So after reading my letter to him, The Dude was a good sport and actually excited to write an Owner's Manual himself. Here's what he sent me, nothing censored! (He's hilarious, do you see why I love this guy!?!)
The long awaited “Dude Manual” has arrived. I can only hope that this helps you, and maybe ladies everywhere, understand us guys (please keep in mind that while this is written by me, based on conversations with friends and family members, it also generally reps all males. Sorry guys, if I’m going down, so are all of you). Happy reading. :-)
First of all, because it’s almost Valentine's Day, we’ll start with that. It’s a big deal to me ... mainly because it’s a big deal to you. It’s like a lot of other things; all we need is a little push, then we're all in. If guys had the same emotional connection to V-day as girls did, the end result would be just short of a nuclear holocaust. Can you imagine the tears/anger/enjoyment everywhere? It would be palatable. You could literally taste the emotions in the air as you walk down the street. But we care about it, and make the monstrous effort, because it makes you happy. And ultimately, that’s the goal for any guy who has a special girl in his life (other than the obvious underlying motives).
Let’s talk about everyday life now. You are incredible enough that you take the time to make each of us lunches for the next day, without complaint. Now, while I think you do it because you know that if I could be fed Five Guys I.V.-style every day, I’d have more track marks on my body than the druggies on “Intervention” (but not between my toes, cause that shit would hurt). But it’s also healthy and you’re sweet to worry about me ballooning up (although I still can’t seem to convince you that if you put lettuce/pickles on the burgers, it’s still a veggie). I repay this by springing for “cheat Friday” lunches as often as you let me, which is important to me because, being the southerner I am, I feel that guys should do those things (along with opening doors, which doesn’t get the appropriate response from the locals that I’m used to).
Weekday evenings are fun because they’re nice and lazy, and after working all day, that’s all any guy really wants to do. Sit, watch TV/movies, and relax - ala Al Bundy. We don’t want to come home, kick off the shoes, and get handed a honey-do list before we can even set our bag down. Trust me, everything that’s on that list can wait until either later in the evening or even the weekend. The apartment will not explode and life as you know it will still go on. I get the fact that you have certain timelines in your head that you want all this accomplished by, but we’ve blown off enough of these tasks in the past to know that they can wait.
And, as I’ve heard, it’s ok for us to take unscheduled naps throughout the weekend. I can only look with pity at my friends when I tell them I took a nice 2-hr nap on a Saturday. I’m well rested and they look like they’re coming off a 3-day 8-ball binge. Ladies, let your man sleep if he feels that he has to (but don’t let him abuse it, cause we will sleep only as long as you’ll let us). Nighttime comes, dinner is done, and the appropriate thing to do is to help clean up. It’s logical, since we dirtied up our plate and the food we ate came out of the same dish, that we help clean. Can’t really argue this one. And then it’s off to bed to read/watch tv/fool around (personal fave of The Dude, as I’m sure of guys everywhere). While you are, in our eyes, absolutely gorgeous in anything you put on, it really makes the night complete when you strut out in the lingerie. Now while I know this is not an every night ordeal, it’s the once in a while times that make it special.
Decorating. Ok, and this is straight from the heart, we don’t care about decorating. While we might get something right every now and then, more often than not it falls on deaf ears. I think Denis Leary said it best: Out shopping with my wife. She pointed to a chair and asked, "What do you think about that chair?" "I think they suck." "Too late asshole, we just bought 20 of them." Then we spend the rest of the time convincing ourselves that they look good. Now, I know that you’ve asked me about the shelves and the butterflies over the bed, and that I’ve been dead-on right for those, but the more you ask my opinion, the higher the likelihood that my opinion is going to be worthless on something you ask ;)
Date Nights. This can be tricky because I know relationships are all about compromising and things like that, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. BUT, when it comes to places to eat, trust me when I tell you that guys really don’t care. We can find something to eat at any place that we go. If it has some form of meat, we can make it work (takes me back to my “casserole” days with my brother. We would mix whatever we could find in the cupboards, then throw a pound of ground beef in there, and it was AWESOME. And cheese. Gotta have cheese). The entertainment is where it requires compromise. I’m a realist and know that you can’t laser-tag and paint-ball and action flick every date, but you have to know that romcoms and stargazing and skipping hand-in-hand down the boardwalk can’t go on all the time either (unless we’re pegging people with painball guns as they skip). So come to a good compromise with us, and everyone will go home with a huge smile on their face, ending with the last part of the above paragraph. ;) (hey, just throwing it out there).
And there you have it Sassy, just a slight insight to what your guy is feeling/thinking. While I’m sure this isn't everything, it’s what is pertinent and on my mind right now. Obviously if there is anything else, you can ask and I’ll do my best to answer.
... All this being said, you do all of this. There are bumps every now and then, but it makes us stronger. Our relationship is pretty much give-and-take, and that’s absolutely how it needs to be for any relationship to succeed. Guys don’t want to feel like “yes men” and you, I’m sure, don’t want to feel like you’re high maintenance and naggy. And you are neither. :-)
If any ladies have relationship or men questions that they'd want to get The Dude's clearly wise and astute opinion on, I think I could even talk him into a "Dear Dude" post here and there ... just sayin'.