During courtship and dating, women — being the more creative gender — will often come up with the majority of suggestions for where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do with their romantic partner. You’d think this would be a positive thing. After all, their motivation appears genuine.
“Oh, come on, it’ll be fun!” they say to us. And yet according to my latest “Aw, Jeez, Do I Have To?” survey of myself and my friends, 96% of these suggestions are viewed by men as embarrassing, boring, or uncomfortable. Ladies, the following is inside information — a select listing of some of your most common activity suggestions, what men don’t like about them and what we’d like to do instead.
Hiking is an activity many men look forward to with the same relish they take in reading Aristotle in the original Greek, receiving a prostate exam, or attending a Celine Dion concert. The way we see it, nature is way overrated. How many flowers can you smell? How many sunsets can you ooh and ahh over? How many coyotes can you worry about being in the vicinity? Plus, there’s no access to the Internet or email. No TV sports. Bugs everywhere. What about any of this spells fun? Unless you look at fun as the first three letters of funeral.
You want your shot of nature? Invite us to the beach at sunset. Take a blanket and some food, make out for half an hour, then head home so we can get back to civilization. That’s enough nature to hold us for the next three months.
Attending an opera
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If given the choice of how to spend a Friday or Saturday night, what guy wouldn’t vote for putting on some uncomfortable formal clothing after spending a couple of hundred dollars for tickets, then another hefty chunk for parking, all to hear overly-costumed and overly made-up folks belting out tunes that don’t have a beat and don’t rhyme in a language only U.N. translators can understand? Exactly. And yet we still get the evil look from girlfriends when we try to stay awake during Madame Butterfly
by playing a video game on our cell phones.
If we must do something cultural and uplifting, at least make it ballet where the women are in shape, wearing form-revealing clothing and moving their bodies in ways that cause us to imagine them with us in a variety of other non-dance situations. It ain’t Dancing With the Stars
, but it sure beats counting down the seconds ’til it’s over when the fat lady sings.
Traveling out of town together
If my extensive online dating experience has taught me nothing else, it’s that, at least according to their dating profiles, the one thing every woman most enjoys is an opportunity to travel. Yes, they all want to get out of the country and see the world, explore other cultures, become enriched and broaden their horizons. These are all noble and worthy pursuits. Men, however, view travel slightly differently. We even spell it differently. We spell it this way: t$r$a$v$e$l. We also view it as time away from our jobs. This will virtually guarantee that not only will a huge stack of work be waiting for us upon our return (and that our bosses will find out the business runs just fine without our being there), but we’ll no doubt come down with some exotic disease and need to be treated in a culture where doctors are still playing catch-up with the wonders of Medieval medicine.
Got the travel bug, ladies? That’s why God created National Geographic
. We’ll gladly treat you to a subscription.
This is how men view clothes shopping: You get to follow your sweetie from store to store with the added bonus of holding her purse as she tries on one dress, blouse, or pair of shoes after another while you struggle to convince her that each garment does not, in fact, make her butt look big. (Even the shoes!) Occasionally you meet the eyes of another girl’s boyfriend there against his will, and the look you give each other is as though you’re both begging, “PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY NOW!”
You want to try on clothes? Great, we’re OK with that. Just not in the mall. And we don’t care if you try to sweeten the offer with cappuccino and doing some clothes shopping for us. Instead, here’s what we would be interested in: we’ll light candles, put on some mood music, settle into a comfy chair and you can give us a private fashion show. Oh, sure, it won’t be nearly the same without the neon lights, price tags and judgmental stares from other women who think we’re perverts as we wait for you to emerge from the dressing room. But it’ll be close enough for us.
Relationship workshops for couples
Naturally, we men are going to want to avoid the mistakes we made in our past relationships and we’re not averse to keeping our current romantic relationship as perfectly tuned up as our cars. But that doesn’t mean we welcome the prospect of attending the “Enhancing Couples’ Intimacy Workshop” or “The Two of You: Closer than Ever! Seminar” to which you’re so determined to drag us. It’s bad enough our intimacy needs enhancing; must we now attempt to jumpstart it in a face-to-face with other romantic losers? We’d rather get up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning to join you on a bird-watching walk. We’d rather get in touch with our feelings and cry about what we never got to tell our fathers. We’d rather attend a taping of Glee
You want to enhance our intimacy? We’re all for it. Hold our hands, kiss us passionately, give us a massage, get honest with us — you’ll be stunned at the intensity of intimacy enhancement. In fact, let’s start right now. After all, we went hiking with you; it’s your turn to do something we
enjoy. Hey, where are you going? Oh, come on, it’ll be fun!
Mark Miller has written on sitcom staffs, performed stand-up comedy in nightclubs and on TV, been a humor columnist for the
Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and enjoys reading
National Geographic. He can be reached at email@example.com