Fred says: Go South, young man

Living as I do in Mexico, I get mail from guys saying “Hey, what’s the deal on women? I hear things are pretty good. Come on, spill it. What’s down there? Now, what are Mexicanas like?

I don’t suggest that women in the Third World (whatever exactly that means) are flawless gems. Ain’t none of us that good. You can find rotten apples in any barrel, regardless of country or sex.

What you will find, though, is that Mexicanas do not resent you for being male. They can get cranky, as most of us can, but it will be about what you did, not what you are. They are women, not sexual halflings in search of slights as pretexts for being disagreeable. It is this, not nice legs, that constitutes their greatest appeal. As wives, provided that you understand their strengths and limitations, they are just plain fine.

I think one of the single most important things an American young woman could learn is to realize that the ability to go in search of blame and successfully pin it on someone is not a strength, but an irritating weakness. There is almost nothing more annoying than having to constantly guard your words around someone, knowing that if you give them the slightest opportunity, they will intentionally misinterpret whatever you say and assign the worst possible interpretation to it.

For some reason, young women often seem to think that this is empowering and gives them a leg up on those around them, men and women. It’s a control mechanism and I guess it’s considered empowering because if you’re on offense, you’re not on defense and that is desirable in a zero-sum game like football. But a functional relationship is not a zero-sum game, no one is awarding points and this sort of behavior makes even the most reasonable man want to grab the woman, shake the proverbial waste products out of her and demand to know if she is actually brain-damaged or only pretending to be.

I find that the most effective way to deal with this nonsense is to not only agree with the stupid interpretation, but to up the ante. For example, if a reasonable remark about the fact that a particular outfit does not fit inspires the shocked intake of breath and the angry demand to know if you think she looks fat, the correct response is not to frantically deny that you could ever have possibly implied such blasphemy, but to say “yes, and obviously I don’t love you anymore.”

Once it becomes apparent that acting stupid means getting treated as if she’s stupid, she’ll give it up. Unless she’s a complete psycho, in which case you’re doomed no matter what you do so there’s no point in wasting any time worrying precisely which action of yours is going to set her off.