It’s Thursday morning in North Carolina, where we awoke to a light dusting of snow. While I am a lover of winter (and spring, summer, and fall), I am ready for it to be over. I have begun buying summer clothes, hoping to spur Mother Nature along. At the least, they make my closet seem warmer.
John is in Tucson with a Boeing 777. He will not be home until after Valentine’s Day. According to the Female Demerit System, that means that I will get a REALLY nice gift when he returns. Delayed holiday celebrations accrue exorbitant interest, according to the the FDS.
Before John and I married, we read John’s Gray’s book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He explained the vastly different methods employed by men and women to ’score’ their spouse’s behavior. The big takeaway for John was that if he did something I liked, he would probably add only one ‘point’; if he did something I did not like, he was capable of losing five or ten ‘points’. I had no problem with the scoring system, as men usually credit or debit a single point, no matter how momentous. Men like to keep things simple, I guess.
So this week, a dear friend of more than 25 years sent me this synopsis of the Female Demerit System, which I am happy to share with you all.
FEMALE DEMERIT SYSTEM*
In the world of romance, one single rule applies: Make the woman happy. Do something she likes and you get points. Do something she dislikes and points are subtracted. You don’t get any points for doing something she expects.
Here is a man’s guide to the point system:
You make the bed (+1)
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows (0)
You check out a suspicious noise at night (+1)
You check out a suspicious noise at night and it is nothing (0)
You check out a suspicious noise at night and it is something (+5)
You pummel it with an iron rod (+10)
It’s her pet (-20)
When she wants to talk, you listen, displaying a concerned expression (0)
You listen for more than 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the tv (+500)
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep (-4000)
You develop a noticeable potbelly (-15)
You exercise to get rid of it (+10)
You say, “It doesn’t matter, you have one, too.” (-8000)
She asks, “Do I look fat?” (-5) (You lose points no matter what)
You hesitate in responding (-10)
You reply, “Where?” (-35)
Any other response (-20)
When John and I first married, one of our favorite things to do was yardwork. We planted a lot of trees, then proceeded to name and converse with them (okay, that was mostly me). One afternoon I pulled from the ground a spindly sycamore trunk and tossed it into a nearby ditch. John suggested we plant it, as we had nothing to lose. He became Moe, the Survivor, and a mascot for two people who were adjusting to co-habitating after living alone for a lot of years. Moe was a constant reminder of what can happen when you make up your mind to commit to something – or when you place a stick in the ground.
I hope that Monday is your best Valentine’s Day ever. I hope you will grant your spouse a bonus point or two and I hope that if your relationship is in need of nurturing, you’ll dig a little deeper, mix in some nutrients, and watch it grow. You may be pleasantly surprised!