Before I entered my current domestic situation, I lived with two women. (Yes, just like Three’s Company. No, I didn’t have to pretend I was gay. No, I’m not actually gay either.)
Having never lived with a man before, they expected the worst, but they were pleasantly surprised. It’s not difficult to be a man and live in harmony with women, you just need to adjust a few things. Women may seem like incomprehensible creatures, but they’re really not.
1. The Commode
This is the age-old battle, so much so that it has become a clichéd joke in just about every sitcom since the seventies. For the clueless, the issue is men who neglect to put the seat down after urinating or, even worse, neglect to lift the seat up before urinating. Have they forgotten that women don’t pee standing up?
Yeah, yeah, I hear the complaints already. “Why do I have to always lift the seat up and then put it down? What about equal treatment? Why can’t they put the seat down?” On the face of it, yes, it seems unfair in this enlightened age. How often do you go? How often does she go?
My solution was to make sure that I put both the seat and the lid down when I was done. This is no more effort than putting just the seat down and has the added revenge of making the women give the same effort. Who could complain about putting the lid down? Not only that, it’s good practice for when you have a dog and/or children. Besides, who wants to look at the inside of a toilet?
Of course, this may be problematic if you and your friends do a lot of partying and often need to “pray to the porcelain god” in a hurry, but then I doubt you’re living with any women anyway.
In short, clean it up. Clean the whiskers and shaving cream out of the sink. Sweep up the hair that’s falling out of your head. And for pity’s sake, no one, man or woman, wants to see your short-and-curlies embedded in the soap. Rinse the soap off. Washcloths are useful for more than washing your face. Use it to clean the sink after shaving and brushing your teeth. It’s only going into the laundry anyway.
Okay, yes, it’s very likely that you will find enough hair for a small mammal in the shower drain and it’s not yours. Ignore it or, better, clean it up. You’ll earn brownie points.
Even in this day and age, our society expects the women to do the cooking. Even if each of you is fending for yourselves (as me and my roommates did) throwing together even a simple meal can go a long way. It doesn’t need to be fancy, although it should be a little more involved than opening a can of beans or putting some frozen burritos in the microwave. There are dozens of cookbooks and recipe sites out there that even the most hopeless kitchen boy can find something he can make. I had one called “365 One Dish meals” which was exactly what it sounded like.
Who knows? One simple meal may inspire her to cook something for you.
4. Pick it up
Yeah, this covers some of the same territory as “Hair”. Basically, find your inner neatnik. No, I’m not saying that you should be using a toothbrush to get into the corners on a tile floor. I’m talking about seeing the things that you conveniently ignore. The underwear on your bedroom floor. The dirty dishes in the sink. The full garbage can.
Using a vacuum cleaner in one room takes, what, ten minutes? Anyone can vacuum. Try washing your dishes as soon as you make them dirty. How long will it take to wash a pot, a glass, a plate, and some silverware? Don’t fall into the trap of so many other men where you wait until there’s enough to do make it worth doing. What happens then is your threshold of “enough” keeps moving until you’re blind to the problem.
By golly, at the very least use the little shortcuts you employed as a teenager when your mother was pestering you to clean your room. Throw the clothes in the closet and close the door. Toss stuff under the bed. Throw it in a box in a drawer.
5. Read Cosmo
You know those stupid women’s magazines they leave lying around? You know, the ones that talk about makeovers, shopping, dealing with breakups, and how to have the ultimate orgasm. They read them because the publishers write the stuff that women care about. You should read them too, then you’ll have a better understanding of what women care about. And, maybe, learn a way to give a woman an earth-shattering orgasm, every time.
What it comes down to, fellas, really, is respect, which is all the points above are trying to make. (Okay, maybe not the one about the magazines.) Living with a woman, or women, is not the same as living with your buds. They don’t care who got high score Tekken 4. They don’t care whose turn it is to bring the empties back to be redeemed. They don’t care that anyone can light their farts. (Actually, does anyone who is not in an alcoholic haze?)
I hope this has been helpful to those of you who are or are thinking of cohabitating with one or more women. I am sure that once my wife gets a look at it I’ll be sleeping on the sofa for a week.
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