Men are either stupid or suckers.
Want proof? Just look at men’s fashion.
Every few years, the same basic items--pants, jackets, ties, shirts--are minimally altered by the “fashion industry” to lure men into buying new clothes...which they do not need. Doubt, ego, and desire to attract women--who read fashion magazines--drive purchases, not need. The few hold-outs are classed as old-fashioned, stupid, or insensitive (to the need of companies to make profit).
Neckties change their size like an accordion, from fat to thin. The same is true of jacket lapels. Now, pant legs are getting the same treatment. Shirt collars are another target.
Weird changes do not seem to take hold, such as the leisure suit tried in the 70s or business suits with Bermuda shorts. But, the fashion industry, helped by media that live from their ads, keeps trying to entice men to be “bold” and “with it”, ie. spend money on stupid stuff.
I learned early in life that women dress to look good, while men dress to avoid looking stupid. That explains why subtle changes work best: guys are afraid of looking different from the pack, but also want to appear to be hip.
I try not to be a slave to the fashion industry, but when buying new clothes one must take what’s on offer. My closet is full of clothes with different widths. Sometimes I look in fashion and sometimes out-of-date. I don’t care...even if my wife and children criticize me.
While reading Gail Collins’ column in the New York Times this evening, I noticed a change in the ambient noise. Paying attention, I realized that rain was pouring down, a change from the early drizzle I had discovered upon looking out the front door before walking upstairs to the computer...which led me to the column.
I paused my reading to walk to another room to open a window, which is larger than the windows in my computer room. The sound level increased, but I was greeted with the wonderful aroma created by rain falling on earth and vegetation and cool air of the evening. Nature can be so pleasureful...
Whereas humans, especially men, can be so stupid.
Married women have two functions in life (besides raising children, cooking, cleaning, breaking the glass ceiling, etc.):
Plenty of clichés, sayings, and quotes about the differences between men and women float into and out of conversations. One of these concerns the urge vs. the unwillingness to change.
There is a cogent reason for male aversion to change: work is always involved. Women love to demand something new or different, but rarely lift a finger to affect the desired change. Case in point: we are now renovating roughly half the ground floor to include the kitchen. Guess who does most of the preparation for the arrival of various companies, which will do the work. I used to do most things myself, but have more or less retired from such life (which does not include slaving for my children to save them money).
Yesterday, I had to listen to moaning about how difficult it is to sort out drawers and closets. This required mere thought, as opposed to lugging boxes and bags and trash. My daughter received a panicked call to come and help: not to carry, but to decide what can be kept and what can go. I continued carrying, after pointing out who wanted to have everything new. These are not words any women wants to hear. Or that I was happy with what we had.
In case you have not noticed, men and women are different. Today, I was reminded of this fact, despite not needing to be reminded.
We will soon travel to Thailand for vacation. My wife always asks me what she should take. Because I have to look at her, so I have an opinion. This time, she asked what color she should paint her nails and offered ten to twelve small bottles of nail polish from which to choose. Being old-fashioned, I chose red....which she immediately vetoed. Next, I vetoes orange, a color I dislike. I suggested a color that changes with the light from green to blue. She picked a turquoise and went off towards the bathroom. I returned to the living, satisfied that I could live with the selection. After a few minutes, she returned with her nails painted... in what color?...Orange.
Like I said, women are different...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.