Sunday, October 20, 2013

Everything He Hasn't Told You
I'm not quite sure what to expect from this. Burton Silver is the author of several amusing books, including Why Cats Paint, Why Paint Cats, and The Naughty Victorian Hand Book. At first glance, however, this one looks more-or-less serious. It's a book of questions to ask your man to get him to "open up to you." Hmmmm, isn't that Cruel and Unusual Punishment for a man?


Oh, boy.

I once had a boyfriend who, when being asked a simple question, would sit and think about it for a few minutes before answering. It wasn't a difficult question. When I asked him what was up, he answered, "I'm trying to decide what the right answer would be."

Really, I'm not like that. I don't have a hidden agenda when I ask questions. (Most of the time, anyway.) He didn't get this from me, but, yeah, he did have a lot of baggage. And I'm beginning to understand how men get this way.

This book is touted as the solution to all your troubles if your man isn't too communicative with you. Hmmm. If he just isn't communicative in general, I guess you could just try, you know, talking to him. If, on the other hand, he's "uncommunicative" in the sense that he doesn't share everything when you ask "What are you thinking about?", then this might be the book for you.

If you're one of those women who believe that he's your man, and that means you own every little idea that's in his noggin, then I think you'll really like this book. It gives you techniques to mine for all that precious ore that should rightfully belong to you, not him. Even better, there are secrets to translating the answers he gives you into usable data. Oh yes, ladies, there are Trick Questions in this book.

For example, one of the questions gives you a series of situations that men might fantasize about, not necessarily in a positive manner. The situations include being an astronaut, going insane, wearing women's clothing, cannibalism, moving to Canada, and meeting Elvis. You're supposed to ask you man what percentage of men, in his opinion, have fantasized about the experience. The trick is, that since most men probably want to think they're "normal", he will tend to put himself in the majority. In other words, for any experience that he thinks more than 50% of men have fantasized about -- he probably has, too.

This book left a really, really bad taste in my mouth, and it may have been just because I was reading it straight through, one invasive question after another. I thought at one point that it might be an interesting book from the point of view of questions to ask yourself, or -- if you're a writer -- things to think about in regard to a character. But in the long run, I rejected both of those ideas. I get offended when I ask myself all of these questions. And my characters would never stand for it at all.

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