Friday, December 10, 2010

Things Women Will Never Understand About Men

Men are a misunderstood lot. I have 3 brothers, which include my stepbrothers, all Navy. I spent a couple years motherless, with a Dad who was retired Air Force, before he happily remarried. I work with all men. So I understand them better than most women. Perhaps it's best though they remain mostly misunderstood for many women do not want to know that they drink out of the milk carton as soon as you leave the room and find the most romantic scene in a movie the one where Jimmy Cagney shoved a grapefruit in Mae Clark's face in Public Enemy. I find it rather humorous that women spend so much time trying to figure men out. Every ladies magazine I see seems to be a compilation of articles on how to GET a man while the other half is telling you that men are jerks. The same oxymoron that makes half of their non male articles about dieting and the other half recipes. This explains why the magazines on my kitchen table are woodworking, hunting, cooking and firearms.

So a quick HOTR explanation of the whys women ask.

Why men want to own the biggest, newest and most complicated version of everything.

I'm still confused by why women want to have a different pair of shoes for each outfit, but I'm not normal that way.

Marketing everywhere will quickly tell you that the male of the species has always had a compulsive desire to drive four wheel drive vehicles on suburb streets in Florida while opening a bottle of wine with something that resembles an off shore oil driller.

Men don't buy the cap snaffler, anything by Popeil or the simple. Men are drawn not by "easy", and "quick to use" but terms like "industrial strength", "tested in non nuclear warfare" and "will withstand 4,000 foot pounds of foot pressure!" because men contain some DNA within them that strives to be the best at every profession there is. A man isn't jut a man, with the right equipment he's fireman, paid assassin, grill chef, engineer, nuclear physicist, cowboy.

He doesn't make fun of you because you have 12 colors of nail polish in your drawer, so don't squawk when he has three different pipe wrenches. One of them of course, always has that special use that can't be done by the other two.

Why Danger is in their blood.

Men went from hunting Mastodons with big pointy spears to having to hold a purse in a mall. Totally understandable.

A man's idea of shopping is not the same as a woman's.
I admit it. I shop like a guy. I plan what I need to get, look at some reviews to see which is the best product and pick it. Then I walk into the store in a manner in which Clauswitz would be proud, cleverly avoiding people trying to spray me with cologne so I don't end up in sporting goods smelling like a Hollywood hooker. I see what I need, I grab it, (pillaging is in my blood), I pay for it, usually cash, and I quickly leave the scene of the crime.

So when you just surprise your mate with "honey would you go to the store and get eggs and milk" and he's sent into battle with no time for preparation, bombarded by countless displays that make no ergonomic sense and people shoving food and products at him with "want to try the new Kiwi Persimmon Pop Tart, now with antioxidants", he just wants to escape and as quickly as possible. Which is why he comes home with a case of beer, a bottle of olives and a birch tree.

Hardware and gun stores are different. Send him to one of those for just one small item and he'll come home with a vehicle packed tighter than the Clampetts truck on Beverly Hillbillies.

Why they don't want to talk about your relationship.

If you wake up in the same bed and say hello, women usually think they have a relationship. Men usually own up to it sometime after your second child is in school. What they don't want to do is talk about it and will dodge the bullet of any conversation that starts with "where do you see us going?" or "do you see us getting married?" at a speed approaching light.

A relationship is like a Ruger Mark III. If you have a good one, it's grand, but if you attempt to take it apart bit by bit, you will live to regret it.

For example -

It's an evening with Brigetta and Fred,  a Minnisota couple who met ice fishing. One night over dinner, Brigetta utters those dreaded words. "So, where do you think this is going".

And Fred - looking outside at the spitting snow says - "dang - it's going to snow and I've got the snow blower in the shop!

It's never shifted right since it sucked through that big chunk of something that I think was a moose. I don't care what those idiots at the  other repair shop say that they "can't duplicate the problem". Of course the (^#&'s can't duplicate it running it in a garage that's warmer than Abu Dhabi. It's on warranty. They have to do a better job than that. I paid $600 for that thing. with its "two year guarantee to start (my ass) promise".

Brigitta at this point  just gets up and as Fred is dialing the shop to get his "damn snow blower" running doesn't even notice the door slam.

