My daddy says he doesn't know. My husband admits that he hasn't unscrambled the puzzle. And I hear other men complaining that they can't even begin to guess. But, I don't get it, because men figured out quantum physics and diffeomorphisms of the circle. Surely, they could discern something as simple as what women want.
Women want our own toothbrushes. Sharing the same bank account and bed does not logically lead to sharing the same personal hygiene tools.
Women want men to shower and wear deodorant to go deer hunting. Guys might be going out to the woods, but they're coming home to us.
Women want men to tuck in their shirts, put their napkins in their laps, and take their hats off in buildings so that we don't have to go Emily Postal on them all the time.
Women want men to put their hammers away in tool boxes and not on the coffee table.
Women want the dishwasher loaded correctly. Throughout the ages men have proven themselves superior at spatial reasoning, so, doggone-it, if men can pack the trunk of the car for a vacation and make everything fit, they can do the same for the dishes in the dishwasher.
When a woman is busy doing all the busy things she does, she wants the man of her house to look busy, too.
Women want men to stroke their own legs with their gnarly toes when they wake up in the morning.
Women want men to wear a pair of underwear only once between washings.
Women want plenty of time to be mad, until we're not mad anymore, without men getting mad back at us.
Women want to flip through magazines and make lists or fold clothes while watching TV without men complaining about it.
Women want men to honestly answer, "Does my butt look big in these jeans," without telling us that our butt looks big in those jeans.
When women ask which shoes to wear, we want men to choose, and we want to retain the right to reject men's choices without taking any flack. And the next time we ask the same thing, we don't want men to bring up the last time we asked and rejected their choice.
Women want men to expand their vocabularies. When we ask, "How do I look?" "Fine" is not acceptable. Try "Stunning," or a few bars of You look wonderful tonight, or a simple but breathless, "Wow!"
Women want to go out with the girls and discuss men, particularly the ones closest to us, without repercussions and without obligation to later make confessions. To be clear, men do not share the same privilege and may not, under any circumstances, discuss us amongst a group of men, unless it is to briefly say how they are tremendously fortunate to have us.
Women want men to take charge, except when we're taking charge. Men will know we've taken charge when we delegate responsibilities to them. Men, on the other hand, when in charge, may not transfer duties to us. We want to pick our own assignments, thank you very much.
Women want surprises; not surprises like a new truck payment or the announcement that all the family assets were sold to buy a sheep ranch in Patagonia. No. Women want flowers for no reason, kisses with no strings attached, or an interior designer and a huge remodeling budget.
Women want men to automatically know that we want all this without us having to tell them that we want it.
(Lucy Adams is a syndicated columnist, freelance writer, and the author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. Lucy invites readers to send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her web site, www.IfMama.com.)