For My Male Readers Only


Dear Appendaged Ones,

I love you, but  I don’t always get you and you often make me crazy.   Rarely do I truly understand how and why you think and act the way you do and despite the fact that I’m half a century old and never married, Ido love you.  I love men.    That said, sorry to have to break it to you, you gossip mongers of South Texas, but I’m straight.

Even so, I was asked recently why I never married.   The answer to that is simply, I’ve never met a man who could fill the role as my husband.  Realistically,  I could never have been a wife either…not then anyway and certainly not married to those men.   Had I, I would’ve cemented my name as part of some random divorce statistic.   

Something was always amiss in every one of these relationships.   Namely, the guy.   He was either strange or had the integrity of gnat testicles  or he was completely off-putting and coldly and impenetrably aloof.   To be hoenst, I wasn’t always dealing with a full emotional deck either and that only exacerbated the negatives.   And if that wasn’t bad enough, neither of us ever had enough heart to pursuit the relationship beyond where it was at that given time.

I know the odds are against my finding a suitable mate at my age, but for love hand heart some reason odd reason, I am still sanguine about the prospect of someday finding Mr. Kendrick.

Today, as I type this, I will admit that he just might be closer than I think.   If I listen carefully, I can hear my heart’s arrhythmia and his breathing. 

Yay….and that’s for the breathing part; not the erratic heartbeat.

I’ve recently been exposed to romance by a friend I met this past February.  Through the simplest of conversations, this friend has helped reintroduce me to the concept of  romance.  Not just that which ups the volume of one’s heartbeat,  but the rekindling of my appreciation in the romance of life, of art, music and of course, the written word.    I’ve never really had a man (platonic friend or love interest) in my life who understood and fully grasped romance, much less be brave enough purvey it on a daily basis.

Well, I know a man who does.   And believe me, women yearn to meet this rare breed;  even if we’re in denial about romance’s relevance in our lives.  My sister, Karol seems to be of the mindset that too much romance will dull a relationship; that we have to have a certain degree of undulation to our relationships and this rockiness will keep it more on an even keel than being on an even keel.    I’m not sure from where this slight romantic cynicism comes.  Years ago, a man named Will, someone I never met, wrote me the most incredible love letters; beatiful words that were poetic and soulful and they all made Karol cry.  She once told me that she’d give anything to be verbally embraced like that.

But the evil that is the passage of time can change everything.   Hair color, skin texture and overviews on love and romance.

Still, if pressed, I know my sister and I know how truly heartened she’d be if someone would demonstrate the ways and mean of romance to her, for her; with her.

Why?  Because my sister is a woman.   Despite pedantic ramblings to the contrary, we all  love romance.  Even a smidgen of it can alter the course of an afternoon…a day…a year.

A lifetime.

I feel sorry for the woman who’s only given it and never received it.    I pity the man who  for whatever reason, can’t muster it or provide it.    I know most  men think far more more linearly than women. Even so,  I know you love us.  Some of  you love us  more than others and still, there are the scant few who only want to put us first.  Those who can do that, actually “get” the concept of love and romance and the role it plays in achieving that wondrous state of connubial bliss.   But sadly, you are the minority.

I don’t know from where this  gender variable stems.  Is it  imbedded in the double helix on which your DNA clings?  Is it your  pathology that  makes you so skittish about love and relationship?    Why is it that a woman’s love and concern can turn you from normal, seemingly emotionally healthy man into a frightened, neurotic, caged animal in under 60 seconds?  If that describes you, well, that’s for you and your therapist to muddle through, but for those of you who are willing to  love and love freely, please take this advice and heed it,:   it is the little things that make the biggest impression.

Trust me on this.

  • An e-mail sent out of the blue, on a busy afternoon lets her know you’re thinking about her.  We LOVE that.
  • Leave a note on her windshield the night before, encouraging her to have a great day and that you promise you”ll be there at the end of it.
  • Fill her car up with gas if you see that’s it needs filling and do so without being prompted.
  • Leave a rose on her plate (even while dining at home) when she’s not looking.
  • Hold our hands for no reason at all.
  • Listen to her, hear what she says.  Keep this information in your quiver and pull it out when you see fit.  Let’s say she loves the Kings of Leon,  next time you’re at the mall or by a music store, go inside and  buy her their newest CD and slip it in front of her, as she brushes her teeth at the bathroom sink.
  • Tell her you love her…if for no other reason than because you feel it, while across the room.  You don’t even need to look up from your book, newspaper or TV show.
  • Make dinner for her one night.  Clean the kitchen afterwards.

Romance needn’t be something that’s laborious or schmaltzy.  lt can be simple and inexpensive.   It can be free and sans any semblance of elaboration.   I assure you, when it comes to being the recipient of romance, most women aren’t that picky.    Less can definitely be more in this  particular situation.

Attempt to make the sacrifice; be willing to bend and compromise.  If you do, ultimately, you’ll be the winner.

So, come on guys.   Romance the women you love.  You won’t regret it.  Mainly because if you treat us like queens, we will treat you like kings.  The tenderness of requited romance is love’s quid pro quo.

You have no idea how happy you can be in your marriage; in your relationship until you work on it.  Until you give just a bit more than you receive.   Love, spite of its occasional, falaciousness can still be a beautiful thing.  It really is the most important thing.


I have recently  been forced to reckon with that fact that baseball sure runs a close second.

For the major leaguer in my life.



  1. Nice piece (and I meant that in the respectful sense.)

    My next band is going to be named “The Gnat Testicles,” btw.

  2. That is a fantastic name for a band! As serendipity would have it, I heard of a band named Hillary, (apparently all registered Republicans), who last year voted to change their name to Moose Oysters. Has a certain something to it, I think.

    As for you, Ms. Kendrick, judging by your posts you seem to be more upbeat. I, for one, am glad to see it. I hope now you can find the more subtle shades in every sunset, instead of only seeing the day turn to night.

  3. I didn’t mean that it would dull a relationship. I’m all for the little love notes placed around the house, flowers for no apparent reason, hugs out of the blue from time to time, etc. I do think that those little things done when they are least expected make the marriage exciting. You are right about by treating her as a queen, you will be treated as a king. . . but if and only if.

    I would love my husband to more romantic but he came this way 32 years ago.

  4. I have always done these things. Some better than this. It’s not because I’m so romantic . . . It’s because I’m just goofy.

  5. Probably not goofy-you like to make her happy and when she’s happy, life is good.

    I’ve been a wife/mother for the past 32 years and I swear by this saying, “if mama aint happy, aint nobody happy”.

  6. “Clean the kitchen afterwards.”

    Man, you had me right up to that part… 😀

    I think about this often — the changing and often dissatisfying relationships between men and women; perfectly intelligent, capable people, who can’t keep it together.

    I think it comes down to sacrifice. There can’t be two leads in a dance. What I see today are two problems: (1) Everyone wants to lead, so the role of the follower and supporter is almost universally denigrated; (2) many of us (mostly men, some women) are ineffective leaders, because there are few good examples left for *us* to follow.

    I really don’t think it’s about “equality,” whatever that is. I think it’s about compatibility. For me, I’m a lead-dog, but I also bow out gracefully when my partner is the better choice. That doesn’t make me a follower, just a mature leader. There’s a difference.

    Or I’m a sexist troll with his head in the 1960s. Either way is good.

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