Monday, August 22, 2011

Battle of the Skiing Sexes

Ski hills are the perfect place to test compatibility, maybe better than online dating. Take a run together (athleticism), ride the chair (personality), eat lunch (coolness and cash). But those same hills can also test patience, can even lead to outright gender warfare.

A few years ago, I wrote this "He Says/She Says" piece with my colleague and ski pal John Naye from Seattle, Washington. All written in fun for snow bunnies everywhere, but still holds true for some couples today. . .

I love to ski with men. I’ll take a ski date over an apr├Ęs-ski date any time. But, guys, if you want to ski with this downhill diva, I’ve got issues.

For starters, why do you think the forest is your private urinal? More than once I’ve taken cuts through the trees where I’ve run into a guy shakin’ his snake. And I feel like the intruder! Dude, it’s my forest too. I have the decency to wait until I get to the lodge. Really, my dog has better manners.

And speaking of manners: there’s no excuse for hawking up a luggie and thwacking it off the chairlift. Puh-leeze!

Don’t look like a dork. Zip up your jacket, cut off that collection of old lift tickets, and don’t even think about wearing jeans as ski pants. That is sooooo 70s!

Guys talk the talk, especially in the bar the night before. Usually the ones who brag the most turn out to ski with the grace and coordination of Chewbacca. And, of course, everything has got to be an unannounced contest: who can ski the fastest, the longest, the most runs, the biggest moguls, the steepest terrain, the deepest powder. And no matter how old you are, if you’re exhausted or even afraid, you never ever, ever admit it.

Another thing. I’m so tired of hearing, “Come on, you can handle this.” I’ll make that decision, thank you very much. If you want to get laid, don’t lead me astray.

Oh, and a bite of chocolate plus a squirt of Gatorade isn’t lunch. I want the full-on sit-down—your treat, of course. Besides marking the end of morning and the beginning of afternoon, lunch is an opportunity for a makeup check. Men don’t understand that we have to look cute at all times.

And where does it say that guys have to be the leaders? You think you own the mountain. You get off the lift, and zoom, you disappear. OK, so I may not know exactly where I am. But getting lost together can be romantic, n’est-ce pas? Why do you always rag me about it? Mountain scenery takes my breath away. If you want to do the same, stop occasionally and savor the moment. 

And, no, I do not want you to help me contribute to the panty tree.

Now, let’s go rip it up!

Ah, get over it, Claudia. If men didn't lead the snow parade, there wouldn't be enough ski patrollers to find all you tender-gender types lost out there on the mountain. When's the last time you actually saw a woman read and understand a trail map?

I love to ski with women too, but it's not unconditional love. Since when did whining become an Olympic sport? It's too cold, too hot, too steep, too foggy, too early, too late, too just about anything.

And how can there be "too much powder?" Why do women always want to have a leisurely breakfast on a powder day? Why am I the jerk if I want first tracks? You could happily meet me later. I know you’d find that trail map handy, then.

Having a little penis envy are we? I'll try to be discreet, but if my anatomy makes me a champion of yellow snow, then so be it. French men pee along the side of the road, so lighten up. Hell, you can even participate if you want.

One of the biggest things that bugs me about skiing with chicks is when I ask them 500 times if they want to try something a bit more aggressive, they keep saying yes. Then I take them to a blue run and all hell breaks loose, and I instantly go from Mr. Charm to Mr. Mean.

What happened to that women’s lib thing—you know, all that equal treatment under the law? Does the simple fact that I invited you to go skiing mean I get to pay for everything . . . your lift tickets, ski rental, meals, spa bills, everything? Then, once I have, the first thing I hear is, “That was an exhausting first run; I'm going to the lodge.  See you at four."

That’s $60 for a one-run lift ticket.

I don’t think women realize their ability. They may be the most technically sound skiers in the world, but will they push speed a little? No way. I mean, where is the sense of adventure? They decide to stop and chat halfway down a run, then pout about being left behind. Save the chatter for the ride. That’s what chairlifts are for.

