I was sharing a bottle of wine with two friends recently. They were girl-talking about men.
When a guy is included in such a discussion, it shows a level of trust and respect not often granted by the fairer sex. So when they directed their next comment to me, I was honored.
“You men are so shallow,” one of them stated flat-out. “When you go online to look for a woman, the first thing you check out is appearance.”
“That’s right,” affirmed the other. “Men always look at appearance first. Even at parties and meet-ups. Later on they might think about whether the woman has brains, or a personality, or whatever. Might.”
I didn’t understand their point, so I sat up and assumed a look of deep interest.
Girl One then said, “I mean, a man could be ugly, but once you get to know him, you can look beyond that and still love him for his other qualities.”
I quickly turned left to check my reflection in the wine store window. Was she talking about me? No, I hadn’t changed – not ugly yet. She must’ve been talking about someone else. I looked again just to be sure.
So I said, “I don’t get your point. Do you mean to tell me that women don’t respond to a good-looking man?”
G-1 said, “Of course they do. But not the same way. They look for other factors, like how men talk, what they say, how they treat you. These are what’s important to a woman. And if they’re not terribly good-looking, that’s only secondary to the other stuff.”
There was that “ugly” comment again. I guess I had it all wrong, being shallow and all. Below our patio table, a brand-new Porsche purred by in search of a parking space.
G-2 noticed my flickering attention. “You are so shallow,” she said to me. “All you ever think about are fast cars and pretty women.”
I wasn’t going to ruin the taste of a good wine with a bitter argument that had no real end, so I smiled and winked, which of course completely pissed the two of them off. After all, they were both pretty.
Men are confusing to women. Consider how the world of marketing portrays men:
- For summer 2012, Ball Park™ posed their Angus Franks and their Hot Dog Buns with the caption: Men. Easier Fed Than Understood.
- Dr. Pepper™ has a new drink that it recently rolled out which targets the gruntier sex. Dr. Pepper 10® has so ticked off some folks that they have produced YouTube commentaries to trumpet their discontent. I mean, like, check this example out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjcas79lqRQ.
Are men truly shallow and unthinking? Let’s unpack that often-made assertion a bit.
Whenever I go to an automotive event (my passion, among other things previously mentioned), I can usually spot more MDs, PhDs, start-up entrepreneurs, and social activists in the groups of men wandering among the cars than I see on the campus of my dear alma mater.
These guys spend all week saving lives, researching solutions, starting businesses, trumpeting causes. So, when the weekend rolls around, they blow off steam kicking tires and lying about how fast their cars go. And the funds raised at these events almost always goes to some local charity. I mean: how shallow is all of that?
What’s a man got to do to beat down this stereotype? In this era of monumental Much Ado About Nothing, men are constantly challenged to choose a hero to look up to: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Iron Man.
Me? I’d rather be one of the Avengers, any day of the week. Flame On! Which, of course, only adds to the confusion and misunderstanding associated with the study of men.
But wait – here’s another example to further muddy the waters. The original story was reported in The Hartford Courant on May 2, 2012 by reporter Amanda Falcone.
A 13 year-old West Hartford boy noticed a mistake made on a 6th century map that was displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He dutifully reported it, and after some checking by noted scholars, the museum is making changes in their display to correct the mistake that was made in their map.
So, the reporter then asked this brilliant young man what he wanted to do for a career when he grew up – museum curator, historian, what?
The boy responded: “I want to move to Greenwich and open a modern exotic car shop.”
Now, is that shallow, or what?