I'm Just Saying…

March 26, 2012

When Men Were Men and Women Were… Men

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 11:22 pm
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            Ever since the publication of John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, men and women have been encouraged to understand the emotional and psychological Grand Canyon between them in order to build successful relationships. However, there’s a strange phenomenon that research has entirely missed. Sure, there are some signs that men are moving into traditional women’s areas, such as Weight Watchers and plastic surgery. I’m not talking about that.

            Something happens to the single woman after 40. I’m talking about our habits, our attitudes. As we become more comfortable in our own skin, confident with who we are as single, independent women, we relax. After all, we spent over twenty years grooming, perming, waxing, and plucking in the hopes of snagging Mr. Right and Mr. Right didn’t materialize. Don’t we deserve a little down time? Yes we do. But we may be relaxing a tad too much. Women over 40 are exhibiting the attitudes and habits of… men.

            Skeptical? Not sure about this? Okay. I’ve devised a little quiz. Answer the following ten questions. I’ll meet you at the end. Got your pencil ready?

Question 1: How would you describe your nightly dinner experience? Do you…

  1. Cook a full meal, set out the placemat, dishes and silverware, sit at the table, no TV, and enjoy a quiet meal?
  2. Order take out and eat out of the container in front of the TV? If you use a plate, is it paper?
  3. Nuke a frozen dinner and eat in front of the TV?
  4. Rummage the fridge/cabinets? Is dinner a bowl of cereal, a dozen pistachio nuts, a slice of cheese, and two coffee cakes?

Question #2. Complete this sentence. You come home from work and change into…

  1. You  don’t change. You stay in your day outfit. You never know who might come to the door.
  2. A blouse and jeans, freshly pressed.  
  3. A blouse and jeans, previously worn.  
  4. Rumpled t-shirt and sweat pants. Date of last cleansing: unknown.  

Question #3: Complete this sentence. My laundering system is…

  1. All clothes are grouped and categorized in the closet. Max wearing: 2 times and into the hamper.
  2. Clothes are a hodgepodge in the closet. Max wearing: 4 times and into the hamper.
  3. Clothes are strewn between the closet and chair and/or treadmill (an excellent clothes rack). Max wearing: six times. Laundry loads are light.
  4. Clothes are rarely moved to the hamper. “Dirty clothes” is a relative term. You’re flexible and you like to keep your options open. You have been known to give an outfit the “smell test.” Co-workers keeping their distance is a laundromat indicator.

Question #4: Finding a Life Partner. Your theory is…

  1. That special someone is out there for me. I will find my spouse and my soul mate.
  2. I’d like a boyfriend so we can enjoy each other’s company.
  3. Three dates a week, max. He can come to me. I’m not going out after work. I’m tired.
  4. Is he going to talk? I’ll date him if we just have sex and he doesn’t talk.

Question #5: Complete this sentence. My housekeeping regimen is…

  1. Full house cleaning is done weekly on the same day.
  2. Some clutter. Bathroom and kitchen are regularly cleaned (bi-monthly).
  3. Much clutter. A clear pathway is maintained to the kitchen and bathroom. Bathroom resembles an airport restroom at 2 p.m.
  4. I own a vacuum. I can’t remember the last time I saw it. Bathroom and kitchen are classified as a biosphere. Last week the bread moved by itself.

Question #6: Complete this sentence. You have company. The television is on when they arrive. You…

  1. Turn off the TV and pay attention to your guests.
  2. Carry on a conversation, glancing occasionally at the screen.
  3. Watch the TV in ten to twenty minute increments, coming out of your stupor when  someone asks you a direct question.
  4. Stare entranced at the TV, vaguely hearing voices around you saying “next time we’ll call before we come” and the opening and closing of the door.

Question #7. Describe your proficiency with the remote control.

  1. I  can surf 300 channels in 20 minutes
  2. I  can surf 300 channels in 10 minutes
  3. I  can surf 300 channels in 5 minutes
  4. Give me the remote control. You don’t know how to use it.

Question #8: You are thinking of redecorating. Which style describes you best?

  1. Modern, with sleek functional furniture in stark black and white.
  2. Comfortable, couches with overstuffed cushions in warm browns and blues.
  3. Formal, with hard backed chairs, heavy draperies, coasters for the glasses.
  4. One recliner and a 70″ flat screen TV. Cup holder and power massage included in the recliner, of course.

Question #9: Eating Habits. You’re at a restaurant. The meal is served with a baked potato. Your response is…

  1. I  can eat the potato but I have to eat it dry.
  2. I  can eat the potato with a little butter but I have to work out four times this week instead of three.
  3. I’ll eat half the potato with a few pats of butter. It’s okay as long as I don’t finish it.
  4. Miss, please bring me extra butter for my potato.

Question #10: You’re at a wedding. What’s on your mind?

  1. Does this outfit make my butt look big?
  2. I  hope I meet someone.
  3. Cocktail reception? Sweet. Where are the pigs in blankets?
  4. I’m missing Sports Center for this?  

Okay, time for scoring! Here’s the points breakdown:

A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4

10-14 points: You are a bastion of femininity, style, and grace. You are an independent woman yet you are emotionally grounded in your feminine lifestyle.

15-22 points: You are teetering close to the edge of “man land.” You are hanging on to your feminine sensibilities but the siren’s song of the single male “just relax” mode is calling to you. Be careful.

23-32 points: You are in up to your waist. Pretty soon, it’s going to be you, a box of Twinkies and the remote, sitting in front of the flat screen in the basement. And you don’t own a home with a basement. You’re in the danger zone.

32-40 points: You are over the edge. You’re in a t-shirt and boxer shorts, a beer in one hand, the remote in the other, watching the hockey game and belching in the recliner. You are oblivious to all sounds of life around you. You have abandoned all feminine sensibilities. You own at least 31 pairs of panties so you can do laundry one time per month. You are all woman—living like a man. Don’t despair. You are not alone.

Maybe men play an important role we never realized; they keep us on the straight and narrow of our feminine ways so we don’t degenerate into… them.

As we navigate the prickly path of being the over 40 single woman, we have to deal with our mental and emotional changes, not just the physical ones. On the other hand, maybe we should take a few tips from the guys. After all, they are notorious for keeping things simple—and that’s not such a bad thing. I’m going to think about that as I get ready to do my laundry. It’s time. I’m wearing my 30th pair of panties. 🙂

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