A lot of male-bashing goes on in both the girly magazines I shamefully read from time to time and among my female friends here at the University. Now I’ll be the first to admit that guys often deserve the criticism. But after three years of being one of the only girls on The Michigan Daily sports staff and spending a summer interning for ESPN The Magazine, I’ve racked up a little appreciation for the weaker sex. So here are, in no particular order, eight reasons guys amuse me — for better or for worse.
1) Guys will buy stuff: Guys like to play the role of provider and protector – and I’ve had no gripes about playing the poor damsel in distress. Just last weekend, I was at a bar with some fellow sports staffers and at least five of them offered to buy me a drink at some point during the evening. And if I ever forget my wallet at a restaurant, the guy I’m with will usually pay for my meal and insist that I don’t have to pay him back. A lot of girls seem to keep this running tally in their heads of exactly how much their friends owe them. I love how guys are satisfied just knowing that I’m taken care of.
2) Guys know how to eat: I’m always amazed at how much food guys can wolf down in one sitting. A normal order at Taco Bell could be three tacos, a Mexican pizza, a bean burrito and a large coke to wash it down. No matter how much I think I’m ordering, it’s still way less, but at least I don’t feel like a pig for savoring my lunch. Not that girls should never order “just a side salad with water and no dressing, please,” but having a “so what?” attitude couldn’t hurt sometimes.
3) Guys care what girls look like, not what they wear: I like to dress up. If I have on new shoes or a new sweater, I always expect to get compliments or at least a smile of approval from the guys I know. But it’s normally when I’m wearing some turtleneck that I’ve owned for three years and in general feel like a slob that a guy friend will come up and say, “Hey, you look really hot today.” My brother claims he notices nothing about the particular items a girl is wearing. All he remembers is if on the whole, she looked good. In fact, the only specific item that I’ve been told girls should wear more of is baseball caps (although this was the opinion of a sports staffer, and I’m not sure if that makes him biased).
4) Guys like to give out nicknames: Believe it or not, my high school nickname was “bottom” because I refused to say “ass” and any other swear words. It’s probably fairly obvious that it was a guy who gave me this nickname. When I joined the Daily, I was immediately given a new nickname: EMcG. I didn’t really see why I needed a one, but it seemed of great importance to the guys on the sports staff. Nearly everyone on staff has a nickname, and I have even been yelled at for using a guy’s real name instead of their nickname.
5) Guys talk about sex – a lot: At parties and especially on sports road trips, I have been privy to all sorts of graphic jokes and stories. I’m always surprised that they go ahead and talk about it in front of me, too. Kind of like how guys don’t seem to remember that it’s not impressive to fart, burp or reference any kind of smell in front of a girl. My girlfriends and I just don’t talk about that sort of stuff (except for my old roommate who used to announce to me when she was about to poop so that I would “please ignore the plopping noises” coming from the bathroom).
6) Guys take sports and video games way too seriously: I have actually witnessed game controllers being thrown across the room and even a window breaking as reactions to the loss of some *important* video game. I don’t get it at all. The thing about video games – and real sports games – is that you can just hit reset. You can play the damn video game again with the same opponent. You can watch Michigan play next year against Ohio State. I guess guys’ egos just aren’t equipped to think in those terms.
7) Guys are difficult to earn respect from: I was met with more than just a couple doubting expressions when I joined the sports section. After all, I’m a girl whose favorite color is pink, who idolized Nick Carter and the Backstreet Boys throughout high school and whose guilty pleasure is reading US Weekly in the supermarket checkout line. I’d be skeptical too if a girl like me said she was going to cover a men’s soccer game.
Gaining the respect of the guys on staff came slowly – I’m sure my articles were criticized highly in the beginning. But once I proved that my writing skills were up to par, I think some guys actually respected me more because I had stuck around amidst their uncertainties.
8) Guys like you more if you can make sports small talk: I used to know diddly squat about sports. I know quite a lot now, and I’ve found it to be extremely useful, especially when starting off a conversation with a guy (like in job interviews and on first dates). It’s almost too easy. I love that just knowing what happened in the basketball game yesterday somehow makes me more attractive.
Ellen would like to thank all you guys out there who make life just a little bit better every day. Send your thank yous, marriage proposals or any other thoughts to email@example.com.