Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland, at the sea-down's edge between windward and lee, walled round with rocks as an inland island, the ghost of a garden fronts the sea.
Contrary to what many women believe, it's fairly easy to
develop a long-term, stable, intimate, and mutually fulfilling
relationship with a guy. Of course, this guy has to be a Labrador
retriever. With human guys, it's extremely difficult. This is
because guys don't really grasp what women mean by the term
Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named
Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty
good time. A few nights later, he asks her out to dinner, and again
they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and
after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.
And then, one evening when they're driving home a thought
occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud:
"Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for
exactly six months?"
And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems
a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it
bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our
relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of
obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.
And Roger is thinking. Gosh. Six months.
And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this
kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more
space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to
keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward. . . . I mean, where
are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this
level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children?
Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment?
Do I really even know this person?
And Roger is thinking: So that means it was . . . let's see .
. . February when we started going out, which was right after I had
the car at the dealer's which means . . . lemme check the odometer . .
.Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his
Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our
relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed --
even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations. Yes,
I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about
his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.
And Roger is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the
transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still
not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold
weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this
thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent
thieving bastards six hundred dollars.
And Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him.
I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I
can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.
And Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a
warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the scumballs.
And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic,
for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting
right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a
person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about
me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered schoolgirl
`There's no horse'
And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll
give them a warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it . . .
"Roger," Elaine says aloud.
"What?" says Roger, startled.
"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes
beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have . . . Oh, I
feel so . . ." (She breaks down sobbing.)
"What?" says Roger.
"I'm such a fool," Elaine sobs. "I mean, I know there's no
knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and
there's no horse."
"There's no horse?" says Roger.
"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Elaine says.
"No!" says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.
"It's just that . . . it's that I . . .I need some time,"
(There is a pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to
come up with a safe response. Finally, he comes up with one that he
thinks might work.)
"Yes," he says.
(Elkaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)
"Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?" she says.
"What way?" says Roger.
"That way about time," says Elaine.
"Oh," says Roger. "Yes."
(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him
to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it
involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
"Thank you, Roger," she says.
"Thank you," says Roger.
Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted,
tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to
his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately
becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two
Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses
of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in
the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever
understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think
about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)
The next day, Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps
two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight
hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said,
and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring
every word, expression and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering
every possible ramification.
Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a
mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving,
frown, and say: "Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"
We're not talking about different wavelengths here. We're
talking about different planets, in completely different solar
Elaine cannot communicate meaningfully with Roger about their
relationship any more than she can meaningfully play chess with a
Because the sum total of Roger's thinking on this particular topic is
But the point I'm trying to make is that, if you're a woman,
and you want to have a successful relationship with a guy, the No. 1
Tip to remember is:
1. Never assume that the guy understands that you and he have a
relationship. The guy will not realize this on his own. You have to
plant the idea in his brain by constantly making subtle references to
it in your everyday conversation such as:
* "Roger, would you mind passing me a Sweet `n' Low, inasmuch as we
are have a relationship?"
* "Roger, inasmuch as this plane in crashing and we probably have only
about a minute to live, I want you to know that we've had a wonderful
53 years of marriage together, which clearly constitutes a
Never let up, women. Pound away relentlessly at this concept,
and eventually it will start to penetrate the guy's brain. Someday he
might even start thinking about it on his own. He'll be talking with
some other guys about women, and, out of the blue, he'll say. "Elaine
and I, we have, ummm. . . We have, ahhh . . . We . . . We have this
And he will sincerely mean it.
-- Dave Barry
My strength is as the strength of eight --
My heart is nearly pure.