The truth about men…

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2003

When I travel, I always treat myself to the trashiest &uot;read&uot; I can find. Magazines like &uot;Cosmo&uot; and &uot;Self&uot; or the latest &uot;trash novel&uot; on the best-seller list are usually the first things for which I reach at the airport bookstore.

Though incredibly overpriced, a magazine or novel of the trashiest nature is a rare and highly coveted treat – I just can’t resist. I completely justify the expense of these rare treasures because of the unadulterated joy they bring. Moments of trapped solitude 150,000 feet in the air, with nowhere to go and nothing to do, is always a nice break for my relentless and driven Type A personality. Reading for anything other than the advancement of my career or home life is a pleasure.

Certainly I could use the travel time &uot;wisely&uot; and work on my laptop, write a column, or read a few interoffice e-mails – but truthfully, who gives a rip so high in the air? On a trip earlier this week, I purchased the January issue of &uot;Glamour&uot; magazine and read it cover to cover. In it, I found a terrific column called &uot;Jake, A Man’s Opinion.&uot; It was truly laugh-out-loud, hold-nothing-back, spew-the-coffee-across-the-room, gut-busting, belly-giggling good!

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Jake proclaims men can be reduced to three things: Sex, sports and bacon. That’s right, girls. The man in your life (the one you affectionately call &uot;honey&uot;) is really just symbolic of &uot;the other white meat.&uot;

The column goes on to explain women just need to get over their weird neurotic insecurities, hang-ups and obsessive complications. Further, women just make things far too complicated and could benefit from simplifying their thinking to something equivalent to sex, sports and bacon. Now, some readers may be offended by the rudimentary and barbaric fashion in which the male gender is described, but I think Jake is on to something.

I too believe we gals tend to overcomplicate, over-analyze and over-obsess about everything. In our minds, everything has a double entendre’ or a deeper meaning we have yet to uncover. However, give us a few hours to &uot;stew,&uot; question our self-confidence or minimize our abilities, and we can come up with some wild theories on how the latest issue came to be.

We worry about things that are terribly unimportant that we couldn’t change even if we wanted. Further, we wonder how others perceive our looks and if we are keeping up professionally, politically and academically with the other people with whom we associate.

For example, our gender does need to get over being overly concerned if we look fat in our newest outfit. Come on, ladies -you likely know if there is &uot;a lot of you to love.&uot; Surprise, your guy knows it too. He’s still with you, so clearly your dimply thighs are not an issue in the big scheme of things. When the lights are off we all look good. So, stop making your looks a deal-breaker when it comes to feeling self-confident. Life would be pretty boring if we all looked like Barbie and Skipper.

Further, we as a gender need to stop being threatened by other women. All the money, education and stuff in the world cannot define your happiness. We need to stop acting as if a new Lexus will make our lives better. It will make your commute more fashionable, but it’s still just frosting. Stuff is just stuff, it does not &uot;make the person,&uot; warm the heart or fill the soul. Others having more, or being more, is often a facade. Only we can make ourselves feel inferior to others. In my experience, acting and feeling threatened can seldom be hidden from others and it gleans nothing but further heartache.

I recently received a compliment reflective of this concept. While away on travel, my assistant conducted a staff meeting in my stead. She jokingly stated she just might take over my job permanently because the meeting went so well. To me, this was the ultimate compliment. If she is ready for such a responsibility and had a taste of what her future may hold – then I say &uot;Rock on, sister!&uot; I can’t imagine I didn’t have a little something to do with her ability to handle the meeting and the confidence and pride she felt doing it. In my mind, I am doing my job as a leader by growing those on my team. As a gender, we need to lift each other up and not be threatened or tempted to push one another down. And certainly, we do not need to spend hours of our lives evaluating how we fit into the mix.

Needless to say, in my humble opinion, Jake in his infinite wisdom is definitely onto something. Perhaps defining men in terms of sex, sports and bacon may be a bit archaic. However, the sisterhood of gals I know could certainly stand to re-define themselves from overly complicated insecure, neurotic, obsessive divas to three simple things: chocolate, hair-primping and men. Sorry guys – but it’s in that order.

Rebecca Hill is the advertising director for the News-Herald and a regular columnist. She can be contacted at 934-9601 or