A couple weeks ago, Roundup Marge came by and waved an issue of Glamour magazine at me.
"You want to know why women always win the battle of the sexes?" she asked. "It's because we do our homework."
Realizing I was being baited, I let her remark go. But now that Valentine's Day is upon us, I have decided to take the bait and write a column appropriate to this romantic holiday.
Besides, she's right. In the grand tradition of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, women always, always win. Maybe, I deduced, I could learn something from Marge's magazines.
In the February issue of Glamour, I found "12 things to keep secret forever." Surely, I reasoned, there will be a lesson or two in here.
Among the ones I can share in this family publication are: "Your honest opinion about how cute their baby is;" "your SAT scores, especially if they were great;" "your birthing pictures;" and "that time you kissed -- for a good 10 minutes -- your best friend's guy in the broom closet."
Keep looking, I thought.
Another article in the same issue, "Everything men do in bed, explained," contained even more that cannot be printed. But generally men came off as big boobs (no pun intended).
Why, for example, are guys obsessed with making women scream like porn stars? It "lets us know that we're on the right track."
Thinking maybe February was just a bad month for Glamour, I picked up the January issue. In an article headlined "Seduction: how to do it" was a sidebar of "Seduction Don'ts."
Among them, "Don't turn out all the lights" lest you walk "smack into a wall" and don't climb into the wrong guy's sleeping bag when you're camping.
And a one-pager called "12 things to get over once and for all this year" included "Not making cheerleader 10 years ago" and "Finding the guy who's less interested in you more attractive." (Huh?)
Finally, in a feature called "Life & Happiness," is a section called "I believe ..." included under which is the belief "that mascara is the savior of womankind."
Perplexed, I turned to the mother of all women's magazines, Cosmopolitan. Surely the wisdom that makes women superior will be found herein.
On the cover of the February issue is a fetching picture of Ashlee Simpson. So far, so good.
But in an article called "50 ways to have more fun with your guy" are such gems as:
- "Some couples use terms of affection like ‘sweetheart' or ‘darling,' but we prefer calling each other Pickles and Kumquat." (I know you think I made that up. I didn't.)
- "I'm always imagining my man the way he must have been when he was a kid. I picture his sweet freckled face with a floppy bowl-cut hairstyle, and I can't help but get goosebumpy." (Isn't that the classic definition of a pedophile?)
OK, so even Cosmo has a bad article now and then. Surely the next story will have a redeeming quality or two.
But in "12 things every Cosmo girl's gotta ditch from her life," No. 2 is "Trend Whoring -- Falling for every trend, fad, and flash-in-the-pan fashion keeps you from feeling comfortable in your own skin ..."
This advice is actually pretty good, but "Trend Whoring"? There must be a more tasteful way to put it.
And finally, you'll be amazed to learn that "winking at your boyfriend from across the room" is sexy, while "flicking your tongue at him from across the room is "skanky."
And so, my fellow guys, I was sitting here amazed that the preceding claptrap is all it takes to keep women on top in the battle of the sexes. But then Marge walked in and dropped the big bombshell, and I am going to share it with you right here. In an ad she received in the mail touting a book called Bottom Line Yearbook 2005 is a giant green headline (yes, green) blaring "Overwhelming Evidence: CELERY BEATS VIAGRA!"
The copy below it reads, in part:
"Weirdly, the sexiest substance on the planet isn't Viagra, but common celery."
Better yet, this "aphrodisiac food" works on women, too.
Best of all, "the very aroma of fresh celery contains two steroids" that "travel through the nose and attract the opposite sex."
So guys, on Valentine's Day, I say scratch the roses and give a gift that keeps her giving -- a fresh bunch of celery. But of course if we do something so unromantic, we really are dumb.
That's why the love of my life will be getting roses. But just to play it safe, I'm going to have the florist hold the baby's breath in favor of a stalk or two of celery.