Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Better Man

I read in today's newspaper that Ben Franklin once had this advice to give upon the onslaught of a new year: "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Since Mr. Franklin is widely regarded as a guy who knew what he was talking about, I concluded that deeper reflection on these particular words was in order. So I thought about it, and two questions came to mind:

1. Do I really need to find a better man?


2. Since that's probably not what he meant, then what can I do to become a better man?

I pondered the latter and produced this list. Please feel free to submit any of your own ideas on how to become a better man in the comment section.

A. As mentioned previously, I will be a better driver. To truly man it up, I will exercise my enhanced prowess at no less than 90 miles per hour while scanning the medians and wooded areas for carefully concealed cops-in-wait. I will learn to identify all unmarked Crown Victorias and Malibus. Failing to do so will ensure a $620 ticket for speeding in a work zone, swerving to pass, and tailgating. I will drive with one hand in my pants at all times.

B. I will cook macaroni and cheese or Stouffer's Skillet Sensations every night. I will lick the plate clean so that only the most cursory of swipes with the sponge will be necessary afterward. I will leave the rest of the dishes piled up for a real woman to take care of.

C. I will plaster my work area with photos of women and cars of foreign make. Well, only the cars need to be foreign; the women can go either way. That they are naked is the only important thing.

D. I will not change a single diaper. I will potty train my 18 month old daughter in a single weekend. I will sit her on the toilet and stare at her with stern eyes of narrow fixation until I scare the piss out of her. I will be so proud.

E. In word and deed, I will remind all members of the household that I am king. I will huddle over my laptop each night balancing the online checkbook as the cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching of my Quicken financial software reverberates against the walls. I will scrutinize unnecessary purchases. I will bemoan the fact that the local coffee drive-thru now takes credit cards, a fact that a certain household member of the weaker sex deems irresistable. I will input all receipts into the register and then I will shred them with glee. Then I will go back to the Internet, where I will search for spare parts to soup up my riding lawnmower. I will try to figure out how to type and drink a beer with one hand down my pants.


T. said...

I am laughing my ass off.

My husband is constantly looking for parts to "soup" up his riding lawn tractor. It is soo embarrassing.

But Binky, darling, I take exception your paragraph B.

It takes a real woman to know her limitations and to rock the mac 'n cheese.

Wink, wink.

Happy new year!!

jen said...

I will step over piles of dirty clothes on my way out of the bathroom after leaving the seat up and then mention I have no clean jeans.

I will respond to each request my woman makes of me with the stock "do I have to do it now?" answer. and then go back to whatever it is i am currently doing.

I will. In fact, I can't wait. Better is the new good.

Wendy said...

I will lay on the sofa all day watching 24 at ear bleeding volume, while my spawns tear the house apart. I will feed the spawns when their cries are finally louder than the TV. Then it will only be what can be eaten safely without any heat or opening of a package.

I will complain any chance I get, which is all the time, that I am not getting enough sex. My feelings will be constantly hurt, because I am the center of the universe. Even if my wife is falling asleep on the sofa from a long, hard day of cooking my request, I will do my best to convince her that sex is the cure.

Yes, I too will be a better man this year. Thanks, ECR for the idea.

Happy New Year.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I will say "no" when asked to change a diaper. I will drop $200 at Brooks Brothers and then question purchases at Gymboree.

I will quit my job, go back to school, and make my spouse move 700 miles away from home.


Happy New Year!

Lawyer Mama said...

I will pretend not to hear my name, no matter how many times my children and/or wife call it, if I am watching TV.

I will also never remember anything my wife tells me that is of importance, like how old my children are, doctor's appointments or the diapers we need from the store. I will, however, remember every football player who ever played for the University of Nebraska, their stats, birthdays, middle names, and favorite beverages.

I will initiate "romance" by grabbing my wife's butt or her breasts. I know she loves it as much as I do.

Lauren said...

I'd rather be the woman in this house. Sean does all of the laundry and the cooking while I'm at work. Don't be too jealous. :)

Chris said...

Hey, I resemble these remarks!

motherhooduncensored said...

Whilst cruising at 90 miles per hour and scanning for cops with my hand down my pants, I shall be sure to be manly enough never to wear my seat belt and master the art of texting whilst driving with one hand down my pants. Should I happen to become lost for any reason I shall be sure to never ask for directions preferring to drive round in circles until the place I am looking for magically appears out of nowhere.

Steve said...

no wonder I can't get a woman...

I cook from scratch.
I dig women in knit sweaters (its a CA thing...).
I'm good with kids.
I'm bad with my own finances.
I'm a neat freak.

to me, it sounds like women are willing to settle with a lot of crap.

binkytown said...

I will just assume that my wife will take care of the kids whilst I plan out my entire weekend and then tell her about my plans without asking if she has any of her own.

I will pretend to be hard at work each night on my laptop while my wife busts her ass cleaning and then say 'sorry I couldn't help you' when she is done. Even though I could have.

Oh I could go on and on..

swampwitch said...

I will say this at least 3 times a week,
"Honey, why don't you just sit down and relax and let me make dinner tonight." (not mac and cheese)
I will say, "Can't your mother stay another week?"
I will say,
"The ballgame really isn't that important. I'd rather spend time with you."
I will say,
"Let's just cuddle tonight."
I will say everynight,
"Here, you take the remote. As long as I'm with you I don't care what we watch."

