I was reading this book, “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others”, and got totally offended. I know, I know. It has no real value, but I classify it as psycho-babble chick-lit, which I have come to embrace over the past month or so. So, the REASON I got totally offended was probably not the reason you think. I’m also probably not as feminist as you think (neo-feminism maybe?). I got offended because it was telling women to….act…..like….me, but be anything but me.
So I’m reading this chapter, and it’s all about why some women have a hard time meeting the right men. The chapter talks about how you have to be at the right place at the right time. You don’t always know when or where this is, so the goal is to give yourself the best odds. This means partying it up, all the time (to which I sort of disagree). Now comes the “where”. ”Where” should you go to meet men? The art museum? The book laughs at the suggestion that a single guy would just be walking around an art museum by himself waiting to meet…you (this I agree with). So the book suggests you need to go where the men are (this I also agree with). The book suggested you have to go to sports bars, during big games and act interested. That most women who were married by their 30’s have had to engage in masculine activities and pretend having interest in them to meet their husband. I had the most visceral reaction to this. I wanted to throw up, actually. And all I kept thinking was….all this time, men think I’m nothing but a poser.
This might not be true for all men or men who I am friends with, but it could be true for me in the dating world. I take pride in my love of sports, my love of bacon, cigars, poker, the fact I can leave the house in 5 minutes flat in the morning, the fact that I can name every single mascot from a Division I school, the fact that I know all the words to at least three NFL team fight songs, I don’t know…the fact that I’m not your run-of-the-mill chick. I’m a chick who likes doing all those things your old girlfriend didn’t. That’s my angle. And I didn’t DEVELOP that angle in order to meet men. That angle wasn’t even an angle until right this very second. But now, jesus, I’m going to be just like all those other girls at the sportsbar on Sunday night with their fitted jerseys and batting their eyelashes at every guy in the place, PRETENDING to be that chick—the chick who likes doing all those things your old girlfriend didn’t. They’re pretending to be ME!
I am offended as myself, me. But I’m more offended as a woman, a woman who likes sports, genuinely. I go to baseball games for more than the stupid garlic fries. I can name the college and draft year of most decent football players in the NFL. It was around the time of my 14th birthday when Cal Ripken Jr. beat the record for most consecutive games. I remember when Tiger Woods didn’t have a video game and he was just this kid with a dream. I’ve never felt so horrible as when BJ Surhoff got traded and during the press conference, he explained why this was so hard for him, that being in Baltimore was the most important thing because his son, who was autistic, was receiving top notch care at Johns Hopkins, and being traded either meant being away from his family or taking his family away from that care. My love of sports was so integral in becoming the woman I am today. And this is my plea, to all those women out there who read that book and take that advice, to not ruin this for the rest of us.