Sunday, April 2, 2006

Note to Self - Help!

If I took all the energy I piled into trying to figure out men and rolled it into a career in writing, two things would probably happen. The first would be that whatever guy-du-jour I would normally be putting through a mental blender at the time would suddenly be oh-so-interested in me, since I was no longer trying to dissect his brain. The second would be that I'd be so fabulously successful as a writer that I would have no time for him. Perhaps I would pity him enough to offer him a position as a cabana boy at my infinity pool.

I used to take apart every relationship I could, like CSI with a crime victim or President Bush with the English language. Apparently spending twenty bucks on a self-help book like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From the Kitchen doesn’t do anything – you actually have to follow the suggestions for them to work. Or just leave the book in a highly visible place and you'll never see him again. That also works, with the addled (yes, addled) bonus of giving you plenty of free time to figure out what went wrong.

So how do relationship book writers stay in relationships? Or do they? I can't imagine any guy wanting to be the lab rat owned by a date scientist-
"So, what do you do for a living?"
"I write self-help books about relationships."
"Check, please!"

Maybe they spin their many failed relationships as "experience." I'd be thinking tramp! or loser! myself. But then, if the author were married for say 40 years, come on - one stinking relationship does NOT an expert make. Besides, you spent 40 years writing books - how much time did that leave for your spouse? No wonder you got along - you never saw each other.

I got this book, Don't Play With Your Feud - How to Be Successful in a Man's World, and I have this lab rat, er, guy, and I want to apply chapter 17, Help Him Help You and He'll be Greatful, to his cerebral cortex. Ever suggest a new way of doing something to a guy? "If you put a little WD-40 on that cohesive tranny beltway, it'll go faster." You get a look like you just asked him to put pickles in his peanut butter. Then one day he discovers, "Hey, I put some WD-40 on that cohesive tranny beltway and it’s much faster!"

So one day, deep in her forties, our heroine was disgusted enough to start taking some advice. This was one princess that was kissin’ no more frogs. She tried chapter 23 - Reverse Psychology:
"Whatever you do, do NOT ask me why I'm this gorgeous and still single!"
"Ok. Pass the salt, please?"
Ugh. Guess that just works on guys under 30. After that they're more interested in flat-screens and a hemi. Back to the drawing board.

If self-help books actually worked, you wouldn't have to buy more than one of them, would you? Yet isn't the publisher's goal to sell more books? Right? Are you following me? If so, I have pepper spray, you perv!

Somewhere there's a book that's so helpful, it's all you'll ever need. Publishers are, of course, on the job making sure you'll never see it in print. Until we do, there's always chocolate.


Zoodle said...

Hi Annie!

Stock up on the chocolate cause I guarantee you we'll NEVER understand men.

A friend of mine was telling me today about her man and his friends. They spent 5 hours making a hole in 39 inches of ice so they could go ice diving. They spent 20 minutes under the ice and then they all went and drank beer.

I don't get it. Guys.

Kafaleni said...

Z... too funny!

Annie.. I think between us, we could write a book.

Anonymous said...


Way too funny! Your logic tells us that there can NEVER be a reliable writer about relationships--if he/she has never been in one (hmm.... why are priests given the role of marriage counselors?) or in only one, how can he/she have enough experience to help?

And if he/she has been divorced once or more, there's the evidence that he/she doesn't know how to make a relationship work, so why listen to that advice?


BS(bob) said...


I like your blog, but listen, the guy looked confused because he thought you asked him to put his pickle in peanut butter and he couldn't believe you understood him so well.