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"That's what happens, when bodies start slappin'" - Tone Loc Okay, I admit it, I absolutely *love* trashy, relationship self- help books. Like "The Rules" or "The Southern Rules" or the se- emingly "Cosmo" magazine-inspired "Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know." That last one's from Barbara DeAngles, a "'New York Times' #1 Bestselling Author" whose also a Ph.D., so I guess that means she knows her shit. Anything by good ol' John Gray is a ho- ot, of course, as is Dr. Laura's pre-Wacko Days' "Ten Stupid Thing Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives. ('Member when she *fun* to listen to?) The cheaper the better, obviously, and preferably both in pa- perback and with a tacky, color photo of the author. For maximum effect. Indeed, it's a guilty pleasure of the higher order. Ranks right up there with disco, Jerry Springer, and people-watching at Wal-Mart. (Mind you, people-watching at a country bar rates an awfully close second...) At home, shelf-sitting with accompanying tomes on fire- fighting, famous disasters, and conspiracy theories, the oeuvre of the Oprah-inspired is also good for funny looks from visitors. You know, when they inevitably start poking around. (They're either curious or trying to escape the ninety-minute toy fire-truck tour.) Some of the more-memorable, "you actually paid money for this?" ti- tles include: o "101 Lies Men Tell Women" o "How To Keep Your Man Monogamous" o "How to Be Married One Year From Today" o "Now That You've Asked Her Out" ("straight talk" from a "biblical perspective") o "The Rules" o "The Rules II" o "The Southern Rules" (#1: "Remember Scarlett and Keep Her Holy") o "The Code" (AKA "Time-Tested Secrets for Getting What You Want from Women-- WITHOUT MARRYING THEM!") o "Bart Simpson's Guide to Life" (s.e.x. chapter only) o "The Modern Man's Guide to the Modern Women" (with advice on Intimacy, Jealousy, and "Kissing Like a French Sailor.") o "2002 Ways To Find, Attract, And Keep A Mate" (#87: "Look up old friends of opposite sex." Wow! Never thought of that!) "Research," I reply, "because I'm forming my *own* relationship theories." Specifically, in the areas of the dating. And sex. And women. And sex with women. In fact, a summary is even in- cluded below, right here in this very essay! Drum roll, please. Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family members, increasingly- terrified-as-they're-reading-this ex-girlfriends, for the first time in print and not counting the cocktail napkins originally composed upon, I present the complete, collective, and fully frac- tured wisdom of one white, middle-class, college-educated, Greek- American heterosexual male in his mid-thirties. Mike's Guide to Dating, AKA Everything You Never Needed to Know About Sex: Get the girl alone and try to kiss her That's it! That's everything! Steal her company and see if she wants to smooch. Period. End of story. If she wants to, too... and *keeps* wanting to... and *you* keep wanting to... well, just go right ahead and order the invitations! Er, ah, after 12 or 18 or however many months the aforementioned self-help books advise. Yup, slippin' around back and suckin' face. The simplest and most reliable relationship indicator known to Mike. Really, is there an easier-spotted sign that when someone stops swapping spit? Other than them saying "f*ck off?" Forget "when the sex goes," it's when the lip-locking lags that suggests lost interest, growing resent- ment, or any of the other ten-thousand reasons couples uncouple. Now, if I were like a ham-- you know, pressed-- I could probably add another half-dozen similar pieces of so-called advice. Tips or tricks or whatever else you wanna call 'em. You can even call them a cab. Guys, since this is targeted more toward you, oops, y'all, don't expect any grand revelations. Neither the secret to the universe nor the secret to a woman's body is revealed within these pages. (However, I'll happily *pretend* to provide the lat- ter for a slight, astronomical fee.) What follows, fellows, is what most men have already learned and what most women already know but don't tell. (Why is that?) One disclaimer: the author is ad- dressing *only* the act of pitching woo. And though he does have quite a bit of "field work" under his belt (badoom boom), he still needs *way* more practice with marital matters and the rules of en- gagement. Mike's Guide to Dating, Continued ================================= Warning! Broad Gender Stereotypes (BDS) Ahead! LISTEN CAREFULLY ---------------- Take notes. Bring a tape deck. Hire a full-time court reporter. No, she doesn't hear everything *you* say, either. She just minds more. ACT SWEET --------- Flowers, cards, candy, and compliments. Plus hand-holding. Pet names are good, too. Just don't make anyone vomit. She'll feel great, you'll feel great, and, if you keep it small, you'll have some dough leftover. Oh, and open the damn door. TREAT HER LIKE MOM ------------------ No, not *as* your mom, fool. Rather, as if your mom were *watch- ing.* Like Mae Questel shouting at Woody Allen from high above New York City in his OEDIPUS WRECKS segment of NEW YORK STORIES. e.g., watch your language, wash behind your ears, and don't leave the bathroom a mess, Sheldon. HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR --------------------- The songwriters are right: we're all gonna die, so at least we oughta laugh. Plus, large quantities of levity have been scien- tifically proven as an effective inoculation for when everything that *can* go wrong both does *and* embarrasses the Hell out of each of you. Note: also applies to life in general. BE YOURSELF ----------- If you don't like it, don't fake it. Wherever, whatever, or who- ever that entails. You'll save yourself untold amounts (unless, like me, you write about it) of grief and/or damage control when she starts reacting to the *real* you. And trust me, that person ain't gonna stay hidden forever. That's why they call it a honey- moon *phase*. SHE'S A GIRL ------------ Betcha she has a better-decorated home, a wider circle of friends, and a greater number of living things that require actual *care*. She's probably nicer, too, to waiters, store clerks, and, gasp!, total strangers. Crying can factor into quite a few things. And, odds are, she'll eventually want a baby. THERE ARE NO CENTERFOLDS ------------------------ Reality Check, Step One - Examine unclothed female up close. Head to toe. Blushed cheeks to butt cheeks. Every square inch, or as much as allowed by local law. Notice conspicuous absence of air- brushing. Reality Check, Step Two - Repeat process with self. Any questions? See also: Girl from Nises, regarding unequal sizes. GUY SEX IS DIFFERENT THAN GIRL SEX ---------------------------------- Like a fireman, you're ready at a moment's notice, no matter if you just met, just fought, or just split. You're willing when sick, sweaty, or sitting in a parked car. You're able at her place, her workplace, or her parent's place. And you think about it every 23 seconds. She doesn't. (Notice to single, female readers who dis- agree: stop reading and contact the author immediately. Thank you.) TRUST 101 --------- Real easy, this last and probably most important one: don't do anything that you wouldn't enthusiastically tell your partner a- bout. Key word: enthusiastically. Meaning, neither told in pas- sing nor while someone's distracted doing something else. And if the category of Things Best Left Unsaid includes platonic relation- ships with the other sex, then somebody needs therapy. Says me. Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
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Copyright 2021 by Michael J. Legeros