A friend recently lent me the book Why Men Marry Bitches. I realize that I missed the boat for reaping the benefits of this self-help tome because I have already secured a man without–for the most part–being a bitch, but it is summertime so I will read just about anything anybody offers me.
The first thing to note about the book is the author’s definition of a bitch. Tis’ not a female dog or a malicious, unpleasant, selfish woman as the dictionary has you believe. Rather the author’s definition of a bitch is a strong, independent woman. (That certainly makes me more comfortable with the names some people have called me over the years.)
So instead of teaching women how to become bitches, the purpose of the book is to instruct women on how to “modernize the way you [the woman reading the book] think about how a man chooses his soul mate.” For example, a woman should not cook a man a fine meal on the first couple of dates because that is a turn-off. It suggests that the woman is desperate for a man and will try to please him as much as she can. I can imagine the movie form of this book playing out like a Twilight Zone episode of a 1950s PSA: The woman finds out halfway through cooking dinner that the man is actually an alien and fine crockery goes flying about the room. And the moral flashes across the screen: Never let a stranger into your home.
So how should a woman avoid this? It’s not as easy as sleeping with the man on the first date: the book advises against that. Instead, the way to a man’s heart starts with showing him that you are not interested. I guess it’s good advice (*Amy scrunches her face and awkwardly shrugs her shoulders ). In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t think that Sebastien and I would be where we are today if I let him know I was not interested. It was hard enough subtly letting him know that I was interested.
The book offers other equally smarmy tips for catching your prince charming, such as what to do when a man tests the waters of a relationship for long-term potential.
After the third or fourth date, the man might say something to the effect of “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The book warns readers that this is merely a trap, a clever ploy by your handsome hunk to make you divulge your evolutionary urge by blurting out the number of children you want to have and how soon you want them. To this the book suggests keeping your mouth shut if you want to make it to date number 5.
Again, I find myself detached from the women this book is geared towards. So in an effort to relate, I have amended the advice to make it relevant to my personal situation. In the event that Sebastien asks me where I see myself in 5 years (which he has never asked and probably never will), I have prepared a “bitchy” response: “In 5 years I see myself divorced and overweight, living in some slum in the Midwest with two dozen cats and visible facial hair.”
A clever ruse that is sure to keep him interested.
The book goes on to outline a series of relationship principles or things that men take into account when getting to know a woman. One tidbit of note is that men see how a woman dresses and then makes assumptions about her relationship potential.
I asked Sebastien if this were true. “I remember you used to like wearing combat boots and a red sweater,” he said. However, he was unable to tell me whether or not that implied that I was good relationship material. I guess my attire left room for the so-called “peek-a-boo element” that the book suggests fascinates men more than skin. I bet untying those combat boots (a time-consuming task) really drove Sebastien wild and he couldn’t wait to catch a glimpse of my ankle.
I’ll continue to enlighten readers as I make my way through the book. And feel free to share your relationship principles and tips on ways to find and keep love.