December 8, 2009

Dept. of It Ain't Broken, So Let's Fix It

A certain share of the craziness in the world is the fault of freelance journalists looking for something to write about. Combine that with the fact that most of the market for women's journalism revolves around self-improvement, since only men will read about The Crisis in Yemen (there is one, isn't there?) and pretend it's conceivably relevant to their lives ("What if the White House calls seeking my advice on Yemen? I must be ready for The Call.")

For example, the NY Times Magazine features this long article by Elizabeth Weil called "Married (Happily) with Issues)" about her attempt to fix her unbroken marriage via narcissistic yuppie self-improvement efforts. It's been among the most emailed articles on the NY Times for most of a week:

I have a pretty good marriage. ... The idea of trying to improve our union came to me one night in bed.... And as I lay there, I started wondering why I wasn’t applying myself to the project of being a spouse. My marriage was good, utterly central to my existence, yet in no other important aspect of my life was I so laissez-faire. Like most of my peers, I applied myself to school, friendship, work, health and, ad nauseam, raising my children. But in this critical area, marriage, we had all turned away. I wanted to understand why. I wanted not to accept this. ... So I decided to apply myself to my marriage, to work at improving ours now, while it felt strong.

I can't possibly bring myself to read the entire article, but let me make a guess: It turns out not to be a good idea.

Tom Wolfe explained it all 33 years ago in The "Me" Decade and the Third Great Awakening:

A key drama of our own day is Ingmar Bergman’s movie Scenes From a Marriage. In it we see a husband and wife who have good jobs and a well-furnished home but who are unable to “communicate”—to cite one of the signature words of the Me Decade. Then they begin to communicate, and there upon their marriage breaks up and they start divorce proceedings. For the rest of the picture they communicate endlessly, with great candor, but the “relationship”—another signature word—remains doomed. Ironically, the lesson that people seem to draw from this movie has to do with . . . “the need to communicate.” Scenes From a Marriage is one of those rare works of art, like The Sun Also Rises, that not only succeed in capturing a certain mental atmosphere in fictional form . . . but also turn around and help radiate it throughout real life. I personally know of two instances in which couples, after years of marriage, went to see Scenes From a Marriage and came home convinced of the “need to communicate.” The discussions began with one of the two saying. Let’s try to be completely candid for once. You tell me exactly what you don’t like about me, and I’ll do the same for you. At this, the starting point, the whole notion is exciting. We’re going to talk about Me! (And I can take it.) I’m going to find out what he (or she) really thinks about me! (Of course, I have my faults, but they’re minor, or else exciting.)

She says. “Go ahead. What don’t you like about me?”

They’re both under the Bergman spell. Nevertheless, a certain sixth sense tells him that they’re on dangerous ground. So he decides to pick something that doesn’t seem too terrible.

“Well,” he says, “one thing that bothers me is that when we meet people for the first time, you never know what to say. Or else you get nervous and start babbling away, and it’s all so banal, it makes me look bad.”

Consciously she’s still telling herself, “I can take it.” But what he has just said begins to seep through her brain like scalding water. What’s he talking about? . . . makes him look bad? He’s saying I’m unsophisticated, a social liability, and an embarrassment. All those times we’ve gone out, he’s been ashamed of me! (And what makes it worse—it’s the sort of disease for which there’s no cure!) She always knew she was awkward. His crime is: He noticed! He’s known it, too, all along. He’s had contempt for me.

Out loud she says. “Well, I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about that.”

He detects the petulant note. “Look,” he says. “you’re the one who said to be candid.”

She says, “I know. I want you to be.”

He says, “Well, it’s your turn.”

“Well,” she says, “I’ll tell you something about when we meet people and when we go places. You never clean yourself properly—you don’t know how to wipe yourself. Sometimes we’re standing there talking to people, and there’s . . . a smell. And I’ll tell you something else. People can tell it’s you.”

And he’s still telling himself, “I can take it”—but what inna namea Christ is this?

He says, “But you’ve never said anything—about anything like that.”

She says, “But I tried to. How many times have I told you about your dirty drawers when you were taking them off at night?”

Somehow this really makes him angry. . . . All those times . . . and his mind immediately fastens on Harley Thatcher and his wife, whom he has always wanted to impress. . . . And all at once he is intensely annoyed with his wife, not because she never told him all these years—but simply because she knows about his disgrace—and she was the one who brought him the bad news!

