Having had such vast and varied life experiences, I can say without a doubt that there are some things a woman will fight you over. And you all know what I’m talkin’ about.
First, and foremost, would be her kids. Never, under any circumstances, say something less than flattering about a woman’s kids. And don’t insinuate anything either. So what if her kid is the school’s biggest bully? Don’t tell her that. Even if you catch her sweet child dropping a garden snake in your back yard pool, which by the way, happens to be full of assorted kids of all ages and sizes. Or if your bff’s precious little girl has sticky fingers, you notice, at the store on the corner. In that case you can tell the momma, but for heaven’s sake, be careful how you say it; ie; “But she was so hungry for that big ol’ chocolate candy bar!” Yes, in a case where the law might be broken, there is a certain – shall we say – naughty child etiquette. Of course, your child would never do anything wrong. I know, right?
Ok, Second: Watch what you say about her man. It’s ok to listen to her complain on and on (and on) about how lazy he is, that he can’t take out the trash, help with the mopping, or fold his own dang socks, but under NO circumstances should you ever add your two cents worth. If you make this mortal mistake, you will see with amazing clarity, how quickly those freshly manicured red fingernails can grow two inches. It’s only a matter of seconds. Then you’ll notice how distorted her smile is when she asks in a sickeningly sweet voice, “What did you say?” She won’t even have to drop an eyelash as she prepares her basic plan of attack which, thankfully, will be mostly verbal. Her significant other may not be perfect, but, by golly, he’s hers. You can’t say he’s the bad guy until the ink is dry on their divorce papers. And only then if she left him because of some major provocation. And please, be certain to keep your mouth shut if she complains about her sex life. That is a case where misery does not love company. It doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t want it. Keep your mouth shut. Your feelings could get hurt. You could get hurt. Take my advice; always, always listen, support, and take sides, preferably hers, if you value your friendship, life, etc.
Third: Her hair. People, don’t you know you should always compliment a woman on her hair? Chances are if you aren’t close friends or family, you won’t even notice any changes at all. It doesn’t matter. A woman’s crowning glory is her hair. Don’t believe me? Look it up in the Bible. It’s there in black and white. Women are vain about their hair, and well they should be. Even if their hair is very thin -ahem- like mine, it is a good idea to say something nice about it. Every little strand is beautiful. Seriously. A woman wears her hair. She wears it, you know what I mean? Even a woman with no hair ‘wears’ it. It’s a sign of her self-confidence, her attitude, her very person-hood. Trust me, whatever is on her head speaks volumes of what she is going through in life. For example, if you come across a woman who’s hair is a mess, and by that I’m referring to maybe a new hairstyle that she got on the spur of the moment when she just happened to pass Fantastic Sams and she was maybe a little depressed and thought she needed a lift because she was feeling old and dowdy so she got this wild hair idea, then you know what I mean. DON’T be the husband who tells her that her new style makes her look four years younger when her friend told her she looks ten years, no- fifteen years, younger. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t tell her you wish she would get rid of the gray. It’s not right, I’m telling you. It’s just not right! Smile at her like you’ve never seen her looking so lovely. And do feel free to wink.
In the interest of fairness, I am compelled to say that I really do think that honesty is the best policy when dealing with women. I know because I am one. But understand, too, that there is a way to say things and a way not to say things. And I also know that my opinion is not every woman’s gospel, although I can’t imagine why not. I do know that:
1) Many years ago, my ex told me he wouldn’t mess with me because he knew I would fight like a mama lion for my kids. Smart man.
2) Even I have been loyal to scoundrels until the last T was crossed. I don’t know why or what kind of stupid I tripped over in those days. Disclaimer: NOT my ex-husband, he, the father of my children, turned out to be a pretty decent guy. At the risk of biting my own tongue off, I may have been a tad too immature back them. What can I say, it was 30 years ago. I think.
3) So. What. I used to be a long hair girl, now I’m a short hair girl. I didn’t plan it. It happened. Live with it. And the gray hair too!