So I disappear off the face of the planet entirely and you guys keep coming and visiting. Thank you. I'm sure you're all wondering where I've been, and I sure wish I had a good story to tell you, sadly the truth is I was beginning to find myself with too many fingers in too many pies, and I started to feel burnt out. What's worse I was starting to let people who were actually relying on me down, and the minute I start that I know it's time to reorganize my priorities. But after a year long break I finally feel that I'm getting the hang of this whole juggling multiple projects thing so I thought it was time to dust the cobwebs off my old keyboard and reconnect with you awesome people. I want to give a huge shout out to bubz'n'mumz who seem to have been the largest driving force behind my traffic lately, as they featured me in an article called "15 of Australia's best Mum and Baby Blogs". So props to you guys for recognizing brilliance when you see it.
So this blog post comes to you courtesy of being jilted by a male friend, who cancelled our Valentines Day plans the minute something better came along. So I bring some advice for men everywhere. If any of you guys know what's good for you, you'll pay attention today. and ladies, get your men to read this because it could be the best thing he'll ever read.
So if American television shows are anything to go by, men are completely mystified by the fairer sex. Apparently we are mystical beings that are harder to figure out than a Rubix cube. Hell you need an engineering degree just to undo our bras. Excuse my French for a minute, but I call bullshit. We're not that complex, hell if you look close enough you might even realise we're more similar to you than you realise. Luckily for you Auntie Erin is here right now to help blow away the myths and give you a few hard truths. And just because I love lists, these truths will be numbered. So prepare yourselves ladies and gentlemen for a little list I call What Women Want.
1. We want to know we're special.
Everyone wants to feel special. This is regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation. Show me a person who doesn't want to feel special, at least in one person's eyes and I'll swear off chocolate for the rest of my life. (That's how convinced I am of this fact.) And the beautiful thing about this piece of advice is that it doesn't only count for your wife or girlfriend. This goes for your mother, your aunts, your grandmothers, your sisters, your daughters, your nieces, every woman you know (and every man) wants to feel special, and you have the power to make this happen. It doesn't even have to be a grand gesture. It can be the squeeze of a hand for no particular reason. A thank you for the coffee she brought you even though you didn't have to ask. It's so easy to take the people in our lives for granted. We spend every day looking over the table at each other, it all gets so same old, same old after a while. But our need for appreciation and recognition never fades away, no matter how old we get, so let the women in your life know that they are special to you. This week I actually got to witness my sister receiving her anniversary/Valentines Day present from her husband in the form of the most beautiful pair of earrings, and it is always such a wonderful thing to see.
2. We want you to notice the little things
It could be as simple as changing the toilet roll if you use the last of the old one, or noticing that we've put perfume on today. It could be seeing the stack of glasses on the coffee table and carrying them to the kitchen instead of walking past them blindly yet again, or remembering that gerberas are our favourite flowers and buying them on the way home for no reason (that one has actually happened to me, and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the evening). It could even be remembering your anniversary. Put it in your phone for goodness sake, they all have calendars now people.
3. We want to know we're not alone
Sometimes life is hard. There is no denying that. But having support in the form of your family and friends always makes the load easier to bear. When my brother in law's younger brother died unexpectedly last year my sister rallied by her husband and supported him through the hardest thing he'd ever had to face in his life. She helped him grieve, and then she helped him get the professional help he needed when coping got too hard. It was really one of those make or break moments for their relationship, and they struggled through it for 12 months, but they managed to come through the other side stronger for it. For me I always know I've got my mum, my big sister and Miss K's dad on my side when things get too hard. In fact Miss K's dad was the third person I spoke to after I got shafted by my friend, and after 5 minutes on the phone with him I had new plans to crash his daddy daughter date with Miss K on Valentines Day and I was laughing again. It's the little things like that which can make the rough roads a lot easier to navigate.
4. We want respect
By respect I don't mean fear. Nor do I mean unquestioning and absolute blind adoration. What I'm talking about is the recognition that we have needs, and feelings, and opinions and emotions, That these things are important regardless of our age, race, gender, religious beliefs or anything else. You may not agree with us or even understand us sometimes, but that doesn't mean you have the right to dismiss us outright. (By the way any guy reading this will probably say "me too" right now, so I absolutely recognise that this again is a want that goes both ways.)
5. We want you to hear us
This one seems to be one of those things you hear all the time. Women talk too much and men don't listen. Well if you want to understand us gentlemen, then for goodness sake, actually hear us. We say so much without even speaking, and if you pay enough attention you can really learn about the women in your lives, even when they are totally silent. This is my problem now. For months I've been unhappy with my friendship with the guy who ditched our plans on Saturday, but I've just swallowed my feelings as if they don't matter. That doesn't mean it wasn't obvious at times that I wasn't happy with him, body language speaks volumes of course. But because I never came out and said I'm not happy, he was blissfully ignorant of this fact. And now I can no longer keep silent because I deserve better. I'm sure there are countless men out there who have experienced the same out of the blue barrage of abuse from someone you thought was perfectly happy with the way things are. The thing is, we might have been telling you our feelings for months or even years before we finally explode, you just weren't hearing them because they weren't being spelled out to you.
6. We don't want grand gestures to be saved for anniversaries and Valentine's Day
Once upon a time I had a massive crush on a guy I had met through work. I thought the sun shone out of his unmentionables and I would have walked to the ends of the earth for him. Unfortunately he didn't feel the same about me, so nothing ever came of my feelings. He was however excellent at grand gestures. One morning I was texting him and complained that I had a terrible sleep the night before. Several hours later there was a knock at my door and a florist was standing there with a bouquet of long stemmed roses. The note attached read "Sorry you had a bad night, hope these make your day better." To this day that remains one of the grandest gestures I have ever received, and it was from a guy who wasn't even interested in getting into my pants. The reason a lot of women get excited about events like Valentine's Day is because it's the only time they are guaranteed a show of romance from their significant other. This should never be the case.
Well I think I'll leave it with those 6 for now, they seem to be the biggest complaints I hear from the women in my life, so obviously they were the ones that warranted the biggest mentions. Thank you all for bearing with me and a special shout out to Tamara from Confessions of a part-time mum who took the time to contact me a week ago reminding me of how much I loved and missed writing. We've had a few late night discussions over the past week, (well late night for me given she's in Switzerland and not crazy enough to be up at 2 in the morning like some people) and the company and humor she brings to the table have been much valued.
Well stay tuned people because I'll be rejoining the Secret Subject Swap, Fly on the Wall and Use your Words blog posts ran by Karen at Baking in a Tornado in March, so there will be more hilarity to come real soon.