gettin’ it on in the aughts: the sexes

part 3:

how to impress a woman:

 compliment her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, stroke her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her, hold her, spend money on her, wine & dine her, buy things for her, listen to her, care for her, stand by her, support her, go to the ends of the earth for her….

how to impress a man:

show up naked, with beer.

go ahead, laugh. it’s funny.

there are endless jokes about the difference between the sexes. in the majority of them, men are portrayed as crude, monosyllabic degenerates, neanderthals whose only concerns are sex, sports, and booze. women are alternately shown as overly emotional soap opera addicts who only think about shopping, chocolate, and getting her man to commit.

for the most part, these jokes work. because, for the most part, they’re true.

women will never understand the fascination with fantasy football, and men will never understand the quest for the perfect black purse. it’s neither a good nor bad thing. it’s just the way it is.

let’s look at product marketing. women extol the virtues of the new swiffer sweeper. men tout the advanced features of the new range rover. women get sold hamburger helper and mr. clean, men are pressed to buy craftsmen tool sets and captain morgan rum. the entertainment industry even creates different movie trailers, selling themselves as either a weepy romance or an action adventure flick, depending on the desired demographic.

of course, there are also metrosexuals with skin care regimes and liberated women who can change their own tires, thank you very much. the lines are blurring, and the sides are shifting in this war between the sexes. and i call it a war on purpose, dear readers. constantly at odds with ideas on how to live, how to love, and how to do the nasty, gals and guys struggle every day to come out on top. literally and figuratively.

it’s like electrical outlets. work with me here. a female, the outlet, is mounted on the wall. she’s content to hang out there, worried that if she abandons her post she’ll miss the opportunity to get to know a really great…appliance. her job is to be the ready and waiting source of power. a male, the plug, gets around. attributing it to the whim of a higher being, he goes from the upper outlet to the lower, one wall to the next, room after room after room. his job is to tap into that power and use it for all it’s worth.

it’s not always the right fit. sometimes the plug isn’t the right model, and his prong doesn’t fit into her hole. sometimes it’s simply the wrong time and place, and karma redecorates the universe just to keep things interesting. but when the combination is right and everything fits and the output and input of ergs is equal… sparks fly.

and the juice really starts flowin’.

but sometimes it’s not that simple. personally, i love using power tools. i get an almost obscene rush from using a router. among my other “man-like” qualities are:  basketball, dirty words, whiskey and an almost perpetual desire for sex. i’m also a confessed “girly-girl” in other areas:  shoes, candles, romantic comedies and an almost perpetual desire for bubble baths. does this make me a lipstick lesbian?  no, although i’ve had a few tempting offers. how do i reconcile these two halves within?  is it even possible to plug yourself into yourself?  for god’s sake, people, i’m lost.

conversely, i know several men who love to bake, clean, and have meaningful conversations about deep and important issues. they are not afraid to start a sentence with “i feel…” and they are not ashamed to wear pastels. does this make them gay?  maybe, maybe not. either way, how are they to survive in a world that values a man’s muscles more than his mind? i think they’re just as lost as i am.

i know we’re not alone. there are countless others out there, addicted to the man show and the daily show, obsessed with smooth skin and smooth brew, tantalized by the thought of lawn mowers and lawn ornaments. we are at war with ourselves, and there is no discernable victor as long as we continue to characterize ourselves by our bumps, be they high or low.

we are, none of us, meant to be defined by our gender. it is a touchstone, certainly, a part of what we are. but it is not who we are. we are the amalgamation of our incalculable parts. we are the product of everything we see or read, everyone we say hello to or have sex with, every choice we make that spins our story along to its inevitable and yet invariably surprising end. and guess what?  when we get there, the punch-line will not be “because you’re a woman/man.

whenever someone asks if i prefer to be called a girl or a woman, i reply, neither. i prefer to be called cara.

now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an appliance headed my way.

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