When a man brings his wife flowers for no reason, there's a reason.
- Molly McGee
You don't have to read or watch the news too long these days to learn that the institution of marriage and the rules of gender are up for debate.
The old guidelines don't seem to apply. The new guidelines are being negotiated. The courts and the preachers and the presidential candidates are all weighing in, while the rest of us are trying to figure it out.
There is even a term for the new male ideal: "metrosexual." This modern man of the new millennium is sensitive, aware and fashion-conscious.
He is cosmopolitan. He is metropolitan. He is, of course, as real as a unicorn.
In my opinion, the true catch for today's woman is not so farfetched.
He's an older-model male - part Andy Griffith, part Marshal Matt Dillon. Mix in Fred Flintstone's ambition and Bill Murray's social skills.
He's what I call a retrosexual.
He lives on every street. Every neighborhood has a couple. He's dependable, predictable and prone to direct solutions.
For instance, he can fix things. If he can't fix it, he's got a friend who can.
And he won't lose too much sleep if he breaks something in the process. That happens sometimes when you're fixing things.
He doesn't shop. He buys.
He won't say anything about all your shoes if you don't comment on his golf and fishing equipment.
He likes to watch sports because, unlike your TV shows, the outcome is unknown. He never saw Friends, Sex and the City or Will & Grace.
He saw Frasier once when he was at your mother's house, and it was easier to pretend to watch TV than to talk about curtains.
He doesn't cry at movies, because he realizes that they're all actors and nobody really died.
He might like watching games, but he doesn't like playing them, so if you want something, just ask. Don't make him guess.
And don't worry if he doesn't seem to be listening. You have one mouth. He has two ears. That's so he can listen to you and the game at the same time.
If he asks you what's wrong and you say "nothing," he'll believe you and go back to what he was doing.
Finally, don't ask an honest question and be offended at an honest answer. If something he said can be taken two ways, and one of the ways makes you mad, he meant the other one. Honest.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.