Friday, June 05, 2009

"The Man Plan"

First of all, DO NOT - under any circumstances - buy this book. If your curiosity somehow gets the best of you and you absolutely must read it, either get it from the library or email me your address and I will send you my copy (Seriously. Otherwise it's going to Goodwill). Please don't support this book. It hurts my brain to think that it even got published. At the time, I thought the blurb made it sound like it would actually be useful...

The Man Plan by Whitney Casey

"While it’s great to suggest that a woman shouldn’t have to conform to unreasonable expectations of perfection in order to attract a guy and keep him, the reality in the dating world is somewhat different. Men are tactile, visual, and visceral, and a spectrum of factors—from the way a woman orders wine to the pictures she has next to her bed to how often she shaves—can be enough to turn a guy off…permanently.

With The Man Plan, relationship columnist Whitney Casey shares with women what men really think on a variety of issues, from the way women dress to how they take care of their cars. Including the opinions of a cross section of single men—as well as such notable personalities as Joel Osteen, P. Diddy, and Dr. Laura Berman—The Man Plan helps women identify the little issues that can make a big impression."

Maybe I should have read between the lines. Maybe I should have known what I was in for. But I was less than a week out of a relationship and I was feeling vulnerable and easily sold. So I ordered the book on Amazon (there was no way I would be caught dead buying it in the store) and hoped for some help in re-entering the dating world.

This book nearly rolls back the clock to the days of June Cleaver and Laura Petrie. It begins with the idea that all women are stereotypical Girly-Girls with very little sense or sensibility. The first few chapters are a glorified grooming/decorating guide for the completely clueless. Did you know that men like it when we understand basic hygiene and can actually walk in the outfits we've chosen to wear? Me neither! Case in point:

"So, you've got your body under stink control for the manly stink patrol. But wait - there is one factor you may not have factored in the smell wars. What about all that hot air you are putting out there for him to hear and Your breath woman! That's another huge and fierce funky factor for him. If your breath speaks louder than your words, you can kiss everyone kissable good-bye."

More gems like this follow in chapters that explain how to pronounce the names of foods (Like Cabernet - not pronounced "cab-er-net", but rather "cab-er-nay". Just in case you were born in a shoe box and never left it.), which car brands you should be aware of to appease a man (Know the difference between a Miata and a BMW - or at least know better than to say something when you don't know.) and how much you should know about the economy and your own finances. This is one of my favorite passages:

"Four New York City guys are out on the town in Los Angeles. They are far away from their high-powered, high-pressured Wall Street jobs and they are ready to start their high-priced, high-partying night on the town. It's not even an hour into their night before Wayne, Tod, Fred, and RJ meet Marci, Carla, Tiffany, and Tracy - four smoking-hot Orange County girls, 'raring to get down on the town.' As Tod explains: "I don't think these girls had ever met a wallet they didn't like. When I told one I was an investment banker, she said 'Oh, like you work in a a bank teller?"...
... RJ says it best: "These girls were not, but they were so dumb and silly, it was just too annoying." All four of the guys seem bewildered by the absurdity of the previously mentioned dialogue. "I don't get it; women can quote you the exact amount of money they spent last week on that pair of designer shoes, but ask them to quote the exact amount of money Google's stock is selling at, and they look at you like you are speaking in tongues," RJ says. Wayne adds that "women never know about money. They don't know what is happening in the economy, how to save their money, or how to make their money grow. They just know how to spend it."

Honestly, I'm so worked up by how offended I am by the book (don't even get me started on the chapter that tells you how to behave when your man is watching sports), it's hard for me to want to tell you the one thing, aside from this, that I got out of the book. But it did actually change the way I do things, so I feel that it's worth mentioning.

"'Shave with cold water before your shower or bath.' The hot water of your shower/bath makes your legs well just enough to prevent the closest shave possible. Thus, try shaving your legs sitting on the edge of the bathtub using cold water... as cold as you can stand it. You'll get a much closer shave, and your shave will last longer!"

Somehow in my lifetime of grooming and all my previous research, I never happened across this fact. It really does make a difference to shave in cold water and it's actually a really pleasant experience when you live in Florida where it's warm all the time. For those of you in colder parts of the world - have courage!

Unless you've never interacted with a man before or are a complete moron, most of the information in this book is going to sound condescending to you. I felt like it was written assuming that all women are complete idiots and wouldn't be able to find their way out of a Prada handbag without the help of a big, strong man. Even the "celebrity guests" and the oh-so-topical anecdotes that introduce every chapter are extremely weak. If Whitney Casey was ever actually a serious, legitimate journalist, she has fallen far. (Clink on that link. I'm not kidding.)

Lyrics of the Day

"Show him that you care just for him: do the things that he likes to do, wear your hair just for him. 'Cause you won't get him thinking and a-praying, wishing and a-hoping." Dusty Springfield Wishing and Hoping

*There are so many problems with this anecdote, I don't think I can even get into it all. But seriously, the girls are from Orange County. Also, I don't know a single woman who doesn't know at least a little bit about the economy or how to handle money. And I also don't know anyone (outside of a stock broker or investment banker maybe) who can quote the "exact stock price" of Google at any given moment. Obviously these douche bags hang out with the kind of girls that don't know what an investment banker is all the time. That's not the fault of woman-kind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of You can post up books that you want to get rid of and other members will request them from you. You can also get books from other members. Totally free expect for the shipping on books you mail to other people (they pay to ship the books you want). Just a thought. I joined last summer and it's been really useful!

PS - that book does sound disgusting!