of red lipstick.
To women, being the “breadwinner” doesn’t cut it any more.
Way back in the mist-shrouded TV-sitcom landscape of the ’60s and ’70s, it was taken for granted that men worked during the day and women stayed home with the kids (or the knitting circle). Even though that hasn’t been true for a generation, lots of guys still operate on the dad-derived assumption that because they work (or because they bring home more money), they don’t have to get their hands dirty at home. Wrong. If your dad wasn’t the pitching-in type, it’s time to shake yourself free of that paternal influence and forge yourself into a can-do, 21st-century kind of guy.