And one more thing. Don’t ask me—don’t ever ask me—if you look fat in stretch pants!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is Dating a Sport?

 I love this take on dating. . .written by Susannah.

The Essence of Bad Boys

You’ve heard of “Bad Boys”, right? You’ve probably even met some. Ah, you’ve dated one? Then you’ve got some scars in your heart to remember him by, don’t you. You say you were his girlfriend? No, sweetie, bad boys don’t have girlfriends; they have women, lots of women. Because women, all women, can spot a bad boy a mile away, and whatever hormone fragrance she puts out when she sees one is picked up by him immediately, and bam – she’s a target.

There he is – the bad boy – standing on the other side of the room. He may be wearing a black leather jacket or not. Even if he’s not, and say you’re a beautiful, smart and enchanting female who can have her pick of any guy in the room, you want him. And only him. And suddenly you’re not thinking about relationships or marriage or kids or contentment or happiness. In fact, you’re not thinking at all; you’re operating from something other than your human mind or human heart. You are operating from what psychologists call the Reptilian Brain, that lower part of our brain where our basic instincts dwell.

It is your basic instinct that is telling you that you want him and that you have to have him, and damned be the consequences. So why does your Reptilian Brian tell you to go get him? Because he has what you, a woman, wants and needs – intense masculine energy and great masculine genes. In order to keep the species going, it takes good masculine and good feminine genes. You’re saying, “Oh, OMG, this whole attraction thing is evolutionary?” Yep. In the animal world, the males have to compete with each other for the females. And bad boys, while they’re completely inept at being emotionally mature and responsible, definitely step up to this plate. Bad boy’s good masculine genes trigger your good feminine genes, and we all know where this going…

But, you say, what about those psychologists who tell us that being abused when we were children is the reason that bad boys are bad and that some girls are attracted to them? In terms of bad boys who are actually abusive and women who are drawn to being abused, yes, there is more than something to that. However, I’m talking about the essence of “Bad Boy” here; not psychopathic nor criminal behavior. I am talking about the energy and the essence of bad boys, including the energy and essence of all the bad boys out there who are not criminals nor have ever physically or verbally abused a woman.

This energy and essence is in his genes and he’s hooked into it. He’s got it. You may not consciously know what it is, but you know that he has it. It comes across in the way he dresses, the way he moves, the way he talks, the way he looks at you. He’s confident, he’s independent, and he lives by his own rules. Most of all, he manifests that intense masculine energy, and it doesn’t show up simply in how he presents himself to the world; it is seeping out of his pores. And, in order to keep the species going, your Reptilian Brain tells you that you absolutely must mate with this alpha gorilla. 

So, you do. And then what happens? Do your human mind and heart finally kick in, telling you that you’re so totally in love with him and that you can’t live without him that you need to embark on the project of changing him into a loving and caring husband and father? Some projects in life can be completed. This one can’t be. You can’t change him. You can’t turn him from an alpha stud preying on women into the Prince Charming you’ve always dreamed about. Prince Charming he most definitely is not.

Sounds trite, but it’s true – only he can change himself. But won’t your love change him into a caring, emotionally open guy who will pledge his undying love to you and take great care of your mutual children?  Nope. Because your love ain’t getting through to him, sweetie. He’s walled in, and his emotions are not coming out to play.

Can he change? Sure. But he’s the one who has to feel the need to change, and do all the work to change, and it’s probably going to come, with time and age, from the pain he feels from being emotionally isolated.

So, what do you do? Well, you can stay and get your heart broken, or - here comes the hard part - you leave. He’s going to dump you anyway, and doesn’t it give you some power over him to end it by your own initiative? Go home and cry, rant and rave to your girlfriends, get some therapy, start a charity, write a book, write ten songs about Bad Boys, watch all the James Dean and Marlon Brando movies you want. Just get him out of your system, chalk it all up to evolutionary influences, be happy that you’ve got feminine genes that can get triggered, and then remember your dream that you’ve had since you were a little girl about finding your perfect guy.

He’s out there and he’s waiting for you.

Copyright 2011 by Susannah