Saturday, October 30, 2004

For Men: The Answers to the Questions

Question of the Week: (we'll start with an easy one)

Do I look fat in this?

Potential wrong answers:
No (whether you bother to glance up from the TV to look at us or not)
(Pause) Hmmm (with a scrunched up look on your face)
I don't know

Potential right answers (if she looks good or if you don't know)
Baby, you'd look great in a brown paper wrapper, but I love the way that looks!
Damn girl, you look great!
(Pause) Hmmm (with a sexy raised eyebrow and a naughty grin) How long do you plan to keep it on?
That reminds me, I haven't told you how beautiful you are today.

Potential right answers (if she looks uncomfortable or if you really don't have a clue)
You know you always look sexy and beautiful to me, but it's important that you feel good too.
I think you're gorgeous, but what do I know? What do you think?
You are the most phenomenal woman I've ever known. Take that off and let's stay in tonight.

Keep in mind, this question is always an opportunity to complement your partner on her physical appearance. In a culture that overly emphasizes a woman's worth by her physical appearance, a little boost from our partner can be helpful now and then. Additionally, she might truly want a second opinion about what to wear. In the absence of the experts (our best girlfriends), you will have to do. Once the complement has been delivered, take a second to decern whether she still needshelp. If so, ask her how she feels about her choice. If she is ambiguous, ask her about her other choices. Want to really score points? Get off the couch and go rummaging in the closet with her. Once she has decided, agree with her that it's the best choice.

With this approach, you can't go wrong.
It's a LOVE thing - Theresa


At 8:29 PM, Blogger dwduck said...

I wonder why if that's why my "ex" never liked me calling her "babe." She always said it reminded her of the pig in the movie. She has asked me before if she looked fatter? I've always said that I could never judge anyone like that. I told her if she did look "fatter" I couldn't tell. I guess that wasn't the right thing to say.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Terms of endearment, such as "babe" or "sweetie" should be chosen carefully so they have the effect you want them to have.

I don't think you necessarily answered the "fat" question wrong, but perhaps not thoroughly enough (see emphasis on complementing her above). Saying that you don't notice or can't judge may mean that you don't notice a change, or it might mean that you aren't paying attention to how she looks. It would be great if fat was as neutral a subject as eye color, but its not. It's a bombfield, and it doesn't matter if your girl has a few extra pounds around the middle or not. Both you and your ex may be examples of how damaging our culture's toxic standard of beauty can be on relationships.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger David said...

I love your writing style. You are so funny, actually you remind me of a girl I work with named Theresa!!! Thanks for your feedback on my blog it means a lot. I have added you to my favs....

At 11:57 PM, Blogger dwduck said...

I never used to complement my "ex"; I've always told her that she looked great however she looked or dressed and I really meant that. I just never understand why women needed to be complemented? If she gained a few extra pounds it didn't really matter...just more to handle. If she lost a few extra pounds she would just look better at the beach. Come to think of it...when I did complement someone she just told me that I was joking...trying to get on her good side. Thanks for looking at my blog.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger theresa said...

I love your feedback. Its exactly related to the kind of honest misunderstanding that can be avoided with a few choice words. Keep in mind that women are bombarded with messages that we must be beautiful even though the standard of beauty is completely unattainable. Those of us who are wise to this contradiction are still susceptable to the need to comply. It wears on our self concept. As we wage our internal daily war against the messages that tell us we aren't good enough, our partners can be ever-so-helpful by adding a bit to our ammunition with a compliment hither and tither.

Our last big night out, I started preparing for my appearance 6 weeks ahead of time. I found a great dress and then hit the gym hard to make sure that it fit exactly right in all the right places. I made sure I had the right hose, shoes, purse, jewelry and make-up. I got my haircut and highlighted a week ahead of time to be sure I didn't have that "just done" look. The day of the event, I had to deal with every bit of unwanted bodyhair and make sure that every part and piece of my bod was buffed and smooth as silk. And, don't forget about the hands and nails. On the other hand, my partner spent all of 30 minutes showering and shaving. He deciding on his wardrobe choice a few minutes before we walked out the door. He has no idea how much time, decision-making and effort went into the "look" I accomplished that evening, but had he not come up with a decent compliment, even with my mature wisdom and self-assurance, I would have been crushed.

On the other hand, a compliment can be just as lovely when you notice how cute your girl looks when her hair is a bit messy and she's got that slightly confused innocent look in the morning. Or perhaps you notice how beautiful her hands are when she's wrapping presents or typing on the keyboard. If she thinks you're joking it means that she's got self doubts and you need to work harder to convince her that you are genuine. Don't make things up. Just pay attention. Beauty is abundant, especially when people are together.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Goldfish Shoals said...

That's good advice. Pay attention, guys...this is IMPORTANT!

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Wow. You are linkalicious. You really need to travel the country on a lecture circuit teaching boys how to be men. Maybe in 15-minute segments during halftime breaks? They're all paying attention then.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Jopustopin said...

Wrong, the correct answer is yes, your ass looks fat in those jeans. Whenever a female asks a questions like that, take the time out of your day to make fun of them a little bit.


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