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Oct 12

Why women want men to change

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in dating, Honesty, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

“So, what do you think?” Sara asked me as the guy we’d been chatting up on the ferry back from a recent Giants game excused himself to use the men’s “facilities.”

“Seems like a pretty nice guy,” I said, and as the words left my lips, I was aware that “nice” can mean many things to many people, so, since I meant nice in the good way, I thought I’d better supplement it. “And cute, in a George Clooney-meets-mad professor kinda way.”

“That’s what I was thinking, too,” Sara said
dreamily. “If he cut his hair, lost those godawful
shorts, whiten his teeth a little …” 

And as Sara continued to detail all the ways in which Mr. Pretty Nice Guy could transform into Mr. Perfect, my head started to hurt.

It’s such a gal thing to look at a guy and think, “yeah, he’s totally a guy I’d like to be with, if he’d only … (add your changes here).” Which,
of course means that he really isn’t a guy you’d be with — well, not until we first turn him into that kind of guy, instead of looking at him as the guy he is.

Do guys do that with women?

My gut says no. Forgive me if I sound somewhat sexist here but my feeling is that guys look at women two ways — f@#ckable or not (and there’s a wide range that fall into the first category).

I think the only time a guy would like to change a woman is after he’s married her and she’s popped out a few babies — and packed on
25 or so pounds. Oh yeah — and change her back into the woman who loved to have sex
and give blow jobs.

The old joke is that women marry men hoping
they’ll change and men marry women hoping they

But, why do women want men to change?

Does it give us a sense of power and accomplishment, especially if we convert a “bad boy” into a Snugli-wearing proud papa?

Or do we have so many expectations, so many must-haves, that we’re eager to check them off like a Christmas gift list?

Does this man-changing thing lead us to feeling like we have to “settle“?

I blame it on our upbringing; we’ve been brainwashed! Just look at the way we played as little girls. Playing with dolls, even paper dolls, is all about change — changing their outfits, their shoes, their accessories, and, in the case of Barbie dolls, professions. So is dress up. Women are change artists (and that probably has something to do with our constant battles with our weight and looks; we’re never satisfied).

I guess I’ve sometimes been guilty of man-changing myself to a certain extent — I’m sure I’ve met men in the past with whom I’ve had brief floating thoughts of, “gee, he’s cute and funny. If only he’d …” But if there were too many “if onlys,” I’d pretty much lose interest in wanting to know him better in that way, let alone make it my life’s mission to change him. I have other things to do, people!

  • Why do women want to change men?
  • Do men want to change women?

Photo © Nathalie P –

Oct 5

Learning how to flirt

Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 in dating, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Singles

After meditating and dropping out of the world for a while, I was in need of a few things. (Get your mind out of the gutter … although, sure, I managed to squeak that in). So Mia, Sara and I headed to our favorite watering spot and ordered a few glasses of our fave cab.

Nothing felt better than being around my gal-friends and indulging in the smooth taste of the wine; it didn’t hurt that the guy sitting next to us was lovely eye candy.

“Don’t look now, but did you get a peek at Mr. Immediately to Your Right, reading a book?” Mia whispered.

“I’m all over it,” Sara said.

“He’s alone,” I observed. “And ringless.”

After about 15 minutes of girl chat and a half a glass in me, I felt my mojo come back. So when the moment seemed right, I turned in Eye Candy’s direction, acting as if I were searching for someone — and catching a brief look at his book (Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom”) — when our eyes briefly met. I smiled. He smiled back.

Game on!

So I went for it.

“How are you enjoying ‘Freedom’?” I asked.

“Very entertaining. I see a lot of myself in there.”

“Richard or Walter?”

“What do you think?”

And that’s how Eye Candy — Ron, actually — joined Sara, Mia and me for a rousing discussion of love, life, kids, marriage, freedom and sex. All the while, I was
thinking I
was the wing woman.       

But I was the only one who thought that, evidently.