From that moment on they’re ready to get the skewers in. It’s only a few minutes before they’ve begun trying to sting each other with confessions about their little affairs, their little slipping around, their little coitus on the sly—“Remember that time I told you my flight from Buffalo was canceled?”—and at that juncture the ranks of those who can take it become very thin, indeed. So they communicate with great candor! and break up! and keep on communicating! and then find the relationship hopelessly doomed.

One couple went into group therapy. The other went to a marriage counselor. Both types of therapy are very popular forms, currently, of Let’s talk about Me. This phase of the breakup always provides a rush of exhilaration, for what more exhilarating topic is there than . . . Me? Through group therapy, marriage counseling, and other forms of “psychological consultation” they can enjoy that same Me euphoria that the very rich have enjoyed for years in psychoanalysis. The cost of the new Me sessions is only $10 to $30 an hour, whereas psychoanalysis runs from $50 to $125. The woman’s exhilaration, however, is soon complicated by the fact that she is (in the typical case) near or beyond the cutoff age of 35 and will have to retire to the reservation.

Well, my dear Mature Moderns . . . Ingmar never promised you a rose garden!

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

If you value, or at least want to keep, the relationship then never take something like that at face value. People are really seeking self-affirmation. Slip in a compliment in the form of a critique, as in: "You're just too nice and trusting, people take advantage of you sometimes". Then go back to reading about Yemen.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I too could not bring myself to read the thing: It truly made me want to wretch. Self-indulgent, narcissistic yuppie nonsense.

Grossed me out.

agnostic said...

We could see whose silliness is a bigger financial drain on the economy by adding up the costs of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. for a given year, and then add up the sales of all self-improvement books.

Derek L said...

In the BBC documentary "The Human Face," there is a segment about a troubled married couple who could not figure out what was leading them to argue every day.

Thanks to a "brilliant" marriage counselor, they discover that their inner disgust for eachother was subconciously being leaked via facial expressions and their marriage could be salvaged so long as they feigned happiness when around eachother.

Anonymous said...

I successfully tried to make a good marriage better, and it didn't involve navel gazing or any discussions at all with my husband.

My plan:
1)Make love more.
2)Criticize less.
It works, too.

Cordelia said...

Well, I got as far as the bottom of the first page. (I almost didn't get past the picture of them at the top -- she looks really b*tchy!)

Dan sounds like a pretty smart guy:

"Still, Dan was not 100 percent enthusiastic, at least at first. He feared — not mistakenly, it turns out — that marriage is not great terrain for overachievers. He met my ocean analogy with the veiled threat of California ranch-hand wisdom: if you’re going to poke around the bushes, you’d best be prepared to scare out some snakes."

Anton said...

Tom Wolfe says this (and many other things) best.

But in any kind of successful long-term relationship candor ranks WAY down on the list of values critical for success (despite what most women insist). Above candor are:

1. Kindness
2. Respect
3. Tolerance
4. Effort to find and appreciate the other's virtues
5. Persistence

Women often beg for "honesty" for, yes, self-affirmation, but also because they are of the opinion that "sharing" = "intimacy. It doesn't.

agnostic said...

Here are some data on who drains the economy more. In 2008:

$11 billion on self-improvement materials

$144 billion on Iraq

So we blow as much on Iraq in a single month as we sink into self-improvement snake oil over an entire year.

Girls can be annoying, but harmful people are almost always men.

Anonymous said...

Here is an actual working link for The "Me" Decade and the Third Great Awakening

Cordelia said...

OMG - I read the whole thing.

They are sooooo gonna get divorced (and it's mostly gonna be because of her, although living with him doesn't sound like a picnic either).

This is the highlight (and sums up everything you need to know about her). She says:

"I realized that my favorite books about marriage — Calvin Trillin’s 'About Alice' and Joan Didion’s 'Year of Magical Thinking' — included one spouse who was dead."

Now I'm gonna go re-read "Jane Eyre" just to cleanse my mind....

Cordelia said...

@agnostic: You need to calculate in other stuff, too. For example, the crazy, self-help lady in the NYT didn't just buy a few books -- she dragged her husband to multiple, different types of therapy sessions, weekend retreats (including "a 16-hour, two-Saturday course called 'Mastering the Mysteries of Love'"), etc.