Why men fix things and how.

Men can fix just about anything. Like gift wrapping, I think it's something in their DNA code. My Dad can build anything in the world out of wood. My brothers can rewire a house in their sleep. Men love to take anything apart and will do so gladly, whether it's a range top oven, a computer or a chainsaw. Men are genius at taking the things apart that I could only tackle with a sledgehammer. Unfortunately, sometimes, for a few of them, there is a problem putting things BACK together. Fortunately, those men are often happy with leaving the remains spread out for future autopsy while they go out to see if they can find an "Industrial strength" model to replace the piece of junk that would have gone back together if it had been built better.

Since it's Christmas - Men and gift wrap.

Men do not like to wrap gifts. I think it was Dave Barry that said the first gifts given were the gifts to Baby Jesus. "Hence the term "wise men". Men don't understand the point in putting carefully coordinated paper with oodles of expensive ribbon on a package just to rip it off. (lingerie though is a whole 'nother idea).

Give a women a 15 inch scrap of decorative paper and she can giftwrap a Sikorsky in less than 10 minutes. A man will carefully lay out the present, cut a swath of paper the size of Nebraska, and when he's done, there will be a gap in the back where you can see what the gift is. I realized in my anthropology courses, that the Pharoahs had to be wrapped after death by women, otherwise the back of the mummy would be held together by a big piece of Scotch Tape.

So my Dad and brothers would often give me a present in a Safeway grocery sack, stapled carefully shut so I couldn't peek. With a bow on it that they'd happily press on it to dress it up for me. This lasted until Dad bought the mother of all Christmas wrapping paper, a roll that was at least 3 feet thick. He still has it. You know immediately which gifts are from Dad and the boys. Thirty years later, the roll's diameter is only about 4 inches less.

But if you want someone to have some FUN with a gift, it's the men. From childhood on I've boxes that rattled that shouldn't have, been too large for the contents, as well as those with mysterious air holes bored in the side. The gifts oftened turned out to be something extraordinarily fun but not what we thought it was.

Mom - What's with the big lawn and leaf bag in the living room?

Dad - It's a gift. Did you forget it's your birthday? Can't you tell? See there's a BOW!Mom: (pulling it open and speaking in that tone that only women receiving applicances as gifts can actually utter with a straight face) It's a shop vac . . . .
Dad - But it has a six horsepower motor! And it comes with several small attachments!Mom (laughing) - Is one of them a divorce attorney?
Dad - Oh, look there underneath (looks like a jewelry box)

Mom - It's those diamond earrings I admired!! (sqeall, kiss, kiss)
So don't knock the badly wrapped gift ladies, it can contain wonders.

Men and Play - Playstation Version.

Maybe it's an age thing but most of my younger male buddies will spend an entire day playing video games. It doesn't matter if at work they perform surgery all day, at home they are only truly challenged if they can get to the next level in Lego Zombieland WII.

I've seen it. I could have come in to the room stark naked with a Colt Commander I just purchased in a holster on my hip and any male in the room with a game player in his hand would not miss a blink. So remember ladies. If you are seeing or married to someone under the age of 40 and they appear glassy eyed and seemingly uncaring, they did not stay out all night with that waitress from Hooters, they have the new copy of HALO .

Men and Food

I agree with the men here. I don't want anything served with a sprig of parsley, or made from organic tofuberries sauteed in arugula. I want bacon. Bring it on.

Men and television.
Men don't just sit down and watch the TV, they're a supporting player. Once in that groove and with the right choice of handyman how to, adventure and sports, they can watch for hours with an intensity usually reserved for brain surgery and strip poker. However, they will look up with "Honey did you see THAT" when there is a particularly good explosion on Mythbusters. OR they can change channels at every commercial and simultaneously watch Man Vs Food, Survivorman, and Top Gear, all while completely engaged in each show, including remembering direct quotes and scientific facts, ALL at the same time. Unfortunately for women, men cannot achieve this higher state without a firm grasp on the remote.

Men and illness.

