A Valentine's Day message -- for guys only

Posted 02.13.11

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Here's what women want . . .

Sigmund Freud asked that famous question -- to his life-long embarrassment -- and it's still heard in sports bars. If you were to scratch most guys, you'd find this question floating in their heads, although more likely, "what the heck does Carrie really want?" Or Ruth, Marie, Anik, someone personal.

1. The answer's simple: Women want the same as men. Don't we all want to be loved, respected, and supported?

2. However, you'd agree most women want an attractive face. Look at the time they give it every morning, and how often a refection catches their attention; notice how they pay attention to all faces. I'd bet women prefer Skype more than men, because it's face-to-face.

3. Most women want nice clothing. Women are attractive and like looking good -- clothing, well, it tells and it hides everything.

4. Women want reality. They may like fantasy movies -- princesses when they're kids -- but the women I know have a sharp-eyed sense of reality and want that reality respected by those around them. As romantic as women can be, they watch every detail, trend, every evasion. Men deal with reality, too, and often with its coarsest terms, but men are experts in self-delusion and self-distraction. Men love politics and sports. What does sports distract us from?

5. Women want to be unencumbered in exercising their personal strengths. As mothers, that's what they are known for, but outside motherhood and raising kids, their abilities are not always appreciated, compensated, or supported. That's what they want.

6. Women want the freedom -- and the infrastructure -- to explore their inner depths, and to have anything they bring back from those interior forays to be appreciated. Creativity, inner voyages, reading the writing on the walls of their own hearts, that's what they want. And being able to speak these truths -- as artists, musicians, lovers, homesters.

7. Women want the scope of their focus and concern accepted, even if it does not include becoming an astronaut or a climber of Everest. Women want their selves to be planted front and centre in the life they share with their partners, kids, and parents. Like a Tree of Life, each woman recognizes her ability to play the tree role, nourishing those about her, aiding, stimulating, protecting them. If this shelter does not extend to the horizon, they want that understood.

Let men be the hunters and go off -- back in the day -- admitting they are as blind, close-up, as they are sharp-eyed with distances. Women want the close-up cherished and supported -- that's where love, help, music, bookkeeping, and poetry grow.

I'm very pleased no women are reading this. I suspect they don't like be written about -- by men. Use these tips, guys, for a creative gift this year.

Freud's question about women's wants may have been ridiculous, if he thought the answer was much different than asking what men want. Women may expect a more complex answer, but the key ingredients are the same: respect, openness, support, a sense of humour and one of honour . . . I think that's what Freud did mean. By asking the question he was faming the answer, which, in his day's everyday life was less respectful and egalitarian than it is today.

See, guys, women are straightforward. Yes, flowers, chocolate, a nice dinner, they want those things. Don't we all?

Copyright © 2012 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/02.12