It’s a lot to remember!
I was once in a furniture store and the Salesman ask who lived in my house. I thought this an odd question so I ask why… what difference would that make?
He explained that if I lived alone he would show me a living room suite consisting of a chair and love seat. If a woman makes the same query, he would show her a full-sized sofa as part of her living room.
If two men are seated, one will take the chair and the other would sit on the love seat. A man feels weird seated on a sofa next to another man and will look for anywhere else to sit. No, really.
In general, I don’t think most women are aware of the maze of unwritten rules men live by. Yes, you know we are not allowed to show our feelings but that’s only the beginning of the guy rules.
Many of these rules extend to all cultures and all locations around the world. When the three of us were discussing the idea for this article, all of us knew exactly what the idea behind the article was. Sometimes one of us needs an explanation but these rules are mostly universal.
I say mostly because there are a few exceptions. Example: a North American male will never carry a bag; a European or Eurasian will. Roger has a bag and it’s quite handy; last week at the Harbour we got together and he had bug spray (for the skin) in his bag. If I got a bag, it would break the guy rules for me to take it back to the US.
In Near-Eastern culture, men can hold hands and may greet each other with the European kiss to each cheek. Sorry guys, you’ll just have to dream of these lips, I stick to the hand shake.
Oh… and there are rules about that too. If you don’t like a guy, you can make him freak out by holding his hand more than the required 1.5 firm pumps. Just hold his hand, limply and he will absolutely squirm. This is the worst! Never hand a man a dead fish. Yeah, it even has a name.
My ‘Guy’s’ Laws
I do have some rules that I’m trying to follow. More or less. I like the Trinity or Trimurty so here we go.
Rule #1: Never raise an arm on a woman
My comment: this is easy. Never done it. So far so good. Though there’s been moments when I felt like… anyway, I’ve had some fights in my life but never with a woman. With females – only verbal ones. Such a thing is much more challenging when you do it with guys, you know. In this case you can really feel like a man if you want it this way. I mean, it’s not cool to hurt a woman whatever happens. This makes you a man. But when she slaps you – you’re almost a hero because this is quite an achievement. Looks like you really touched her strings. This thing requires some balls to have – so, yes, you’re a macho man, relax. Just don’t touch her. You know you could hurt her stronger without any physics.
Rule #2: Don’t be afraid of Scary Monsters (thank you, Mr. Bowie)
My comment: The ‘Scary Monsters’ theme is a variety of frightening things in life, of any size or nature. Be it a disease, loss of a loved one, an unwanted break-up, fear of some nasty boss or of a parachute jump. Or simply a run when you don’t want to run for a number of sensible, good reasons. Whatever. Anything goes. You choose it.
We will die. All of us. And I know it is easier to say, harder to implement, but the Gurkha proverb on a poster that I saw in a Kukri knife store in Kathmandu in 2016 says: “It is better to die than to be a coward.” So I’d say I’m doing my best. Sometimes with some success. When you behave like Clint Eastwood in your everyday life you’re always feeling better. Kind of going onto the silver screen. Try to do it – and be proud of doing it – if anything else sucks. So it’s a nice try, to me.
Rule #3: Be open-hearted
My comment: that’s hard. Being an introvert it’s has been always been easier to run away to me. I’m shy at times and some might think I’m arrogant. I may not be nice at times and this says it all. I’m working on it. Not sure I would graduate this course. Love to be a student, though.
I like to think that the guy’s rules in my house are pretty straight forward. Toilet seat? Guy’s rule says: “Who cares?” Up, down, left, right, inside out, it simply doesn’t matter. Except, of course, to Mrs B: “Don’t leave the seat up!” That is why we have had peace and quiet in our household ever since we decided that separate bathrooms was the way to go. It works very well, except when my bathroom is given to visitors – then it’s back to sharing, and big trouble.
Leave that damn dishwasher alone. No, you can’t help me load it, or even empty it. In fact, don’t even take a surreptitious glance at the machine. It’s mine. You know only guys can stack it properly, and keep the salt and rinse-aid full, and at all times.
But the washing machine dear, is all yours. I would not dream of ever hanging the washing out to dry, because I know I would never do it properly. Mrs B again: “Your pants go here, your gym stuff here – no, that shirt is the wrong way round, and this is how you dry sheets on the line………..”
Out of the house, there are several guy’s rules – the most important, of course, is, when lost, never ever ask for directions. That is so non-guy. Yes, we may end up being three hours late for our appointment, but at least we didn’t make ourselves look stupid by asking!
When meeting new people, my rule is never shake hands sitting down, and shake firmly, even to a woman. There is nothing more un-guy-ish than a limp hand. (..or a limp anything, come to think of it..)
Any my final rule: Don’t boast about any of your accomplishments – other people simply are not interested. They’d rather you refill their glass.