Most men, on utterance of the first inkling have some woman tell them smugly "you haven't given birth, you don't know what pain is" and treat him like he's some big wimp just because he's never actually expelled an entire Buick from the recreational parking area. I can't speak for men, but I once had a tiny speck of tree branch in my eye that pierced the cornea while wrestling with the install of a tree blind and I can tell you that hurt worse than 10 pound 6 ounce Brigid. Jr. ever did with the whole natural "son of a )#(#*!" childbirth thing. I had a WHOLE new respect for pain after the eye surgeon fixed me up that day.

When a man says he's sick, he's rarely faking it. Actually when somethings going around work most of the men in my unit will suck it up and continue playing long after I take my whiny, sniffling self home for Jameson and honey laced tea and self pity. Men will always feel slightly under the weather just from carrying all that testosterone around unrestrained so it's only so you don't worry so much about him that works so hard, has a couple of beers and watches football when he's not feeling 100%. So have some sympathy. If your man says he's sick, pamper the hell out of him and remember that once he's asleep, the remote is YOURS.A man's sense of humor.

click to enlarge

I was driving through the Midwest a few weeks ago, and out ahead of me I saw a pink vehicle, a distinct shade of light pink I recognized. It's a Mary Kay car I thought. You know, one of those new and shiny fancy cars with the sticker on the back "I Won It, Ask Me How - Mary Kay."

But as I got closer I could see it was a very beat up Volvo, with the rust marks to show its age. But it was pink.

Pink, painted with a brush.With a fresh and flawless Mary Kay "I Won It Ask me How" sticker in the back window.

The man driving it looked like Red Green and the car was full of junk, likely a run from the farm to the junkyard or dump.

I laughed so hard I could hardly get a picture and got a huge grin from him when I waved at him as we drove past.

I told a gal I know and she didn't see why it was funny.

Some women don't like the Three Stooges either. I don't get it.

Why men look at other women.

A teenage female member of the Range household came home in tears one time years ago sobbing "my boyfriend was looking at girls at the mall when we were shopping". She was inconsolable. I asked. "did he make rude comments or act like a jerk?" "No", she sniffed, "but when he thought I wasn't looking he'd notice them".

I said "Take Grandpa and Grandma to the mall, Papa will drive and you can buy some ice cream with this $20" She came back an hour later, laughing, her tears dried "Grandpa looks at other women when he doesn't think Grandma is paying attention!" and we all had a good laugh.

It's in their genes, get over it. You are the one he wants to watch the Stooges with.

So there you have it, the HOTR top things that women don't understand about men.Now here's what we do understand.

We admire you more than you know, we like hanging around you. We like the way you smell, and laugh, and how you can make an old pair of khakis and a black T shirt look sexier than any designer outfit we own. When things go wrong, we look up to you knowing you will use all of those many talents you have to help. We like what you stand for and how strong you are. You might be our husband, lover, brother, friend, or Secret Squirrel back up. But though we might be able to fieldstrip that AR or paint the house on our own, we'd be lost without you.

Love - Brigid


  1. This was the best thing I read today, maybe even all week. Fabulous!!!

  2. You are a saint among women. Would that you could could be cloned.

  3. Great post. You've pretty much nailed it. For the Reader's Digest condensed version see the Jeff Foxworthy video here:

    The 'understand men' part starts at about the 1:30 mark.

  4. I'm thinking Volvo pink lingerie might be the next big thing.

    Reminds of a joke...

    An alien species lands on earth and hands the first man they find a fantastic device that will cure all disease, end hunger and quiet noisy yap yap dogs that live next door.

    You, as a typical man:

    1) Give the device to the UN
    2) Give the device to the President of the US
    3) Take it apart to see how it works.

  5. You should print a book of your wrgs! I laughed until it hurt, and posted on Facebook linked to you, of course. Greg

  6. Holy Crap...They have Lego Zombieland WII...I am so there!!!

  7. That's the hardest I've laughed all week. God bless you, Brigid - a woman that men want to hang out with, too.

  8. Women have a purse with 537 things in it and men have a pocket knife and a wallet.

  9. With you all the way. We'll have to surf amazon reviews for things and do a seek and recover sometime since neither of us shop.

    Well said and a wonderful post!

