Women and their friends

FI-Joe-PisaniJane was really upset, and she wasted no time explaining what was wrong: “He forgot our anniversary … again. How could he do something like that?”

As they say, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten an anniversary, except maybe one of those phony anniversaries like, say, the day you decided to get engaged or the day you had your first lovers’ quarrel or the day you made up after your first lovers’ quarrel. I lose track of those momentous occasions because the world seems to move at warp speed once you get married.

Jane was angry and justifiably so. Then, she said something very telling: “My friend Christine remembered and my mother remembered, but my husband couldn’t remember.”

I’m not sure whether that has to do with male insensitivity or male dimwittedness or a little bit of both. As I was pondering this sad state of affairs, I saw a story with the headline, “Why friends make moms happier than husbands,” and I started to shake in my boots.

A study by Arizona State University, which surveyed 2,000 women, concluded that mothers need four things for healthy well-being: unconditional acceptance, comfort in stressful times, friendship satisfaction and authentic relationships. And — this should come as no surprise — marriage wasn’t a high priority. Even women who were “happily married,” as they say, confessed that their friendships were more important when it came to personal well-being. It seems that women friends trump husbands every time.

Psychology professor Suniya Luthar, an author of the study which was published in Developmental Psychology, said, “Whether the female friends are sisters, a mom, or a cousin, to have that loving tender care from other women is essential.”

Are we husbands dropping the ball so often that our womenfolk would rather seek the comfort of other women than turn to us for encouragement, compassion, support or a pedicure? Are we so insensitive and callous that we’re near the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to our wives?

Or are we too preoccupied with important matters like the World Series, Monday Night Football, the sale at Cabela’s, and the latest issue of Maxim? Men of America, this is not a good thing. This should be a wakeup call.

How did things get so bad, especially after years of being recreated by feminists in their own image and likeness, and after having our male mentality reprogrammed to make us more feminine-friendly and less masculine, so we could be nurturing and “emotive.” That project apparently failed and now we’re on the scrap heap or the dunghill, depending upon your preference.

From time to time to time, my wife and I suffer from a failure to communicate and this causes turbulence in our married life, but she’s found a solution that’s available to every woman — she bonds with the dog. Unlike me, the dog can do no wrong, and she loves it to bits. Men, if this is what your life is like, all I can say is “you are not alone.”

To add to the indignity, my wife spends a good deal of time on the phone, talking to her girlfriends about I don’t know what and I don’t want to know what.

When I call, I’m ashamed to admit, she’s always trying to get me off the phone because she has other things to do, such as go to the Post Office or to the sale at Saks or take the dog to the groomer or to the sale at Saks. I feel like second fiddle to the dog and the girlfriends — maybe that makes me third fiddle. What’s a guy to do?

Yes, men of America, we have to change. We have to rehabilitate ourselves. We can’t keep putting our drinking buddies before our brides. We can’t keep turning to our colleagues on the softball team when we have an emotional problem and sobbing on their shoulders instead of sobbing on our wives’ shoulders.

There’s an easy solution to this conjugal conundrum. If you can’t remember your wife’s birthday and/or anniversary or baptismal date, all you have to do is pay your kids or your secretary $50 to remind you. Problem solved. Crisis averted. Back to Monday Night Football.

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