Also, you're gonna have to account for stuff like mental anguish. She put her husband and herself (and, probably, their kids) through a certain amount of hell on account of her whacked idea.

Marvin said...

I couldn't get past the first page. How long before Dan puts a pillow over her face?

agnostic said...

That self-help figure accounts for "books, CDs, seminars, coaching and stress-management programs."

Middletown Girl said...

Modern feminism has largely been about ugly Jewish girls jealous of shikses, pretty Jewish girls insecure about their smarts, smart Jewish girls arrogant with pride, lesbian Jewish girls angry at men, fat Jewish girls depressed over their fattiness, crazy Jewish girls saying crazy things, ditzy Jewish girls with too much bubbly chutzpah, etc, etc.

Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Naomi Wolf, Bella Abzug, Katha Pollitt, Andrea Dworkin, Kate Roiphe, Hanna Rosin, Eleanor Roeloff Clift, etc, etc.

Worse, non-Jewish girls emulate them and become just as irritating even if not as smart or original.

However, Pauline Kael and Susan Sontag were truly interesting gals.

Svigor said...

My marriage was good, utterly central to my existence, yet in no other important aspect of my life was I so laissez-faire. Like most of my peers, I applied myself to school, friendship, work, health and, ad nauseam, raising my children. But in this critical area, marriage, we had all turned away.

I stopped reading right there, wondering how many other posts before mine would point out the giant neon sign reading "marital trouble ahead."

She sounds like she was doing a lot to keep her marriage healthy...before she started her addle-pated mission.

Whiskey said...

Agnostic -- The Stimulus Bill ($780 billion) is about the same as 8 years of both the Iraq and Afghan Wars. Unlike the benefits of say, removing Saddam, making an example of him, bringing Iraq's oil back onto the world market (at this note WTI is around $72 a barrel) and basically, "getting an option" to restrain Pakistan (by using Afghanistan to launch short-flight Predator drones to kill the worst Taliban/AQ/ISI figures) ... the Stimulus bill basically propped up State spending on female dominated Health, Education and Welfare.

This article is not just a SWPL thing, it is a female thing. A guy would not care.

Women elected Obama (single women voted for him 70-29) and we get Carbon Taxes up the wazoo, along with massive payments to China and India, government run health care, all because Obama explicitly promised increased female-friendly HEW spending (dwarfing Iraq/Afghanistan) and was the charismatic Black guy. [After one debate one woman was vehement in her dislike of McCain being old and White while in lust with Big Man Obama.]

Obama is going to Copenhagen with the EPA ruling in his pocket to make your electricity 4X more expensive, Gas at $10 a gallon, so Gore, Kleiner-Perkins, Axelrod, Emmanuel, and others can make a mint on "carbon credits."

Cordelia said...

Middletown Girl said: "Modern feminism has largely been about ugly Jewish girls jealous of shikses, pretty Jewish girls insecure about their smarts, smart Jewish girls arrogant with pride, lesbian Jewish girls angry at men, fat Jewish girls depressed over their fattiness, crazy Jewish girls saying crazy things, ditzy Jewish girls with too much bubbly chutzpah, etc, etc."

Well, the crazy-lady in the NYT is Jewish.

Cordelia said...

agnostic said: "That self-help figure accounts for 'books, CDs, seminars, coaching and stress-management programs.'

Does that include marriage counselling and sex therapy sessions (wasn't clear to me from that Forbes article)? 'Cause that's also what this woman put her family through.

And, what about all the other, "incidental" costs? (Like the therapy I'm now going to have to go through after reading that d*mn article? ;-) )

Anonymous said...

Those military costs in Iraq, are they purely factors related to that operation? A big percentage of the costs are otherwise things that would be paid for anyway - basic pay, fuel costs, maintainance, spare parts, food, medical services. A lot of those costs will still be incurred Iraq or not.

John Craig said...

The Sunday NYTimes is good for one thing: the crossword puzzle. I haven't been able to read an entire article in it for over a decade.

OhioStater said...

If my wife says be candid, I don't have a wife, but when I do, I will say "honey, I'm playing videos games. Please make me a sandwich and get me a beer". Our dads weren't soft, they didn't have these problems, and they were married for 50 years or death, whichever is shorter.

Anonymous said...


You're supposed to be one of the brighter lights in the HBD/whatever blogosphere, but you're not proving it today. The problem with the self-help industry is not that it's a financial drain on the scale of Iraq/Afghanistan, but that it gives people a distorted view of themselves and others and thus, among other things, screws up their relationships.

No one has ever argued anything else, have they?

dormouse said...

What do you mean women would never read about Yemen? Sure they would, as long as it was about the people in Yemen and not the GNP or why we really need to start a war there. In fact, women would probably be more interested in an article about the People-of-Yemn than would most guys.

Simon said...

My most successful technique for staying happily married is to remember my marriage vows, in particular 'Honor'. My wife does annoying things, but destructive criticism is not honoring her. Maybe as a person she deserves the criticism, but as my wife and the mother of my child she has a position that itself is worthy of respect, and which I am oath-bound to honour. If I wouldn't speak like that to a co-worker or friend, I shouldn't speak like that to her.

It's not easy, but remembering this, more than anything else, has helped me recently to avoid nagging her the way my mother nags my father. I recommend it to all spouses.

Mr. Anon said...

The husband looks like he's been seriously p-whipped. If he'd been a man, he'd of told her "Desist this infernal nonsense, woman!"

He'll end up paying a lot in alimony. And he'll deserve it for having chosen his wife poorly.

Anonymous said...

> But in this critical area, marriage, we had all turned away. I wanted to understand why. I wanted not to accept this. ... So I decided to apply myself to my marriage, to work at improving ours now <

Reading that gave me cold chills of terror.

Fellas, pray you never, ever have a wife like this.

H.L. Mencken said: "Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest."

Anonymous said...

> My plan:
1)Make love more.
2)Criticize less. <

More proof that all the good women are taken.

Clare Krishan said...

linked here from Joshua's Western Confucian log, where I left my 5¢ worth.

I read the whole thing and found it edifying in that a civilized lady had the courage to share the pain she encountered in real life. The perversity being the pain helped her see what more comfortable things had not, that what she has is worth keeping (her kids may not thank her for it later, but that's their cross to bear, they should be thankful mummy and daddy are still Mr and Mrs!)

That the religious tradition of her family of origin or her spouse's failed to give her the necessary resources should be something we are ashamed about, not something we crow about!

She may yet find Christ's redemptive love if she comes to recognize the Bridegroom in the Song of Solomon recited on the eve of the Sabbath in devout Jewish homes at Passover. Let's hope she doesn't find this thread first and be frightened off by Christian manhood at its finest..NOT!

Note bene ladies: NEVER marry a computer gamer until he has grown up. If you can't wait long enough for him to let the joystick loose, let him loose instead (he has forgotten he has his own two legs, he can walk to get his beer himself) and go find a real adult instead! Imaginations habituated on curiosity for the next thrill in infinite cyberspace make for poor material in discovering and overcoming the very real limitations of the finite world of the patter of tiny feet.

Middletown Girl said...

Actually, I worry more about the guy married to this broad. He must either be a metrosexual dork who enjoys this goo goo crap or an unlucky sap going out of his mind.

Anonymous said...

Okay so you called that one. I did not RTFA either but I skipped to the end. Just as depressing as you might guess.

Unless you are with one of those really dedicated to marriage groups like 'Marriage Encounter' do not try to do anything like what she did. It just messes things up.

Svigor said...

To descend for a moment into dubious logic, Lou Dobbs is married to a woman with an Hispanic name, too.

American Jewry has a substantially lower outmarriage rate than Euro populations, yet by a wide margin they're the world heavyweight champions of open borders (inter alia). I think we might need to look beyond who they're marrying for explanations.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Despite many years of successful husbandry, it was only after I began reading Roissy as well as listening to Dr. Laura that I finally was able articulate all the unconscious techniques I had been using in my own marriage into a general theory of conjugal bliss.

All of this assumes, of course, that you are a run-of-the-mill beta good- guy (and I use that term in a completely positive sense) without any gambling or substance abuse issues, psychosises, or open vendettas from the mob, who is perfectly happy to assume the stable provider role in exchange for affection and domestic comfort from your woman. If that is the case, then the task ahead of you is relatively easy if you follow these simple rules:

1) Keep it exciting!

