Penman for the Star's 25th Anniversary Issue, July 24, 2010
1. ALL MEN are babies.
2. To men, all women are (or should be) mommies.
3. Men hate asking for directions, even if they’ve driven 50 kilometers into the mountains, the wrong way. They think they have a GPS somewhere in their lower intestines. Otherwise, the GPS is the wife, who does the asking.
4. Men hate admitting they’re wrong, even if it’s clear as daylight that they are. Something else didn’t work in the universe—Jupiter was misaligned with Mars, the bus was late, the equipment malfunctioned. Men don't have excuses. They have explanations, which should be good enough to excuse anything.
5. Men love ratty old shirts and will fight tooth and nail to keep them, even if their armpit fuzz and love handles start poking through the holes.
6. Men donate sperm, which women somehow convert into screaming babies and unruly children, leaving the donors to wonder how they can be held responsible for the outgrowth of a few drops of fluid, and for a lifetime at that.
7. Like all babies, men enjoy being (and expect to be) pampered—bathed, powdered, cradled, and so on—but like all small children, they will resist some things to the death: being fed food they don’t like, being deprived of their toys, being reminded of bedtime, and being spanked for something they did.
8. Men will never admit to staring desirously at other women in the company of their mates. They were just gazing at the scenery. To provide deniability, they can practice and will perfect that “gazing at the scenery” gaze, with the distant mountains at 12 o’clock and the luscious babe at 3 o’clock.
9. To men, the difference between having sex and making love is purely semantic, but all men will swear under oath that love and sex are two completely different things (as in "It was only sex, I wasn't in love with her!")
10. Men can appreciate fine art, spirituality, cute puppies, and romantic comedies—whatever it takes for a woman to say "OK, let’s go to bed!"
11. Between food and sex (particularly with the wife), many men will choose the NBA finals.
12. To men, the most demonic people in the world are a woman’s previous, other, and future boyfriends. They will be objects of eternal jealousy and suspicion, reeking with malicious intent and ulterior motive.
13. Men expect their exes to say: “You messed up my life in the worst way, but I not only forgive you. I will love you forever and be always available to you—even if you can’t and won’t love me back the same way, which of course I understand.”
14. Try as they might, men can fit only x number of things into a suitcase. Women will boast—with justification—that they can pack twice as many things into the same space, which, by some mathematical logic, therefore gives them the right to bring two suitcases instead of just one.
15. Men know that the best way to sneak a new gadget into the house is to give their wives the old one.
16. Men know that the second best way to sneak a new gadget into the house is to give their wives, uh, the new gadget. (“Happy birthday, honey! Look what I got for you—a Microtech Kestrel tactical knife with a razor-sharp 154cm black-coated, partially serrated, hawkbill liner locking blade with dual-ridged thumb studs for smooth, crisp, easy, one-hand operation! I just know you’re gonna love this… right?”) Maybe the tactical knife isn’t such a good idea.
17. Men love machines almost as much if not more than they love women. Sometimes they mistake women for machines, but strangely enough don’t treat them as well as their cars and computers. Men will buy expensive lotions and potions for their cars, and fancy dresses for their laptops.
18. Men will never understand why women have to buy a dress, a new bag, and a new pair of shoes for every wedding they attend. The usual explanation (“My friends will see that I already wore this dress at XXX’s wedding last month!”) just doesn't cut it, because men can't even remember what their wives wore yesterday.
19. Speaking of which, men will sooner spot a percentile uptick in the stock market or a faint burp in the car’s exhaust than a new hairdo, a new dress, or a facelift. They will take notice if and when they have to pay the bill.
20. After 20 years of marriage, men acquire telepathic powers, which they apply to their wives. Long, deep silences across the dinner table, punctuated by the occasional grunt, are supposed to say, “Yes, dear, I love you today like I loved you yesterday, and pass the ketchup, will you?”
21. Men grunt, women talk. The male equivalent of “You know, we’d all be better off if your Tita Sonia decided to sell her property to us instead of leasing it to that cousin of hers who’s just being used as an ATM by her durogista boyfriend, whom you met at the Cruzes’ party, do you remember the guy with the earring and the smoker’s breath?” is “Ungh.”
22. Men can remember the most complicated things, especially when it comes to their toys. They can mumble things in their sleep, like “The Panerai Logo Luminor has a Calibre Unitas 6497 movement which came out in 1993, with a power reserve of 45 hours” or “I think I should hold off on getting a new MacBook Air until the Sandy Bridge version comes out, so I can get a lot more power without the corresponding hit in battery performance…”
23. But men can forget the simplest things, especially when their wives send them out to the grocery to pick up a few domestic necessities, as in “What was that again that she wanted? Donnee, Tawny, Downy? That was a shampoo, right—or maybe a detergent?”
24. To men, buying a new or another gadget—even one that looks suspiciously a lot like the previous one (say, the iPhone 3GS, after the iPhone 3G)—is called “upgrading.” When women do it, of course, the men call it “accumulation” (as in, “What, another blue bag? Didn’t you buy one almost exactly like this just last month?”).
25. Ten percent of logical male reasoning is devoted to a careful weighing of the pros and cons of a decision. The other ninety percent is devoted to finding creative justifications for things they already did, but didn't think about.