  10. I think really care for that thing with Cagney and the grapefruit, at all, but I found that thing between CPL Hicks and Ripley in Aliens somewhat romantic:

    Ripley: [pointing to part of gun Hicks is showing her] What's this?
    Hicks: That's the grenade launcher. I don't think you want to mess with that.
    Ripley: You started this. Show me everything. I can handle myself.
    Hicks: [chuckles] Yeah, I noticed.


  11. Never got into the video games. Was that REAL Colt Commander or a clone?

  12. Do not taunt the dynamite monkey

    Yeah, buzz has it he has a pretty short fuse. (I'm here all week, try the veal!)

    Thank you for the laughs, they made for a good way to wind down a week.


    PS - There's a shop-vac with a six horse motor?

  13. Thanks, Brigid!
    Been kinda 'down in the dumps' lately, and that made my whole week!

  14. Dear Brigid,

    Can you help me. My relationship is falling apart.

    I cleaned it with Hoppe's #9, lubed it with WD40, and stuck it back together with two rolls of duct tape, but it still isn't working.

    I even put a 8.5 horsepower, turbo-charged, auto-closer on the toilet seat. What am I doing wrong?


    Mann in Ohio

  15. One darn fine post.
    Wish I had the wit tonight to add something of value.

  16. That was a great post, even if I don't completely fit the profile. The only "video game" I really like is Microsoft Flight Simulator.
    Can't afford to spin a real prop any more.
    For anyone interested, there is much more real education and laughs by going to YouTube and checking out short videos by Alison Armstrong. She makes a very good living explaining the sexes to each other.

    I may just have to blog about that myself.

  17. An epic post, and sure to be one of your most widely read. Well done!

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed that. You also ALMOST nailed my father when you wrote, "A man isn't jut a man, with the right equipment he's fireman, paid assassin, grill chef, engineer, nuclear physicist, cowboy."

    In my father's case, it isn't just the right equipment: it's also a printout of something he read on the internet.

    And why is it that women are sexier when they have a firearm?

  19. Tank U, Tank U, Tank U!!!!!

    Curly Joe is my favorite stooge.


  20. Yeah. What David said. You DO know we love you, too, right?


  21. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

    I might disagree with you a bit on the video game part. I think you'd get most of our attentions, I've not seen a Colt Commander in the gun stores around here for a long while!

  22. Well written, as always miss - and I am reminded in how blessed I am in that Dori DOES understand these things (and is similar in many ways!)

    Also, I am appropriating the Dynamite Monkey as a bomb squad picture. :D

  23. Nice.... You says it nicely..

    One question though.
    The picture with the shotguns.
    Did you take that at Bill's Gunshop in Robbbinsdale??
    Cause it sure looks like a line up they had in there the other day!! On the same wallboard as in the pic!!

  24. Genius :)

    Its all wonderful, but this part made me actually laugh out loud:

    "I realized in my anthropology courses that the Pharaohs had to be wrapped after death by women, otherwise the back of the mummy would be held together by a big piece of Scotch Tape."

  25. Duct tape on the, mummies, not scotch tape.
    I started taking things apart when I was about two, now I'm at the point where I can mostly get them back together. Usually.

  26. Okay, let me get this straight....You're a single woman with stunning red hair (similar to my bride's) who shoots and collects guns, drinks Jameson's, flies airplanes, reads Terry Pratchett, AND understands men? How many men are lined up at your door right now?

    On another note, are you sure we're not related?

  27. Do you have any unmarried sisters? Even any uncommitted ones would work too.

    Will travel.

  28. After the first 1/2 of this post, I was convinced that my wife must secretly be a man and has been hiding it from me for all these years. But, after finishing the article, now I just realize that she is actually a hermaphrodite... guess I can live with that. :-)
    Great post.

  29. If I was not happily married for more years than I will say, I would track you down with flowers in hand, .44 Ruger Alaskan on hip, and ask you to run away with me to some exotic location (Alaska, Montana, Idaho). This post is your best yet and right on the money.
    A side note, I made your chili recipe and took it to my wife's Christmas party (pot luck). It was gone in minutes and everyone who ate some wanted more and the recipe!
    Do not ever stop posting. Your minions are legion.

  30. Where do you get the time to write such wonderful articles?

  31. Brigid,

    Ditto to what many of said.


