To the young man who had an argument with his girlfriend in the post office, in front of everyone, and yelled horrible things at her:
I don’t know you, son, but I overheard your girlfriend call you Jeremy. I’d like to share a few things with you, Jeremy.
First: if you’re going to have an argument, do it in a normal place like everyone else. Argue at the beach, the supper table, a car dealership, or at the cash bar of your cousin Phil’s wedding reception.
But wherever you argue, keep in mind that the woman you’re arguing with is not just a woman. She’s a magnificent human being.
Choose your words carefully.
Women should be spoken to sweetly. Ugly words are out of the question because they never disappear once they’re said. Tomorrow, your hateful words will still be hanging in the air like week-old body odor.
So for the love of Mike, lower your voice. Smile at her. Talk WITH her, not AT her.
And while we’re on the subject, when you speak to your girl (or any woman for that matter), leave her better off than you found her.
Make this the goal of your existence, Jeremy. Don’t just be nice, try to make her feel confident.
For example: saying “You look nice today,” might make her feel okay. But that’s about it.
“Gee, you’re pretty,” is getting warmer, but only Swanson-TV-dinner warm.
“Darling, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I want to buy you food which contains dangerous amounts of refined white sugar.”
Now you’re cooking with peanut oil.
So sugar is good. Shouting is bad. Don’t shout. Especially not in public where innocent bystanders are buying stamps.
And don’t belittle a woman. Not ever. Not even if she dips you in commercial pump lubricant and sets you on fire with an acetylene blowtorch.
She deserves more, and so do you.
Women have it hard in today’s world. You might think I’m nuts, Jeremy, but I’m not the one having a nervous breakdown over by the Priority Mail kiosk.
There are voices in this world who compete for your girl’s attention. Everywhere she goes, she hears them. They aren’t nice voices.
The billboards tell her how she ought to look, act, and think. They say she’s too fat, too skinny, too short, too quiet, too much like everyone else, too different.
You know the voices I mean. They’re at every supermarket magazine display rack. The cover models who look like Barbie’s starved stepsisters. The underwear ads featuring ladies who haven’t eaten an actual smoked rib since the Carter administration.
It’s our job, as card-carrying males to undo this. To buy her flowers, frilly things, and tell her this world is brighter because of her.
Show some effort, Jeremy. Some of us have dedicated our lives to learning how to love someone. Some of us feel lucky to have the woman we’re with.
Take a look at what’s in front of you. She’s strong and fragile. Sometimes she’s sure of herself, sometimes under-confident. Happy one moment, sad the next. She can laugh and cry in one breath.
She’s a woman.
And she needs you. She needs someone who knows her. Nothing in life feels better than being known.
She’s a person. She’s someone’s baby. Someone’s daughter. And this girl is trusting you with her life. So treat it like it means something.
Now, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to say something to your girlfriend:
Honey, ditch the clown.