Laura on Life

Relationships -- crazy and stupid

By Laura Snyder

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[August 25, 2010]  So I found myself in the self-improvement section of a bookstore. If I was honest with myself, I'd have to say that I wasn't there to improve myself; I was there to find something that would improve everyone else.

In today's world, women have been led to believe that we are always right, so what is there to improve? Of course, we were led to believe this by other women.

Men would not agree, but smart men wouldn't say so because they like to have sex. The surest way to go to bed alone is to say or even suggest that a woman was not right.

So perhaps women are right because men are smart.

In the bookstore, I found a book that caught my attention because it had a comic strip on the front, done in primary colors. OK, so I'm a little shallow... but I'm still right.

This book was called "Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid." It was written not by an "expert" in relationships who had a bazillion unrelated letters after his name, but by a couple of comedy writers. One of them, Howard J. Morris, was a writer for the popular series "Home Improvements." The other, Jenny Lee, was a writer on "Samantha Who?"

I thought, "Now this is an interesting take on the whole gender wars thing."

I picked up the book because I agreed with the title... and because of the pretty colors. I opened it because I saw that it was written by a man and a woman. That meant I would hear both sides of the story.

Ultimately, I bought the book after looking inside. I wanted to see how many times the words "crazy" and "stupid" could be used without offending the reader.

I found that the answer was incalculable as long as the insult was couched in humor. I laughed throughout the entire book -- not because it was laughable, but because it was so true. There was some good stuff there.

They are not a couple of Ph.D.s trying to bridge the gap. They are not telling us what we are doing wrong and how we can fix it. They are simply telling it like it is.

You really can't change it. All you can do is understand it and try to work out the crazy and stupid.

After 29 years of contractual committed-ness with my husband, I may finally understand. Understanding is good. Understanding at least eases murderous thoughts and suicidal tendencies.

[to top of second column]

Here's the kicker: Morris and Lee are not married. There had been no "I do" in front of a witness, but they are in a "committed relationship." Not committed as in "institutionalized," but committed as in a voluntary prison... uh, partnership.

Since these two authors didn't want to risk a marriage contract with each other, at least not yet, it must help to know that you can walk away at any time without consequence. That certainly would raise a couple's chances of making that "till I get sick of you" goal.

They've made it two years already, which is nothing short of a miracle... in Hollywood.

Contracts put your collateral on the line. There is risk. In my humble opinion, if you are not willing to risk everything for the one you love, maybe you are not committed enough. In which case, you should not even be thinking about a "committed relationship."

On the other hand, some people only want what they can't have. Once they have it -- lock, stock and barrel -- they don't want it anymore. If you recognize that aspect of your partner's personality, not marrying them is a savvy relationship strategy. A little therapy for both of you may go a long way in this case.

There are also those people who don't want to be with a person who is "forced" to be with them because of a signed contract. They will always wonder if their spouse really wants to be with them or is just staying with them because of that little piece of paper. Judging from the divorce rate in this country, that little piece of paper has not stopped people from leaving someone they believe is a loser.

These scenarios demonstrate that people in love can be both crazy and stupid. That is the simple point Morris and Lee are trying to make.

I was just adding a footnote.

See, there I go being crazy again.


Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more info.


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