Seattle Plastic Surgeon shares Wall Street Journal Article from Saturday, Oct. 5, 1013:
Words Assured to Tick Off Any Man by Joe Queenan
Redbook’s website has just published a list of things you should never say to a man. Why not? Because they will make him go ballistic. The list includes such incendiary remarks as: “Your tummy is so cute,” “Do whatever you want,” “Do you think I actually believe you?” “You’re just like your dad” and the real, Katy-bar-the-door, no quarter-asked-and-none-given haymaker in this epic inter-gender brouhaha, “I really don’t respect you.”
Redbook, for whatever reason, is feeding impressionable young women totally false information about the male psyche. No man I know would go ballistic just because a woman said, “Your tummy is so cute.” Nor would he lose it if she said, “Well, you are a bit on the chubby side.” Or even “My, aren’t you the chunky little butterball!”
Men don’t care about their “tummies.” Never have. Never will. If they did, alcohol would have gone out of style a long time ago. Weenies might care about their tummies. Or hipsters. But not actual men. Besides, men do not refer to their flabby stomachs as “tummies.” They call them “beer guts.” At least Redbook could try to get the lingo right.
A deeper question is where this dubious material comes from. Who says “Your tummy is so cute” to a boyfriend, a partner, a spouse? Not any woman I’ve ever heard of. Did anyone actually poll men about this stuff? Or women?
The rest of the list is no better. Men don’t care if their partners do not believe them. They kind of expect it. Men also don’t care if you tell them to go ahead and do whatever they want. This is what men do anyway. It is also what women do. It is what everyone on the planet does.
Similarly, few men would object to being likened to their fathers. To most men, that’s actually the highest praise imaginable, unless your dad is named Joseph Stalin or Timur the Tartar. No, with the obvious exception of the confrontational “I really don’t respect you,” none of these remarks is even vaguely discombobulating.
And even if a man took exception to being told that he was not “respected,” he would not automatically go ballistic. He would write it off as an ill-advised comment uttered in the heat of battle. He would figure that it was par for the interpersonal course.
The list contained in Redbook is inane, misleading and stupid. It’s like those lists: “174 Things That Drive Women Wild in Bed,” or “Seven Things You Should Never Say to a Bisexual Pyromaniac.” The lists are compiled by amateur sociologists, office cut-ups, puckish ne’er-do-wells and editorial interns who are trying to get their assignments wrapped up before they go back to high school.
This is not to deny that there are phrases that will make men go ballistic. Oh no, there are lots of those. Here are just a few things you should never say to a man with whom you are having any kind of serious relationship.
“I spent all the money. All of it. On Josh Groban tickets.” “I was thinking of gaining 130 pounds. I’m feeling gaunt.” “No, you cannot invite Macho Man and Bennie the Blade over to our 35th anniversary party.” “You know the $5,000 from your Christmas bonus that you thought I was investing in safe, short-term bonds? I took a flier on a penny stock issued by a boiler room in Boca Raton. The company makes pocket-size defibrillators.” “Your mother could give Medusa a run for her money.” “You know the kid you thought was your firstborn son? Wrong!”
And finally: “I told the four guys from the Bronx that you are no longer interested in paying the vig. I did OK, right?”
Thanks for reading! And if you don’t subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, you should. It has some of the best journalism out there and it’s not just about money and business. Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder