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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What Your Husband Is Missing - an open letter to women and their men

I talk about my husband Gerry a lot and use him as my stylish model in the look book pages for men. Taking that a bit further, I asked him to guest-blog for me on the subject that most men won't talk about - things they do not do, because they consider them beneath their male dignity.

I could talk about this, of course. But I am a woman - men's reaction would be, "Well, of course you'll say that - you are a woman!" I could point my male readers to some great books, including Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, but that would only make men cringe, "Ewww, taking advice from a woman and a bunch of gay guys!"

So, I figured the message would go over much better if it came from a very heterosexual married man with a demanding business and a somewhat intimidating wife. Without further ado I give you... Gerry Seymour!


Let's face it: there are a lot of activities that most men simply won't do. They have a lot of "reasons" why they don't do these things, but for the most part it comes down to them being, well, un-manly. There are other words for it (just ask Carson Kressley - of course, if your husband knows who Carson is, this article isn't necessary), but that word sums it all up.

What kinds of activities am I talking about? Well, here’s a short list that most man (and many women) could readily add to:

- Shopping for clothes
- Shopping for antiques
- Shopping for groceries
- Eating good food
- Dressing up when you don’t “have to”
- Cooking
- Doing the laundry
- Taking out the trash (okay, this one has nothing to do with being un-manly, but I have a reason for including it)

There’s a problem with this list, though: there are really manly rewards to all of these activities!

Let me just go through the list…

Shopping for clothes

I’m not talking about running into a store to snatch a 12-pack of boxer-briefs because yours have finally lost that last thread that was holding on the elastic. I’m talking about going into multiple stores to look for clothes, trying things on, and deciding which to buy and which to leave behind. And I’m talking about shopping for her and for you.

I know this sounds tedious and boring, but let’s look at the advantages.

First, if you take her with you to shop for your clothes, you have two huge benefits: 1) you get to veto anything you simply wouldn’t wear, and 2) she gets to pick out clothes that she thinks you look sexy in. Need I elaborate on the manly rewards of the latter?

Secondly, if you go with her to go shopping, you get to nudge her toward clothes you think she is sexy in, and she feels appreciative that you’re paying attention to her and helping her pick out clothes. This is something she will actually brag to her friends about (I have proof). This combination, of course, carries a similar manly benefit to shopping for you. Combine the two shopping trips, and you’ll have so much “benefit”, you may want to call and cancel some plans for the weekend.

Shopping for antiques

I don’t know what you’re afraid of. There’s some great guy furniture and stuff in those stores. Yeah, it takes a while but there are antique tools! What could be manlier than a bunch of tools like your grandfather used to use? You don’t even need any other benefits – these stores are simply filled with cool stuff for guys!

Shopping for groceries

Guys, most of you just leave this chore to your wife. And that’s a good idea. My wife knows darned well it’s more expensive if I go into a grocery store without her. But if I go with her, I get to lift the heavy stuff for her (we have two big dogs and three cats), and I get to pick out some foods she’d leave out. This leads me right into the next topic…

Eating good food

I’m not saying to lay off the pizza and beer. In fact, that’s exactly what I was talking about in that last paragraph. But there’s more to life than that. I like my pizza greasy and my beer the color of used motor oil. But I also know that a really good chef can make beef, chicken, and even vegetables into something that’s worth the cost of a dozen pizzas. I kid you not – great food tastes, well, great. I’m not saying you should do it all the time, but you should do it. Take her out someplace that make really good food. Need I mention that the manly benefits will continue well after the check is paid?

Dressing up when you don’t “have to"

When you take her out, dress in something at least as nice as she’s dressed in, damnit! I see guys all the time out to eat with their women, and the women are dressed nicely (maybe a little black dress), and the guy is in jeans. Do you have any idea what this is saying to her? She dressed nice for you to show she cares. When you don’t do the same, you’re telling her you just don’t care as much. Don’t believe me? Ask her.

When you can manage it (and I manage it any chance I can), dress up for her. She’ll really appreciate it. Bonus points if you’re wearing something she helped pick out and she already told you you’re sexy (or even “cute”) in.

These clothes don’t have to be uncomfortable. If you think a tie is strangling you, that’s probably because the tie is strangling you. But it’s not the tie’s fault. It’s the shirt that’s trying to kill you. Go to someplace where they really know clothes (try a real menswear store, like Men’s Wearhouse), and let them help you get the right size. Clothes that fit are far more comfortable than ill-fitting clothing. And if they’re decent quality (Bass, Van Heusen, etc. should be your minimum standard), they will feel good on your skin. A nice pair of dress pants should actually be more comfortable than your jeans. I shit you not.


Okay, so maybe you’re no chef, yourself. I’m a really good cook really is!>, but you don’t really have to be for this to be worth doing. Learn to cook a couple of easy things. Pasta is hard to screw up, and you can buy decent ready-made sauces. Some day when she’s coming home tired and you get there first, make dinner for her. Do this and clean up after yourself, and she’s going to be even more tired from expressing her gratitude. (For the single guys: there is absolutely no better way to ensure yourself of a good evening with a date than to cook something nice for her – learn to cook and dates are easy to find.)

Doing the laundry and taking out the trash

I’m lumping these together, because they’re the same for your wife. They’re things she doesn’t want to do but will do because you won’t. Taking out the trash takes very little time, and gets you huge points. Laundry takes more time and effort, so I’m not suggesting you do it every time. Trust me, she doesn’t really want you to do that. I know how to do laundry, but Maria would just as soon I stay away from it – it’s tedious to watch really is!>. But this is one of those things you can do to help out. Try this: next time she’s going off for the weekend with the girls, do the laundry and ironing for her. Don’t save the surprise – text her when it’s done. She’ll relax more the last day or so (knowing she’s not coming home to a wreck), and will be very happy to see you when she gets home.

If you doubt that any of this is as many as I’m saying, just ask your wife. Better yet, do one or two of these ever week for the next couple of months, and find out for yourself. I guarantee the results will have you feeling like a real man.


Gerry Seymour is a technology consultant, a mentor, a talented and experienced martial artist, and an entrepreneur. To find out more, please visit his web site - TSKG.

1 comment:

Geo. said...

Maria K.,
1st-time visitor to your excellent blog. My compliments. Very impressed with Gerry's catalogue of man-stuff. Can only add that women have roughly 4 times the emotional range of men, which means 75% of the time we have no idea what you're feeling. My policy in 40 years of marraige has been to rely on predictable schedules in my chores and behavior. Much of domestic tranquility depends on men being very simple mechanisms.