ADVICE/RELATIONSHIPS

HOW TO BE A MAN TAMER:
PART TWO

I don’t need to conjure up images of men doing the Martin Lawrence and running wild through the streets at night, or quote statistics about the millions of cute/educated/well-groomed/paid women whose ring finger is arthritic with neglect. You’ve heard it all before. But what you haven’t heard, my dears, are the ancient African Asiatic secrets of Man Taming, which have been preserved throughout the ages and finally channeled to the masses by a very nice South Bronx/East Oakland girl.

Last week, we started out with rule number one, “No Nagging” and the amazing feedback showed that there’s entirely too much nagging coming out of our collective traps. (Notice, not one guy said, “Well, to be honest, sometimes I need reminding ‘cause I’m slipping and I’m glad my woman cares enough to keep me on point.” or any such blah, blah, blah.) And you ladies took it all like champs — no defensiveness and no arguing, which is one of the many amazing things about women…our sincere desire to grow and evolve into our better selves. And not so coincidentally, it’s the first cousin of that very wholesome desire that brings us to Man Tamer rule number two…

2. NO FIXING

I know, I know…something’s broke, it just seems like your duty as a Christian/Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu/Undecided to make it right. But there’s nothing more deflating to a man’s “ego” than a woman always telling him when and how he should do something. But isn’t it difficult, ladies, to just sit on your hands and watch them cut the red wire instead of the blue wire over and over again? And isn’t it a whole lot harder for them not use their frigging knives when they’re eating? And just how many times are you supposed to take a tour of greater Los Angeles until you get to say, “Why don’t you just admit that you don’t know where the heck you’re going and ask somebody who does already before my frigging eggs dry up?” Well, do you want to be right, or be a Man Tamer?

One time, a guy I was dating was having a hissy fit and driving in the wrong direction and I politely suggested that perhaps we should pull over and he politely told me that my job was just to sit there and look pretty. Now, the Oakland girl in me wanted to be like, “Mother@#$%&*, what?” But then I thought about it. Hmm…his car, his gas — what if my job really is to just to sit here and look pretty and let him drive on his rims until he regains his senses and finds his way or asks for my opinion? So I got to sightseeing and Oh, look over there, honey. That house is beautiful. And look at that one! And guess what? When he finally “got kinda thirsty” and went to 7-11 and asked somebody where the heck he was going, he came out with one of those red roses with the little plastic water holder at the bottom…awww. Cartier diamond…not quite. But one of my favorite gifts ever.

Example number two comes from the lips of another man. After a night of taking care of me while I retched into his toilet for eight hours straight, he said it was then that he realized that he was in love with me. Now granted I did the polite thing and brushed between every hurl (Man Tamers always have good dental hygiene) the whole episode was just gross beyond disgusting. But here’s the thing about men (we’re still talking about do-right men because do-wrong man would have hit the door at “Hmm, my stomach feels kinda funny.”) – Men love fixing things. My food, sex, humor, intelligence, loved it. Fixing me while I was at rock bottom? Loved me. Ergo and therefore, if men love fixing things and the more they fix things, the more they value them, but you’re too busy interrupting with your comments and suggestions and maybe’s and you shoulda’s…no Hurl Effect for you.

But Kali…isn’t helping my man a good thing and I have a PhD in neuro-molecular-robotic-genetic engineering, so why should I act dumb and five other annoying questions?

The short answer: Nope and because I said so.

No, really. I am a card-carrying Man Tamer, but this is such a hard one that I have to keep myself on Amber alert half the time. In fact, I went on a frigging bender last week and damn near fixed myself out of a relationship. So, I’m well aware that for most women, just sitting by and watching something rotten foul up the joint seems ungodly, but it’s non-negotiable. I will, however, throw you a little Ajax because I’m feeling generous today…if you get weak and have a This Old House moment, don’t use it as an excuse to lose your mind and go renegade. Just be sure to follow it with about 10 compliments and sitting pretties until you’re back in your stride.

And for those of you already trying to find an “I’m not fixing, I’m assisting” loophole, let me go ahead and write it on the bathroom wall…

1. No telling him where or how to drive.
2. No telling him how to dress.
3. No telling him how he should go about finding his next job or excelling at the one he has.
4. No telling him how to eat. (Oh, this one is just painful)
5. No suggesting that he call/read/listen to/attend so and so for the answer to such and such question when he didn’t ask you.
6. No telling him how to do it. Yes, it.
7. OK, so until we do an in-depth tutorial on communicating in a later blog, how about we just say NO UNSOLICITED INPUT.

Here’s the thing…when you’re overtly fixing (and boy, do most of them need fixing, whew girl you got your hands full!) you’re telling him that something is wrong and that something is them and that makes a lot of men push against you (even if you’re right) or at the very least, feel a little less passionate about you. Just in case you need a visual, let’s call it the Hillary Clinton Effect.

Damn, I don’t want to be like Hillary and Bill, but my man’s got some issues and if I could just tweak him a bit here and there…

I feel your pain, but I’m not buying it and here’s why — because a little tweak has a way of leading to just a little amputation and then one day, your man is gonna get his mind right and take his one good leg and hitchhike to quieter pastures.

OK, so you know Kali’s not gonna spray shrapnel and just leave you lying there without a, well…fix. Here’s what you’re gonna do and this is why Man Taming takes a little time (and why if somebody’s not worth your precious time, just tell them to make a sharp left and two rights and drop you back off at your house). Ready? Throw a frigging fiesta when he does something you like. He wears the Kenneth Coles instead of the snakeskin cowboy boots—act like Bob Barker just told you to Come on down! He’s grumbling and complaining about the same damn thing going on at work, but not ready to ask for your help yet? Give him a “You’re so smart; I know you’ll figure it out!”

So you see, after a few of these fiestas, he’s gonna want it to be Cinco de Maya every day. And guess what else…next time he wears the snakeskins and hears the resounding silence of an unfiesta, he may put the boots a little further back into the closet.

But here’s the real party…when a man feels trusted and respected to make his own decisions and he’s being treated like a MAN instead of your big, gumpy, child, then suddenly, he wants your opinion. And he asks for it. Or, he makes a mistake and learns from it with your loving (nope, still silent) support. Or, he does what he thinks he should and it’s a huge, amazing success—(I mean, damn, isn’t that why you picked him?). And then, my Man Taming friend…it’s margaritas all around.

Ah, men. You totally owe me big time. So here’s what I want from you. Keep doing your grown man thing and keep making decisions and being you. But when it comes to times like these, maybe just do a quick body check. Give yourself say…six minutes to be really lost, but not admitting it and I know my way, it’s just up ahead and then, surrender to the fact that you haven’t yet memorized the entire United States street grid. And for those of you in the AP class, maybe try something new…multi-millionaire author Jack Canfield says that one of the reasons why he’s got the career/wife/life of his dreams is that he actually asks everyone from his assistant to his wife, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate me this week?” Followed by, “What would I need to change to make it a 10?” Now, you’re not my man (I hope not, because if you are, my cover has been blown, so readers please send help!) and I’m not trying to fix you, but I’m just saying…multi-millionaire. Filthy, disgustingly rich and happy. That’s all.

Kali Love is my sometimes brilliant, often obnoxious, alter ego. If I’m Chuck D., she’s a bit, well…Flava Flav with hers. So to protect my career as a writer/producer/Veuve Clicquot-sipping philanthrope, I shall remain nameless. But Kali Love? There’s no telling what she’ll say.


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