  32. Oh, I had to laugh, and keep laughing. Yup, fits the men in my family to a tee. Only, for the over 40 guys it's not computer games - it will be a sport. Any sport but a sport. Or a new power tool.

    And how weird is it that most of that fits me, and I'm female. Is it just redheads that think like this? I know only two people personally who understand this and we're both redheads. And considered completely weird by 99% of the other females out there.

    Love your blog.

  33. I wish I had your email address, but I can understand that you don't want every internet creep to have it. And I'm creepier than most. :-P

    Email would make it easier to have a back-and-forth conversation about this.

    But I think I could guess that the outcome of our potential discussion would be that because of circumstances, I understand women as well as you understand men. A better insight than mose of our respective genders. And also that you and I don't fit the stereotypes that we are able to generate. I hope that is as good of a thing for you as it has been for me.

  34. Anon - thank you. My grandparents all ended up in Montana by way of Indiana and Minnesota so that would be an exotic location of choice.

    Glad the chili recipe was a hit, I just made that one up as I went and it went over well with my friends.

  35. Rofl !! Great fun ! Just found you thru a link. Glad i did ! Read some of your older posts and enjoyed them also. I'll be back !!

  36. Thanks ... best laugh i've had all week !!1

  37. Brigid: You've written some winners in your day, but this one takes the cake. You hit things right on the head with a framing hammer.

    Awesome job. I've never met you, but you're the best.

  38. 1) Give the device to the UN
    2) Give the device to the President of the US
    3) Take it apart to see how it works.

    Tango Juliet: Well, yeah, given those options, of course I'm going to do something useful with it. ;)

  39. No one says it better than you Brigid. Lu laughed, teased me a bit and told me how much she loves me.

  40. what a great post...i'm lucky that i have a wife who would nod her head while reading all this instead of getting upset at the logic :)

  41. 1) Give the device to the UN
    2) Give the device to the President of the US
    3) Take it apart to see how it works.

    I'd just flip the switch.

  42. Bill's Gunshop now has Bible study classes too. If i were ever to be forced back into that cesspool called teh(sic) Metro again I would try to relocate close to Bill's.

  43. As an aside Brigid, have you read the Way of the Wild Heart, and Wild at Heart?

  44. I loved this last post so much I shared it on my Facebook because the humor behind it was too awesome not share with an even wider range of people. Since I often think more like a man than the female I was born, I could SO totally get what you wrote ;->

  45. Great sense of humor and oh so true...but We try! I remember when all 3 boys were home and I was doing mounds of laundry, and watching wife said "Are you going to watch football all afternoon?". I told her to call all her women friends and ask them how many of their husbands are doing laundry for 5 people while watching football...She said "point taken" and has never brought it up again in the last 18 years.

  46. Wonderful! It's being shared all over the web!

  47. "Violet Ind" *snort* Thanks. I'll never live that down.

    I AM an engineer and the thing will act up and baffle me. It is a good thing that they are fantastic plinkers. Good enough to offset the take-down issues. If you can't put it back together, the fun is instantly over for a MkIII owner.

    Or do what my wife does. She gets some dumbass to clean it for her...

  48. ViolentIndifference: Sorry about that. I'm still really tired. Other than this post last night and about 12 hours of sleep today not much going on. The comments have all really brightened my day. Thanks.

  49. Great post, Brigid.

    To me, the two things necessary in a relationship are:

    The woman works as hard on her part of the relationship as I do mine.

    She wants me as much as I want her.

    Boiled down to basics: respect and affection.

    Something my ex-wife could never, ever understand.

  50. Bill's is a nice shop and about 3 minutes from my office.
    In between teaching LEOs and Firefighters(a couple of thousand a year) 1st Responder type stuff and how to save your butt if you are the victim classes, I sneak over there and drool over most everything and punch some paper at the range.
    Now eveytime I see a redheaded gal there I'll wonder....but redheads are good, I used to be one before it went white and both my boys are redheads.

  51. Okay, so the present wasn't 'quite' wrapped correctly... :-)

    Great post!

  52. What are we thinking about? Of course, it's cars, and beers, and girls.

    Not necessarily in that order, of course.

