Are you sure it’s not a bear? Or a puma?

All right, listen up.

In light of recent events, it’s time to really sit down and hash this shit out. Some of my close brothers in the Man Train have come to grievous and undeserved harm at the hands of the fairer sex, and so I feel obligated to formalize the solution that has served me well in times of tragedy. What began as a nebulous, reactionary, bitter concept has solidified in to a very structured and simple set of rules for the safety of the male race. This stands as a ZERO TOLERANCE policy, much like the one for guns in schools: One infraction and you’re out. You do not pass go. You do not get a hearing. You are done. Blacklisted. Banned forever from the hallowed halls of girlfriendhood, left out in the cold and harsh world of middle-aged single women. So take this shit to heart. Brothers, should all of us unite and hold to this brutal but necessary regime with unwavering determination, all of the treachery and evil of the modern woman could be bred out within a few generations.

Think of the children.

Here are the rules, all of which have been certified as reasonable and logical by the wise and powerful Jolene, a girl of almost superhuman merit whom other, less worthy women should seek to emulate. They are listed in no particular order.

1) Never, ever, ever take more than 20 minutes to get ready for anything. Not a trip to the grocery store, not a wedding, not a dinner at the god damn White House. I’m talking twenty minutes start to finish, consciousness to out the door. One millisecond longer and you will be left behind to futz with your stupid curling iron in lonely despair. As a corollary to this rule, if you desire a more leisurely or extensive preparation period, it is your responsibility to wake up early or whatever to fit it in, because we sure as shit are not waiting for you.

2) Never say “Nothing.” when we ask what’s wrong unless you mean it. It is not our responsibility to be psychic, clairvoyant, or even overly inquisitive. If there is something we can do to help solve your problem, explain it and we will do our best. Henceforth you will be taken at your word, and if you say nothing is wrong, we will act that way and cannot be faulted for assuming you to be truthful or honest. If you choose to lie and suffer that’s your deal, but don’t drag us down with you.

3) Do not be pointlessly jealous, especially of our friends. Maintaining friendships is important and necessary, after all, they will be the ones to console us when you violate one of these rules. This rule is specifically directed at instances when the woman is otherwise engaged or busy and yet still has the gall to get angry with the guy for going out with his friends instead of sitting at home pining for her or whatever fantasy bullshit is supposed to occur.

4) Do not be irrationally self conscious. This is a big one, and covers a lot of ground. Included in this expansive rule are stupid statements of self-deprecation, fishing for compliments, any and all whining about your looks, or refusal to participate in a reasonable activity because you’re embarrassed. Everyone is self conscious to a point, and this is acceptable. Caring about the way you look and dress is fine, whining that you are fat or have nothing to wear is not. You look exactly the same and have the same wardrobe you always do, so it is only reasonable to assume that all of your woes are in your head. Calm down. You look fine.

5) No ridiculous whining. Man up, you wimp. It’s not as if you can’t resist discomfort, girls without boyfriends do it all the time. Women are just as capable, if not more so, as men at withstanding unhappy situations, physical discomfort, and other annoyances. For some reason, however, entering into a relationship immediately strips the woman of all her resilience and sturdiness, turning her into the most frail and whimpering creature on earth. Unacceptable. You do not have to be invincible or even tolerate anything unreasonable, simply grin and bear it through the same kind of discomforts and annoyances that you expect your boyfriend to bear. Ask yourself: would I sit in a corner looking defeated and miserable if I were alone? Nine times out of ten the answer is no, you’re only doing it because you have someone who is obligated to come and care for you. Suck it up.

Obviously, many of these rules overlap. In fact, they could all be summed up in one giant Don’t Do Annoying And Irrational Shit rule, but vague statements requiring interpretation never make good laws. Abide by these rules, ladies, and you will be treated justly and lovingly, assuming you’ve made a good choice in boyfriends. If not, break up with his ass and date one of the Man Train, a veritable cornucopia of studs and gentlemen who I will gladly introduce you to.

Assuming you can follow the rules.

p.s. This stands as a first draft. I am more than willing to take suggestions into account for, like our hallowed Constitution or the Top 40 chart, this is a living, evolving document.

-T.

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