“You know,” Sara said the next day as we power-walked Roxy to the dog park, “you really pissed me off last night.”

“I did? Why?”

“You were flirting with Ron, the only attractive
single man in the bar.”

“We all were flirting with him,” I insisted.

“Yeah, but you really shouldn’t be, you know?”

“Why? I was just joining in the fun. What’s
wrong with that? You know I’m a flirt, but I don’t mean anything by it.”

“You and Mia have boyfriends, and I don’t. Women who have partners shouldn’t flirt, especially if they’re out with their single friends who are looking.”

I was about to get all defensive, but I stopped myself and apologized. “Sorry, Sara. I’m glad you told me. I’ll try to be more aware next time.”

But later that night, I wondered — if you’re out
with a single friend or friends, is it wrong to flirt
if you’re attached and your friends aren’t?

As I’ve admitted before, I’m a shameless flirt, but an innocent one. My flirting has no intention attached — unless, of course, I’m unattached and available. No reason to be innocent then (well, if it’s someone I’m interested in).

When I’m in a relationship, as I am now, I don’t believe I have to give up my flirtatious ways. Being in a committed relationship doesn’t mean I have to get all asexual and stop interacting with the world in a playful way. Still, Sara’s word’s stay with me:

“Women who have partners shouldn’t flirt, especially if they’re out with their single friends.”

So, I defer to my readers, who often prove infinitely wiser than I:

  • Should attached gals/guys no longer flirt?
  • Or, is it OK to flirt if they’re alone but not OK if they’re out with single friends?
  • And, finally — is this only how women would react, or would guys get all tweaked, too?

Photo © maron –

Oct 1

You’ve got a friend … maybe

Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010 in Happiness, Kat, Relationships

Anyone who’s followed this silly blog for any length of time (whom I didn’t have to beg and bargain with to do so, that is) knows that I have been AWOL recently.

It’s not like me, because I am never at a loss for words … except, apparently, for now.

A friend I’ve come to know recently has died, the wonderful Jim Everson, aka Depot Dad, a single dad of two adorable children who lived in Novato. And his death happened when I was in the midst of a journey (literally and figuratively) in which I was deeply questioning this whole social networking thing, which I alternately love and hate.

I had been meditating and exploring the self-absorbed artifice of it all — blogs, Facebook, Twitter, yada, yada, yada — and yet I most likely would never have met Jim if it weren’t for our blogs.

And that has made me pause. Well, actually, it stumped me.

Could it be that the Internet actually can connect people in a genuine way?

As much as I often spinned it to appear that way, I actually felt deep in my heart that, nah, not really.

But I may have been wrong.

A few months ago, I was approached by someone researching real world vs. Internet friendships. Could you actually be friends if you’ve never met, the person wondered.

And I blabbed on about some of the great people I’m come to know because of my blog and/or theirs.

Are we real friends, I was asked.

Well, we’re friendly …

And then I met Jim, and watched the amazing community that gathered around him to support him through his long struggle with cancer. People who wrote and called to tell him they were thinking of him; people who sent cards and gifts and books to cheer him up; people who, like me, brought food and drinks and cleaned his dishes and made him laugh.

And, if that isn’t a definition of friendship, I don’t know what is.

True, Jim and I were just flirting around with the dance known as “getting to know each other.” We had no where near the depth of connection I have with the people I’ve known for a long time, and that he had with his long-time friends. But I saw a lot there that I knew I wanted to know more about; I think he did, too. Besides mourning for him and his children, I mourn the loss of what I saw as the “beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

As the “Social Network” movie is opening, it seems a good time to look at what we’re all doing here, on our blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook. There’s no doubt that the Internet has forvever changed the way we interact, the way we live.

But, the question remains … can the Internet actually create genuine friendships and connections; will it replace what we consider “friends,” or just be another way to connect?

My love/hate with the Internet continues, but I throw myself into it with a slightly new perception of it, unless what I experienced was a blip, a rarity, something that’s unlikely to be duplicated.

What do you think?