Do new things together, go to new places. If you fall into a rut (as most men, who would be happy with just a warm cave and a 52" flatscreen TV, tend to do) she will feel you are taking her for granted, as well as depriving her of the excitement she craves. Paradoxically, this also means doing things like mild flirting with other women in front of her to remind her you are still desirable and how lucky she is to have you.

2) Be the man!

The main stress in most marriages is that the wife is a neatness freak while the husband is your average, well-meaning slob. In my experience it makes sense to give way on many of the house rules she comes up with as they are usually sensible and improve your own enjoyment of the home. However, do not give way from a position of weakness or submission, as even if you somehow master all the little sh!t tests she throws at you (voluminous in their intricacy as the E.U. constitution), you will merely sink to (as pointed out in one of Whiskey's articles) contemptible "kitchen bitch" status in her eyes. So next time she gives you grief about where you put your socks, or how you didn't group your utensils together on the plate when you finished dinner, do not apologize, or rules lawyer back at her ("Well just this Tuesday I remember you forgot..."), but instead play the part of the alpha cad. Playfully, cuttingly (but never viciously) call her out for being the bitch she is, point out how she's ruining everyone's good time (in Roissy-talk, "reframe and shame"), and then either grab her and kiss her hard, or suggest you two drop everything and head for an impromptu weekend at the coast, or both. But in short, be the dominant male and do not apologize for the small stuff (the real mistakes you make are a different matter entirely, and again I assume you are a together-enough beta good guy not to do such relationship-killers as lose the downpayment on your next home on pharma penny stocks).

Dr. Laura (who is now on her 2nd generation of women!) talks about how wives sabotage their marriages with this petty, neurotic stuff all the time. But short of your wife reading and living Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, you will have to take matters into your own greater beta hands, which is entirely more satisfying.

greenrivervalleyman said...

To corroborate my previous post, here is a relationship article from CNN (courtesy of Whiskey):

I contemplate divorce every day. It tugs on my sleeve each morning when my husband, Will, greets me in his chipper, smug morning-person voice, because after 16 years of waking up together, he still hasn't quite pieced out that I'm not viable before 10 a.m.

It puts two hands on my forehead and mercilessly presses when he blurts out the exact wrong thing ("Are you excited for your surprise party next Tuesday?"); when he lies to avoid the fight ("What do you mean I left our apartment door open? I never even knew our apartment had a door!"); when he buttons his shirt and jacket into the wrong buttonholes, collars and seams unaligned like a vertical game of dominoes, with possibly a scrap of shirttail zippered into his fly.

It flicks me, hard, just under the eye when, during a parent-teacher conference, he raises his arm high in the air, scratches his armpit, and then --then! -- absently smells his fingers.

It slammed into me like a 4,000-pound Volvo station wagon one spring evening four years ago, although I remember it as if it were last year.

He had dropped me off in front of a restaurant, prior to finding a parking spot. As I crossed in front of the car, he pulled forward, happily smiling back over his left shoulder at some random fascinating bit (a sign with an interesting font, a new scaffolding, a diner that he may or may not have eaten at the week after he graduated from college), and plowed into me. The impact, while not wondrous enough to break bodies 12 ways, was sufficient to bounce me sidewise onto the hood, legs waving in the air like antennae, skirt flung somewhere up around my ears.

For one whole second, New York City stood stock-still and looked at my underwear.

What this harpy doesn't realize, of course, is that after a decade and a half of brow-beating, her mild-mannered, well-meaning lesser beta husband has become incapable of putting on his own shirt without her bitchy "input", let alone piloting a 2 ton passenger vehicle. Jon Gosling (the dad from Jon and Kate Plus 8) turned into an equally emptied out shell of a man before our eyes from his control freak wife's constant nitpicking and abuse, with results by which we are all familiar now. said...

I just browsed that article and these people are horrifying caricatures of SWPL, with all their dilettantish power-hobbies and narcissistic self-improvement projects

I want to kick them both in the face

Anonymous said...

what kind of moron would contrast spending on Iraq with spending on self-help books to prove something about either sex? can Truth step up and improve on this stupidity?

I love how you all you guys are quantitative-minded... until you're not.

Middletown Girl said...

