What do women want? Ask a man that question and he’ll probably roll his eyes and look heavenward for divine inspiration, which doesn’t come because even God doesn’t want to take this one on. So, the poor guy will just shrug his shoulders. He doesn’t have a clue.
The truth is that the clues we women do give men, when we bother to give them at all, and the little hints we occasionally drop are confusing and often contradictory. We are, indeed, complicated creatures, but are we so complicated that even we can’t figure ourselves out? Or, have we just overcomplicated our lives by trying to make sense of the dizzying array of choices available to us that were not available to Grandma.
A few weeks ago I was getting together all the information my Accountant would need to file our taxes. Kirsten is not only a great CPA, she’s also a wife, mother of two adorable girls, has great style, loves all things French and has become a dear friend. Frankly, I don’t know how she does it all so beautifully, but she does. We get together for dinner every few months or so. Did I also mention that she loves good food and wine as much as I do?
Anyway, over dinner one night about halfway through a bottle of Pouilly Fuissé and apropos of nothing I can remember, she mentioned that her two favorite comic book characters were Snow White and Wonder Woman.
I laughed and said “Do you realize how interesting it is that your two favorite cartoon characters couldn’t be more different? Snow White, the sweet little victim of evil saved by a handsome Prince and Wonder Woman who doesn’t need saving at all. She saves victims of evil with her magic bracelets, a nice feminine touch I might add.”
So is that what we want? Do we want to rescue or be rescued or both? And from what?
OMG, my head is spinning. Well, while this may all seem a bit overwhelming and impossible to figure out, somebody has figured it out and has been hugely successful as a result.
Meredith Hagner and Bobby Campo in "My Christmas Love"
A few years ago, the Hallmark Channel started showing sweet, funny, romantic Christmas movies well before the Christmas holidays to get us “in the mood.” It was the perfect time to start the process of getting us “in the mood” before we got so caught up in the holiday madness that the sound of another “Dashing Through the Snow, in a One-Horse Open Sleigh…” would make us want to rip the sleigh bells off of Santa’s sleigh. Pretty clever of those Hallmark folks! But, not only did it get us in the mood for Christmas, it got us in the mood for old-fashioned, heart-warming romance.
|Candace Cameron Bure in “Journey Back to Christmas”|
Yes, they were formulaic and the music had a certain saccharine sameness about it. You knew that in the end she would wind up with the tender-hearted, small-town guy instead of the work-obsessed, big-city lawyer who was trying to shut down the town’s only Community Center that feeds the poor, takes care of the elderly and educates the kids of homeless mothers so he could build expensive condos that nobody in the neighborhood could afford to buy.
Danica McKellar in “A Crown for Christmas”
Or that in the end the small-town girl would wind up with the handsome prince who fell in love with her over his family’s strenuous objections and that he would choose her over the snooty young woman with the impeccable pedigree his parents had chosen for him.
Ryan Peevey and Cindy Busby In “Unleashing Mr. Darcy”
You knew all this, but you didn’t care, because the girls were young and pretty and well-dressed and you never heard them use any off-color language, much less drop the “F” bomb; and the boys were all pretty decent looking, some better looking than others, some a little too pretty for my taste, but they all looked neat and clean. And you knew that there would always be a happy ending and that you would feel happier after watching it.
A few weeks before Christmas this year, I was called for jury duty (See Christmas – Ready or Not). The timing couldn’t have been worse. I was way behind and the thought of ending up on a trial that would probably last for weeks was my vision of a holiday nightmare. Fortunately, I was not chosen. During the questioning period, the Judge asked everyone what television programs they watched, and every woman questioned said they watched the Hallmark channel Christmas movies. Eventually, the Judge, who had a great sense of humor, started saying, “Can I assume you watch the Hallmark channel?” Everyone would laugh, but he assumed correctly every time.
And so, has the Hallmark channel finally figured out what women want? Certainly they are indeed on to something, and we are lapping up every romantic minute of it.
|Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice"|
But were they the first to unravel the mystery? As my 38-year-old goddaughter Vicki put it, “In the end, we all want the same thing – Mr. Darcy.” So, it would seem that a prim and proper British spinster named Jane Austen had it all figured it out some 200 years before the Hallmark channel. Clever girl!