And to finish. A song sung to the tune of Bob Dylan's
'Blowin in the Wind.'
(my apologies to Mr. Dylan)

**singalong with swampmitch, I mean swampwitch**

How many miles roads must a man drive down
Before he admits he is lost?
Why when a man becomes married is he
Unable to find his own socks?
How many times will it take 'til he knows
He's seen the Three Stooges enough?
The answer I cannot comprehend.

How many shows can a man surf through
Before he remote burns out?
Why does he think that an intimate gift
Is a Dust Buster Plus for the house?
How many sounds can a man's body make
Before he sleeps on the couch?
The answer my friend is take 2 aspirin
The answer is take 2 aspirin.

(Come on girls, sing the last verse LOUDLY with me) <:)

Why when we go for a romantic drive
Do we wind up at Builder's Square again?
How many night will he leave the seat up
So I land on cold porcelain?
How men really feel is a mystery to me
And probably a mystery to them
The answer girlfriend is driving me to Gin
The answer is driving me to Gin.

Happy New Year...and may this song be stuck in your head for weeks.

*swampwitch grinning*

KC said...

I will not smell that the litter box needs changing. Ever.

I will be amazingingly sensitive to poop-smell molecules whenever changing my daughters poopy diapers, and breathe loudly through my mouth like Darth Vader.

(here from jen's blog!)

Julie Pippert said...


I'm up to the task!


I will complain about my lack of clean clothes and then stare in surprised wonder at my pile of dirty laundry when my wife does that screwy face look and points to my so-called closet (which she calls The Big Mess).

Many times every day I will make Dramatic and Unconstructive Pronouncements as if they were an incantation that evoked magical fairies to do the job, such as:

1. "We really need to vacuum. The pet hair tumbleweeds are getting out of hand."

2. "Some day someone really needs to paint that last wall in the hallway."

3. "Somebody really needs to control that toy explosion in the playroom. Maybe we need to call FEMA."

I will trust that my wife is perfectly capable of handling *all by herself* the entire schedule including overlaps that arise out of my last minute cancellations. She's a whiz with a watch and a calendar. Who knew those were such useful objects.

(me again: I'll echo E. Oh yes I will, and whoever just commented about Brooks Brother purchases---Best Buy here---beign cool and Gymboree---grocery store here---being scrutinized.)

(oh and hope this is double-posting...I got some sort of no post error)

Jenifer said...

Oh, it is so sweet to see I am not alone in this world!

to add....

I will walk through the door and sit in the recliner and say "Can't I just sit for a minute? I worked all day?".... as I am trying to hand him a screaming child so I can finish dinner.

I will get up from the dinner table and leave to work on the "new house", leaving my dirty dishes on the table for my wife to clean up.... (cue child still screaming).

I will complain that I never get a day off and I have no time for myself.

I will have dramatic mood swings. I will tease you mercilessly and expect you to handle it, but when I am teased back I will act like a complete baby and get all offended.

I will NOT bathe a child... no matter how dirty they get in my care.

I'm sure i could go on..... :)

QT said...

These are great! I can add this recent one:

I will call you at home when you have taken a sick day to ask you what you have accomplished. When you respond "Well, I did a few dishes," I will say "What about vacuuming?That isn't that hard to do."

NotSoSage said...

Steve: I married a man like you, with no regrets except I can't post a witty comment here... except perhaps (in honour of the past holiday season):

I will leave all buying and wrapping of gifts, all addressing of cards and phone calls expressing congratulations/regret/frustration are left up to my partner, even if said items/actions are meant for people I've known since birth and my partner's acquaintance with them has been brief, if at all.

Jen said...

I will come home from work and strip down to my boxers, go right to the computer and start yelling about dinner. Scratch my sack and yell again asking what we're having.

when I hear the commericial end and her show start back up I'll call her and tell her to COME QUICK YOU GOTTA SEE THIS.

I will never feed the cats, even though we agreed I'd feed them at night and then I'll complain that they love her more than me... duh she feeds them twice a day,gives them medicine to make them feel better and treats!

Momish said...

I will remember to pay homage to the magical fairies that make my bathroom sparkle, my kitchen remain spotless and suck up all debris from my rugs and floors.

In addition, I badger my wife even more to get over that mysterious illness that makes her tired all the time, especially on the weekends.

urban-urchin said...

Here via One plus Two. I'm game:

I will grab my wife's ass at 3:30 am and be miffed when she smacks my hand away, She wants me, right? I mean she's in the same room.

I will never, ever throw anything away and then make grand sweeping statements like "We have to get this place under control."

I will decide unilaterially that I "need" the new black mac even though my G4 is only a couple of years old and I have laptop from work. I will then be mighty pissed off when my wife questions this decision, and storm off in a huff resembling a 15 year old boy.

Mary-LUE said...


What a riot! I just woke up and was reading this expecting, in my sleep-befuddled mind, to be reading some, shall we say, "serious" resolutions. Thanks for making me laugh this morning!

Denguy said...

Um, er... right.
This actually fits my wife better than it does me.
A.D. has me listed as a Token Male, but I'm really the wife in my relationship. Anyway:

When I come home from work, my shoes won't be in the middle of the hall; my coat won't be on the floor; my briefcase won't be dumped in the sitting room; my keys won't be "where ever".