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Mush Ado About Nothing

For three and a half months, this guy and I have been spending every spare second together. We have great fun, laugh constantly, and have a great time in bed. He calls constantly, cooks me dinner, and he’s always holding my hand. He even accompanied me to my brother’s wedding. The problem is, he’s never told me how he feels about me. Not a word. Nothing. I’d like to know what’s going through his head, but I don’t want to scare him. Should I ask him how he feels?

--Sweet Nothing At All

Men who arenít drag queens do not sit around comparing enlarged pores with their guy friends while getting the lowdown on that new lipstick with the staying power of latex house paint. Thatís because men are not merely hairy women with flat chests and jutting chins.

Likewise, contrary to what that wacky Sigmund Freud said about penis envy, women aren’t running around all broken up about not having a penis. Please. Like we need yet another accessory to leave behind in restaurants next to our forgotten sunglasses and cell phones. That said -- if a portable penis came with a variety of removable face plates, and a selection of carrying cases to match all of our shoes and bags...quick -- somebody stop me before I get into custom ring-tones.

Now, maybe you’re such a loser that your friends and family took up a collection and hired this guy to stick with you, or maybe it’s just one of the conditions of his parole. But, if you’re pretty sure he’s “spending every spare second” with you of his own volition, maybe the thing that needs the most examination is your head. Like a lot of women’s heads, it’s swirling with the expectation that men should express affection exactly like a woman would: That big blobs of mush must fall from their mouths when they talk, kind of like they’re spitting up their Cream of Wheat. Oh yeah, and that love means loading up a dump truck with chocolates, flowers, and carats on Valentine’s Day, National Turnip Appreciation day, and any other holidays Hallmark stamps a retail value on. If you can convince a guy to talk truth about this, he’ll probably tell you that men fork that stuff over on the appointed days mainly because women will drop-kick them into Doghouseville if they don’t. Oooh, sing along with me: “Isn’t It Romantic?”...

While men can give the impression that they’ve mastered complex language, their natural vocabulary is more along the lines of “Me hungry. Me horny. Me tired. Where’s the remote?” Fact is, men vote with their feet. If a guy’s having fun with you, chances are, he’ll stick around for extended fun, and maybe even tumble into love with you. Again, the way you tell it, this guy’s feet are up on your coffee table, scampering around your kitchen, and poking out from your comforter 23/6, if not 24/7. In other words, maybe there’s no need to make your relationship feel like Monday morning in a law school contracts class. (For a man, this generally involves a woman demanding, “Where is it going?” about 20 minutes after “it” got started.) On the Fun Scale, this is right up there with offers by doctors to “slip a pair of latex gloves on and have a little ‘peek’ at the ole prostate.” Man: “Thanks, doc, but if I’m looking for fun, I’ll get a bikini wax -- providing PMS isn’t keeping me home with cramps, crying over movies of the week on Lifetime.

Copyright ©2003, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.