Despite the fact that playing the role of hapless no-luck-with-women loser lends itself more to comedy (and mid-lecture Daily column enjoyment), I”m not going to lie to you: I”ve had my share of girlfriends. There have been two in particular that I”ve passed the one-year mark with, and a handful of others that are memorable in other ways, despite the relationships” relative brevity.

Paul Wong
Sick!<br><br>Ben Goldstein

Even though I”m never sure why some women become interested in me, what with the obvious deficits in personal hygiene and my admittedly hostile interpersonal style and truth be told, it”s usually the result of some misunderstanding that eventually, sadly, works itself out putting all that aside, I have, in my time as a spirit in the material world, learned much about women. I”m not one to casually toss around the word “expert,” but (oops, here it comes) I do consider myself an expert in the ways of the fairer, smaller and higher-pitched sex.

(I think this is an appropriate time to interject that I spent many years of my life living at home with a mother and older sister, and that female relatives cousins, aunts, even second-cousins exist in large amounts on my mother”s side. OK, digression over.)

So imagine this double-x chromosome expert”s surprise when he moved in with five college-aged females in a gorgeous house on Catherine Street at the beginning of this school year. We weren”t six strangers, and we weren”t picked to live in the house by casting directors, but I”ve still learned a lot, about women, about life and about myself. After a month, I”ve learned that:

Living with guys, you accept parts of your dirty, uncouth lifestyle as normal, like using paper plates, and subsisting primarily on peanut butter and jelly. This doesn”t fly in a female-dominated house. Your bare bones approach to cleanliness and nutrition will be the source of much criticism and many snide comments. For example, women will make you put the peanut butter and jelly between, like, two slices of bread. They call this a “peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” Just scoop the PB and J from their respective jars with a plastic fork and they look at you like you just stepped off the boat from some third-world country. And Good Lord, don”t even think about using a styrofoam bowl for a soap dish

Whereas in my last house I would hear things like “hey, one of us should clean the bathroom sometime,” now I hear things like “the bathrooms are disgusting so we”re going to clean them, along with the rest of the house, thoroughly on the 30th of every month. We”ll draw a name out of a hat for who gets to take the bathrooms first, and then go in reverse alphabetical order starting from that name for the subsequent bathroom cleanings in a recursive loop.”

If you live with guys, you might find phone messages and announcements scrawled on the dry-erase board by the kitchen, but never a box of tampons taped to it. In a female-dominated house, taping tampons to the message board is still fair game. Can somebody tell me why this is, or is it one of those inexplicable gender-specific mysteries, like why guys never replace the roll of toilet paper?

When women say “Sick!” it”s not in reference to Tony Hawk”s record-breaking 900 or the last Tool album, but to the dust-bunnies on the stairs.

After your styrofoam bowl is replaced with, like, a real soap dish and you”ve begun to clean the bathroom on a regular basis, you”ll notice your precious masculinity slipping away from you in other ways.

It”s the little things, really. Scented candles and some sort of plant in your room at all times. Reading the Cosmo quiz out loud to your housemates. Listening to music for the lyrics.

Two months ago, if you told me that this would happen I would not believe you. By God, I would not.

It is inevitable that at some point two of your female housemates will playfully jump in your bed demanding massages. This, however, will not lead to sex.

A woman can refer to a set of curtains as “the ugliest thing I”ve ever seen in my life.” Curtains! Not a broken bone jutting out of a leg, not a police officer”s exposed ass and testicles (not a pretty sight, trust me), but curtains! Wild, huh?

Women are by nature compassionate caretakers, and will make you a nice meal if you threaten to eat a dinner of macaroni and cheese covered with ramen noodle seasoning for the fourth night in a row.

Most women would rather watch the NBC sitcom “Friends” than rap videos on BET, or the BET stand-up comedy program “Comic View.” I don”t think I”ll ever figure this one out.

Kids can be cruel, and will exploit the smallest difference or point of weakness as a target for ridicule. Oh wait, no, that”s what I learned in grade school.

Women have feelings and emotions, whereas men are heartless and cold-blooded, mere simulacra of true humanity, unable to exhibit any kind of sensitivity (nay, unable to even comprehend the concept of it), devoid of anything even closely resembling a moral compass and lost, desperately lost, in their own insanely narcissistic and self-obsessed worlds.

Yeah, so that”s what I”ve learned so far. I”ll write more about this some other time, alright? OK, sweet, talk to you later.

Ben Goldstein has a red frowny face drawn on his calendar next to Tuesday, October 16. Guess who has to make the toilet squeaky clean? If you want to help, e-mail him at bjgoldst@umich.edu

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