The wisdom of H: part 3

I know you’ve been looking for some guidance, well, good news, uncle H is here to help.

#12 Never wear a singlet under a t-shirt.

#19 Avoid the boss’s horny wife.

#77 Philosophy: life is a collection of moments – make the most of them. If it costs a little extra to create a happy memory you’ll have for years to come then it’s money well spent. Better that than to go cheap and have just another wasted moment.

#12o Pride leadeth to a fall, so they say. Sooner trust a proud man though, than a man without any.

#160 Every woman is wired differently. Some women go weak when you kiss their neck or throat, or maybe their ears. For others it’s their nipples, or the inside of their thighs, or inner elbow, or God knows where. There is no one-way to excite a woman, because no two women are the same. Throw out the book. Explore. Half the fun is finding out just what does it for them.

#183 Have principles. Believe in things, people. Struggle for your beliefs. Make them more than words.

#211 There will be times in your life when there will be whispers against you. It is human nature sometimes that words of malice are easier spoken than kind words. My advice: rise above it. If you catch them at it then follow your instincts. Otherwise, stand tall, look straight ahead. You know what you are, who you are, what you stand for. You are better than any who speak against you.

#239 Don’t say anything behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to their face.

#252 Set yourself standards.

More tips: the wisdom of H, part 2

Wisdom of S............

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I’m a man, and as it becomes very clear these little tidbits of advice are written from a male perspective, sometimes exclusively. Hopefully there are bits and pieces helpful to anyone, regardless of sex, but there are many more particularly addressed to my son when he comes of age (or born, at least):

#13 If you say you’re going to call, then call.

#44 Be true to principles beyond self-interest. Do what is right.

#64 Try to be special. Don’t be afraid of being different. The world is many people; you are just one. Strive to be yourself, strive to make each part of yourself the most it can be. Maybe then you can become more than just another face in the crowd.

#116 Be attentive to her needs, her desires, and you will find the more pleasure you give, the more you receive.

#175 Don’t wear a novelty tie unless you’re the joke. Don’t ever be the joke.

#213 Take your time when playing pool for money. Survey the table, the placement of the balls, the state of the game, the ability of your opponent, and his frame of mind. Though it is important to take your opportunities as they present, think more than one shot ahead. Know that sometimes the snooker is your most valuable ally. Sometimes denying him a shot is as important as making your own. Don’t play to impress, play to win.

#240 Don’t take bribes. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed against your better judgement. You’re not for sale kid.

H’s random tips on life, part 1

These are the little lessons in life I picked up along the way and wrote down for my children to learn. There’s a few. Here’s a random sample:

#3 Ask for more than is expected, expect more than you should, and do more than you have to.

#30 Beware of drivers wearing hats.

#65 Know: you can’t make someone love you.

#101 In the summer share a mango in the bathtub with a fine and sensual friend.

#132 When you bark, sometimes you have to bite.

#146 It’s fine to get even, but not to hold a grudge. It’s bad for the soul.

#171 Most people talk in inverse proportion to the time they spend thinking. Most people talk too much. Think more, and talk less.

#176 Keep your skis together, bend in the knees and move through the hips.

#200 Sometimes mending a relationship is like putting Humpty Dumpty together again. It can’t be done.

#245 Try not to let the phone ring more than four times.

#256 Never wear pants with elastic in the waist unless they’re trackpants or shorts – and only then at home or when you’re working out.


Got the hand?

I went to the soccer the other night and was walking home a little after 10 when my phone rang. We’d had a decent meal sitting in the sunshine of the city square, as well as a few cold pints and a glass of wine before the game even begun. By the time I was walking home I was pleasantly weary and looking forward to winding for an hour or so before climbing into bed. Then my phone rang.

It was Donna. She had been to her first ever speed dating event the week before and had connected, she thought, with one guy in particular. As it turned out she was mutually agreeable with three guys, including the one she liked. Problem is that he had written to her saying he enjoyed meeting with her, but only wanted to be friends.

Donna was in a predictable tizz. She was upset and confused and searching for answers. Once more she felt rejected, and her expectations defeated. She wanted to know what this meant and what she should do from a ‘male perspective’. Her inclination she told me was to send an email demanding to know what had happened, the tone veering from hectoring to sarcastic.

By this time I was home with Rigby jumping all over me. I rolled my eyes once more at the extreme reactions of Donna and attempted to put her straight.

She feared that she had put him off when the conversation veered to the topic of her ex, a subject she’s always pretty vociferous about. That was a no-no I told her, and hardly likely to help, but the damage was done – learn from it. Absolutely no future in sending anything narky, or even asking for an explanation – it sounds weak and nothing to gain from it. Best to let it go altogether I told her, but if you have to respond then be cool with it – a single line, composed and in control.

It’s never as easy as that with her. We probably spent the next 30 minutes going backwards and forwards over the same argument. Like a lot of women she agonises over every nuance of expression and possibility. What does that mean? Why did he leave his mobile number? Why did…? He was giving her the polite brush-off, that was that. He had the hand, and if she wanted to change anything she had to get it back.

She grudgingly agreed and when finally we disconnected I was exhausted by the perpetual to and fro. I went to bed.

At about 2am my phone tinged as it registered an incoming message. I was sleeping well and so picked it up. It was Whisky from KL, exasperated he said by the complexities of women. He went on to explain that he had knocked back an offer of sex from some woman and she had exploded. They had been friends for 7 years and now she threatened to have nothing more to do with him. Why were women like that?

I sighed lying there in the dark. This was the other side of the argument from earlier in the night. Tempted to give a glib response instead I gave him my opinion. Sex is something men do. We disconnect ourself from it. If we miss out it’s generally no big deal – another bus will come along soon enough.

It’s different for women. For most women most of the time there is an emotional commitment to sex. It is, in some sense, an expression in that moment of their feelings and emotions. When we reject the sex we implicitly reject them, or so it appears to them. For men sex is mostly physical; for women it’s personal. This sense of rejection is deepened knowing that many men will fuck anything that moves – so what’s wrong with me?

This morning I got a message from Donna. She had taken my advice and sent a cool and non-committal email to the man in question. Her first response was an excited “I’ve got the hand!” He had responded asking for more. Nothing intrigues a man more than a woman in control – and nothing deters a man more than a desperate woman.

Men can learn a lot from women, and vice versa. It is in our make-up as men that we almost always have the ‘hand’ early on even in a relationship – though it can change later. It is our nature to skim the surface initially, to avoid premature commitment and generally the more intimate emotions.

We should be better than that. But so to should women abstain from getting too caught up too soon, from feeling things too personally. That can come, but in the meantime there are only positives from being in command of your own feelings and expression. It’ll draw more men that way than not, will fascinate many men and give a more equal relationship – as it should be.

Today Donna thinks I’m the oracle. Everything I said has been correct, but that’s because I’m a man, the uber man in a lot of these respects (Donna believes in the event of a nuclear holocaust the cockroaches and my confidence will both survive), I think like a man and know how other men think. And I have that ruthless, hard-nosed way of thinking most men do in certain situations, black and white, it works or doesn’t and move on if it doesn’t.

Now Donna has that to, for now – and the man comes running.