Thursday, February 26, 2009

If I give her the wool, will she make me one too?

You can’t materially change a man. But can you prod, push and plead for him to alter his ways?

And does that ever work?

For women who love fashion but find themselves chained to men who wear jean shorts (or “jorts” as Heidi calls them), white socks, sneakers and oversized t-shirts, can a Queer Eye-styled intervention from the girlfriend save the relationship? And for men who think Sundays were made for football and their nature-loving Sunday-hiking partners, can they find a compromise?

The severely romantic shudder at the thought, and proudly claim it’s unfair to change someone you love. And other women will tell you, change your guy and you’ll make him resentful or even worse, weak. But is there some common ground here? Instead of trying to change someone, can you make some subtle adjustments to make him the man of your dreams?

And is it fair to ask?

When I was younger, I dated a guy who was sweet, funny, kind and ready to marry a month into the relationship. Me, I wasn’t so sure. In hindsight, I was way too young to consider anything of the kind. But there were other problems too.

Although he was nice, respectful, a lot of the qualities we look for, we were wildly incompatible in every other area. We didn’t have any of the same long-range goals, other than to be together. To be happy. Not that those are bad things. But when you find yourself at odds on everything else, it’s often time to look for some kind of a change. For me, that’s always meant moving on. For other women I know, of heartier stock, they’ll sometimes stick it out- with often devastating consequences.

One woman who “made” her man stick to a strict regimen of non-fast food eventually found a cache of cupcakes in the closet and a stash of wadded up Big Boy bags in the glove compartment of his truck. Another friend who enlisted her fiancĂ© to go running found him crashed at a marathon checkpoint. Both women insist that now their guys have really changed, and it was their delicate prodding that made all of the (apparently appreciated) difference.

But I have to wonder, given my profound belief that you cannot change another person, does subtle encouragement ever really work on your partner?

And even if it does, is the reward really worth the effort?

Graffiti often found at rest areas and truck stops everywhere:

My mother made me a ________ (misogynist, homosexual, psycho).
See the title of this blog for a response.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How About a Break-Up Top?

Cheryl, answering a random call while we shopped at Macy’s: “I can’t talk now. We’re buying interview pants. Click.”

march madness

ESPN’s crawl during college b-ball games makes me crazy. It distracts so much from the game, I can barely concentrate on what’s happening. But it occurred to me, it might be a good idea for me to develop my own news stream. That way, when I’m talking to someone, I can start spouting current news and events to keep things lively.

Instead of focusing on the issue at hand, my unending litany of complaints about non-paying deadbeat clients or my latest last-ditch attempt to crash diet (if I eat only fruit and vegetables all day, do Girl Scout cookies still count against me?), listeners can instead look at the latest headlines: “Jermaine O’Neal Traded to Miami, D-Wade Ecstatic.” “Stoudemire House-Hunting in Chicago?”

The headlines, bold and honest, could rotate above my head while I’m talking, so friends could still pretend to make eye contact, nodding in agreement at my long-winded tales. It wouldn’t take much effort to convince them to look up there; today they can barely stop texting, answering calls or reviewing email to listen to me anyway.

I remember a world without cell phones.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the prospect

Deep blue seas wash over the polished wood of the deck. Squinting, I turn my head to avoid the blinding glare of the sun. He turns to me, shouting something about the mainsail. I shrug, yawning from the remains of a nap, and slowly sip my icy drink, contemplating a swim. He laughs and calls my name. Again and again I hear my name and smiling sweetly, I-

“Lisa? I was asking where you see yourself in 10 years?” The recruiter smiles at me, puzzled, and I wonder how long I’ve been away.

Thud. Back to reality.

Is there any way to skip the interview process and just get right to work?