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Mind Of Man: How We Say “I Love You” (Without Actually Saying, “I Love You”)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re rerunning the very first Mind of Man which originally was published in February 2008. It’s an oldie, but SUCH a goodie.

OK ladies, check it out: We love you. We love watching your sleeping face glow on our 150-thread count pillowcases. We love that mischievous glint in your eyes that says both, “You know what I’m thinking” and “You have absolutely no idea what I’m thinking.” We love that momentary moment of punch-drunkenness when we catch a whiff of a new fragrance that makes you smell like flowers. (And we don’t even like flowers. Doesn’t anyone realize flowers are just the clown genitals of the vegetable kingdom?)

So there you have it — we love you. Can we move on now?

We didn’t think so.

A man’s ability to take his emotions, pack them like snowballs, and store them away in a beer cooler deep inside his heart was a handy evolutionary trick — there is no crying in mastodon hunting.

The next time you look deeply into your man’s eyes to intimately purr that you love him, and he responds with an imperceptible grunt, don’t emo-spazz and have a text breakdown about relationships with your bitter man-hating friend Brittany, because, after all, she’s just jealous you have a guy who has problems muttering the most important and overused words in this or any other language. Instead, consider this: You ladies frequently accuse the committed XY chromosome bearer in your lives of being emotionally unavailable, but have you ever considered that most of you are emotionally over-available?

A man’s ability to take his emotions, pack them like snowballs, and store them away in a beer cooler deep inside his heart was a handy evolutionary trick — there is no crying in mastodon hunting.

Your dude’s reluctance to declare his love like some cheesy love-ballad-spewing jukebox in boxers isn’t the absence of love. Words are cheap (sneaky lotharios buy them wholesale) and you should know better than to judge us by how often we declare our affections. We know you’re the talkative, more emotionally intelligent gender, which is why we never doubt your genetic compulsion to advertise your heart’s surplus of romantic goods and services. We love to hear you gush.

But cut us some slack, because we tell you we love you all the time, and we do it without saying we do. It’s not that we’re clever; it’s just that we’re the action-oriented gender. And if you need proof to back up this fact, consider these ways we say the “L” word, without ever actually saying it.

  1. We Happily Go To Something Called “Brunch,” Which Is French For “I Am Castrated.”

    Dudes don’t need a reason to drink Sunday afternoons, but apparently you do. And if we’re going to drink something on the Lord’s day, it sure isn’t going to be watered-down mimosas. You no doubt learned to love this infernal social tick from watching those glampires chat and chew on emotional porno The Show That Will Not Be Named About Vapid Banshees And Their Designer Handbags. We’re not casting blame. We happily go to eat breakfast food noticeably lacking in corn beef hash, and engage in silly, urbane conversations with you in noisy bistros because we love you and want you to be happy. Why is every dish festooned with fruit, anyway?

  2. We Gladly Let You Drag Us From Department Store To Shoe Store To Candle Store.

    Why do you ladies insist on touching everything in a store? If you shopped the way dudes shop, like highly trained members of Delta Force, you’d be a more efficient, credit-card-debt-accruing ninja. For some reason, though, you shop the way little old Italian ladies pray the rosary: slowly. So slowly, that we can feel our facial hair grow. Have you ever turned to your man whilst fluffing a cranberry duvet you’re totally not interested in buying to say, disingenuously, “Are you OK?” How did we respond? “Absolutely, yes, I’m fine. Take your time.” We didn’t mean it, but our desire to see your discount-hungry mind blissed-out is completely genuine.

  3. We Change Personal Habits You Think Are “Bad,” But We Think Are “Whatever.”

    Clipping our toenails next to that day-old, empty pot of mac and cheese while wearing threadbare boxers isn’t a big deal to us, but clearly it upsets you. Same goes for the moldy shower curtain that isn’t too moldy, our mismatched dishes, and coming home stinking like the wino banished from Winoville for being too much of a wino (huh?). Dudes don’t like to change because change is a major pain in the butt. But when change comes with the added benefit of making our woman more proud to be with us, then we do it, albeit at a glacier’s pace. All y’all females have never realized a fact dudes are way too aware of: We’re disgusting, slovenly beasts until the right chick comes around and makes us the best possible person we can be. We love that, and love you for caring.

  4. We Swallow Our Fear And Absorb Your Monthly Freak-Outs Like Understanding Man-Sponges.

    We don’t know why or what we did, but we’re sorry. How about a back massage while you vent about your evil walrus-shaped boss who hates you, that celebrity with the eating disorder who makes you hate yourself, OR your best friend whom you hate because she brags about her perfect, rich boyfriend with the loft and quaff whom everyone knows is in the closet but it doesn’t really matter. Did we mention we’re sorry? And please notice the furrowed brow, pursed lips, and soothing head nod – we’re concentrating on your every word. Seriously, we are. Even if we’re not, appreciate what isn’t being said. Exactly – we’re saying nothing. Let it all out and just know that if anyone were to really threaten you, like a mastodon or terrorists, we’d go all Die Hard on them. But until such a moment, we listen, and do nothing but listen, because we love you.

  5. We Pretend To Love And Even Dance To Your Music, Which Sounds Like Cartoon Animals Dying To A Beat.

    If dudes could create a universe without Rihanna, Fergie, or Justin Timberlake, we would. And in that universe, we’d make sure all bra clasps were made of beef jerky. The ringtone booty shakers you insist are great music make us want to seal ourselves in a soundproof coffin with an iPod loaded with nothing but AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Foo Fighters. Whenever we’re out, and “Umbrella” plays, we make sure to share your girly excitement, sans squeal. And, in the most profound symbol of our adoration of you, we painfully pop and drop like a wounded eagle. Appreciate this display of unconditional love; being seen dancing is as embarrassing as being photographed at a Sunday brunch, our mouths full of crème fraîche, whatever that is.

  6. We Know How You Like Your Coffee, That You Hate Tomatoes, And Your Favorite Ice Cream Is “Chubby Hubby.”

    So we’re not good at doing dishes, cleaning our sheets, or any other chores. But we’re good at running errands and will happily brave torrential rains in order to get you whatever it is that you need. Not only that, though, we have an internal database of all of your likes and dislikes. When we show up, soaked to the bone, with a plastic bag full of goodies vetted to appeal to your idiosyncratic wishes, you know you’ve got our heart on a skewer, like a personalized lollipop for you and you only. Iced green tea? Check. Chocolate chip granola bar? Check. Chicken nuggets with extra BBQ sauce? Check. And if tampons are included, just assume we’re thinking about that dreaded day when we get on one knee and ask you for the honor of spending our lives by showing you, if not telling you, how much we love you.

Get more of John DeVore’s preening narcissism on Twitter.

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