  53. Today when gathering up and cleaning out stuff to make a holiday Goodwill donation of substantial amount, my wife cut the cord with her Shirley Temple DVD collection - but she kept the Three Stooges set of DVD's! I threw in a bunch of Gi-Joes, but kept the Tommy-guns, the big Belgian Rattlesnake Lewis gun, and made sure each Joe we packed up had an extra supply of grenades a rifle for the kids to play with...

  54. And this is a pretty good breakdown of how women see things/how men see things.

    Yes, we're pigs. All of us. ;-)

  55. "A man isn't jut a man, with the right equipment he's fireman, paid assassin, grill chef, engineer, nuclear physicist, cowboy."

    Buckaroo Banzai did it, and he was a Rock Star too. I can do it too.

    Brigid, a classic piece of work that will live in the annals of Valhalla and the internet forever.

  56. "A relationship is like a Ruger Mark III. If you have a good one, it's grand, but if you attempt to take it apart bit by bit, you will live to regret it."

    Ohh, I'm using that one! Technically though, it's the same for Mks I and II.


  57. Even more wonderful than usual, Brigid.

    Us men would be lost without women as well!!

  58. Great post! Spot on, on so many levels!

    I have both a Ruger Mk I and a Mk II. They are the only guns I own that I always have to get the manual out to reassemble! Of course, the MK III is the same :-)

    And, as a former redhead (now gray), I am fortunate in that my wife seems to have much the same understanding that you have.

    Keep up the excellent writing!

    (We gotta be kin, if lineages were traced back far enough!)



  59. Men are awesome and I like mine to smell like fine tobacco and a hint of bourbon.

    This was a tour-de-force, Brigid. Just wonderful!

  60. Wonderful post!

    Cathy J.

  61. "...never have expelled an entire Buick from a recreational parking area." Wow. Great line.

    Let me had a favorite quip of my own: "Men like work, food, sports, and sex, though not necessarily in that order, and never confuse them with being spiritual. Women like emotions, relationships, intimacy, and chocolate and confuse all four as spiritual."

  62. Damn.......

    This one was good.....

    Up to Mark Twain standards....

    and that is a compliment.

  63. Can you spend about a year hanging out with my wife?

  64. Spot on about everything...except the playstation / naked women with a colt analogy. At least in my book a naked women with a colt ALWAYS trumps the playstation. A L W A Y S! Maybe thats just me but I doubt it.

  65. Thank you B. And you know I would notice the new Colt Commander...;-)

  66. Best post of the year so far Brigid, had me crying tears I was giggling so hard. My fellow database guru is still looking at me funny out of the corner of his eye. Can't wait for the published tome of Brigid lore.

    P.S. Having spent a couple of hours this weekend re-assembling my Mark III after only spending ten minutes cleaning it, that piece of your post I found especially humor-filling.

  67. Heyo there! A friend of mine, Peter (, linked to your article. I did chuckle through it. I especially laughed at the gift wrapping part, as a) even though I'm a guy, I like to think I'm fairly decent at wrapping presents and b) we here at Sikorsky do 'gift wrap' airframes during transit to prevent corrosion. Although, we generally use quite a bit more than a "15 inch scrap of decorative paper". The amount of plastic we use is not quite the size of Nebraska, it's closer to the size of Delaware.

    If you'd like, we'd be happy to send you a Sikorsky mug or a poster?

  68. Yes its late to the table...but that was worth reading AGAIN!

    Thank you Brigid for knowing that which is so much unknown.

    You are a gem for the ages!


  69. Great post! I get it! We're a lot a like, you and I. I'm a big fan.


    Thanks for the great insight.

  70. Late to the party, as usual.
    You left out how women are sensitive to the condition of their bodies like the engineer panel on a DC-7. Want to know the exhaust temperature or pressure on the number 7 cylinder of the number 2 engine? They know. Men have a Check Engine light. No amount of griping will change that.
    As for the gift wrap, one Christmas in my church group I mentioned something about a gift being "Guy-wrapped", so we set about guessing whether each gift was "guy wrapped" or "girl wrapped." I was the designated wrapper in my family so I fooled them. One really tiny girl fooled them, too, when someone (not I)pronounced a particular gift "guy wrapped", she said "I beg your pardon, I wrapped that."


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