What am I talking about? The unwritten Man-code that resides within the male subconscious, it dictates our behavior and permeates our being.
The Man-code is why men behave like men. If it was disseminated in a course like other subjects at school, like math, we’d sit there and stare out the window. Fortunately for those of us of the male species, it is indelibly inscribed in the male psyche. If it had to be passed from generation to generation by cerebral effort, most of us on the male spectrum would be left without our inner male compass.
The Man-code has been hard-wired genetically into the DNA of the entire male species; of which membership is determined by whether or not the individual in question is unable to pee into a semicircular opening without randomly distributing bodily fluids all over the toilet seat. I suspect a teenage boy who can hit a three-point jumper with deadly accuracy from ranges greater than 30 foot, would suddenly be unable to hit the same shot if the basketball rim suddenly resembled a toilet seat. Think about it. All the shots would bounce of the rim or fall short of the intended target.
Simply stated, the man-code is the unwritten rule of conduct for the male species that governs how men react toward other men. It expressly forbids men to exhibit gushing or effusive displays of affection to members of the same species. This apparently confuses women greatly who become extremely agitated why men don’t sob and boo-hoo all over each other when we have those special moments. It also explains why men don’t pry into other men’s personal matters or really even care how other men ‘feel’.
She: That’s so awful about his mother-in-law getting struck by that falling satellite. How’s Bob feeling?
Guy: What? I didn’t know Bob was married?
She: You remember. We ate out with them last night. She wore the yellow dress that was too short with too much mascara. You remember? The blonde with the dark roots? Her dress was too tight and she wore that gaudy toenail polish. And those shoes…where in earth did she get those terrible shoes at? The salvage store? I thought I’d gag over her perfume!
Guy: Bob is married?
She: rolls her eyes – So is Bob OK?
Guy: Is he in the hospital? Jail? Is there a missing person’s report out on him? Heart attack? Has he been abducted by aliens?
Guy: Then he’s fine.
She: But…don’t you care how he feels?
Guy: I didn’t ask.
She: increasingly agitated – You’ve known Bob since first grade. He married your sister!!!
Guy: I thought she looked familiar!
She: You didn’t ask? (estrogen disconnect) Don’t you care what’s going on in his mind?
Guy: He didn’t mention it to me?
She: exasperated – Youre supposed to find out!!
Guy: You mean, pry into his personal life, meddle, extract information he doesn’t want to share? Use emotional extortion tactics. Force him to open up and share embarassing things about his intimate personal life?
She: Yes! Yes! Yes! You moron! That’s exactly what I meant. Sigh! I don’t understand men!
Guy: silence. Staring blankly at a TV screen, pretending she’s not there.
She: glaring – You’re not fooling me. That TV hasn’t worked in two years.
Sadly, most men have just had this discussion ten minutes ago or less with their wives.See why it is so difficult for men and women to communicate? We lack the technology to interpret the differences between male and female-speak. Same language, different channels. And we also know that any moment in the conversation they’re going to demand we take the trash out or ask questions, like, “Does this dress make my butt look huge?”
Note: The only men who pry into other’s men’s business fall under the category of either lawyers or journalists, neither of whom I suspect could successfully pee into the rim of a toilet seat (see definition above) which would technically disqualify them from actually being a subset of the male species.
Girls, I know you can’t decipher this so let me just point out this is precisely why most men refrain from getting into protracted discussions with those on other side of the gene pool. I see no need to encrypt this sensitive information. If a woman were to attempt to engage in counter-espionage, they could read my little blurb without understanding a word I said. Filtered through the female mind without the benefit of being deciphered via the man-code, it would sound and look something like this, “Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah? Blah blah blah!!!” I call it the estrogen barrier; a veritable impenetrable wall that underscores the irreconcialiable differences between the two versions of our species. The estrogen barrier is why we can’t communicate with women. They filter everything we say, which is why things we say get turned around to have an alternate darker, sinister meaning. Throw out the dictionary, the words don’t mean the same thing once they percolate through the estrogen barrier.
Back to the man-code. This is why men don’t sit around in their underwear painting each other’s toes, and discussing the inherent failure to commit of the male psyche. It also explains why men have no use for jewelry, baubles, or other ornaments but spend hours silently perusing the same aisle of power tools we did last week; most of which we already have two or three of.
The man-code must be rigidly observed. For instance, you’re driving home from work and pass your best friend; his car is on the side of the road….burning. A 500 pound gorilla has him in a headlock, pummeling him senseless; a large crocodile with a nasty disposition is clamped around his leg: how should you react? If you’re a guy, you automatically know. The man-code forbids you to meddle or ask intrusive questions, like, “Need help?” or Should I call 9-1-1?” Instead the code dictates you pull up slowly beside him, observe a moment, roll down your window, then nonchalantly ask, “How you doin?” Do not point out the obvious. Do not offer assistance or advice. If he wants to tell you he needs help, he will explicitly say so. No subtle hints or innuendos. No deciphering obscure body languages or other gesticulations. And whatever you do, do not ask, “Bob, how are you feeling about all this?” Both the gorilla and the crocodile will leave Bob to assault you for violating the man-code. And Bob will probably join them.
Men eat, pass gas, or play sports; we don’t digest and regurgitate 100 page articles from Cosmopolitan about feelings. It’s why we watch two men in a ring pound each other into bloody stumps but would rather have our fingernails pulled out one by one than be forced to sit through one episode of Oprah.
So ladies, now you know why men stare blankly at the TV when you want to have a conversation. Except, you can’t understand anything I just said.
We’re not being difficult, it’s just the man-code.