This is rather the norm if you think about it. Most journalism caters to middle class folks, and most middle class folks prefer middle class themed stories. This leads to a contradiction of sorts. Middle class stories are generally not the crisis-ridden/man-bites-dog stories. But, news must be dIfFeReNt and man-bites-doggish to attract attention. So, the trick is to take middle class stories and inject them with a sense of crisis, panic, or some such.
So, Time Magazine ran covers about 'are we not spending enough time with kids', 'are we spending too much time with kids', 'are kids not studying hard enough', 'are kids burdened with too much homework', 'are women at work happy', are women unhappy at work', 'are women happy at home', 'are men unhappy at home', 'are men watching too much sports on tv', 'are men too sissy, are men too macho', etc, etc. AND IF WE DON'T DO WHATEVE'S NECESSARY, WILL IT BE THE END OF THE WORLD????!!!

This way, you get the same middle class themed crap over and over, but it's filled with drama, intensity, meaning, discourse, etc. It also passes for 'intellectual' since everything is, of course, political.

When the privileged middle class had been much smaller relative to the poorer classes, educated journalistic types found adventure and meaning among the less fortunate. But, the vast majority of Americans now belong to the middle class, so most journalists see nothing but middle classness all around. But, their role as journalists require that they find CRISIS. So, they nitpick everything about their lives, their friends' lives... or they just imagine new ones out of the air.

And the fact that we have more and more venues for news means that there's more competition for viewership and readership. Most people are shallow and narcissistic and prefer goo goo news. For news organizations to compete, they must run stories catering to and flattering middle class conceits and youthful tastes.

News used to be more dignified when it had been controlled by few networks and print journalism. The news masters could maintain a loftier tone since everyone had to rely on them for news. There was Walter Cronkite, Time magazine, and local paper. But with the rise of cable news, internet, tabloid, and etc, once respectable news organizations have had to compete with new media by going for the lowest common denonimator--narcissistic self-worth and self-pity. In an age when Oprah passes for the Oracle and Obama passes for Neo, whaddya expect?

Middletown Girl said...

On the other hand, what about Sailer and our obsession or yammering about Mad Men? Isn't that show about narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, vain, and vapid boys and girls?

And, isn't the NPR crowd mad about that show because it both flatters their own sense of nouveau-privilege AND pretends to dispense satirical critique of American capitalism?
Heck, why not have it all? Bill Gates and the Google boys may be the richest greediest capitalists in the world, but they're also apparently the most progressive do-gooders working to help the 'little guy'.

agnostic said...

"what kind of moron would contrast spending on Iraq with spending on self-help books to prove something about either sex?"

Connection's pretty obvious. Both sexes have destructive tendencies for their pet We Have to Do Something About It cause.

For women, it's channeled into worrying about health and well-being, so they sink a bunch of money into unnecessary self-help, subsidized health care, etc.

For men, it's channeled into worrying about balances of power, so they sink a bunch into foreign policy, subsidized sports teams, etc. (Steve notes that a lot of the foreign policy fervor in the Bos-Wash area is because they don't have as many good college sports teams to root for.)

Tally up the destructiveness of each side, and see whose silliness is a bigger drain. Back-of-the-envelope looks like the male-typical causes costs more.

Could change down the line if we pull out of the interventionist business and give away more health care. But right now, while female silliness is more annoying than male silliness, one costs us a lot more than the other.

Anonymous said...

How can that "Dan" in the NY Times article allow his wife to publish all those intimate details of his life, including he and his wife's sex life? Rather than writing that long winded and embarrassing expose on their pitiful "relationship", it would've been far more dignified to put a youtube video of Dan crying in his panties. What a disgrace....

Anonymous said...

1)Make love more.
2)Criticize less.

Do you have any sisters who are still single?

Maybe a cousin?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we might have a little chemistry here between Clare Krishan and OhioStater.

Any way we can arrange for them to exchange email addresses?

Victoria said...

Women often beg for "honesty" for, yes, self-affirmation, but also because they are of the opinion that "sharing" = "intimacy. It doesn't.

This is one of the wisest statements I've ever read, and yet the psycho-babble about "honesty" goes on and on.

On another front, because of the way that we're made, women insist on believing that men, too, internalize and worry over trivial junk. It was a wonderful revelation to discover that the male of the species really does allow most stuff to roll off his back. While we women are agitating over some dumb bit of nonsense, the guy has long forgotten it. He has really forgotten it. I like that.