Monday, March 30, 2009

Guide to Guys: If He Hums A Few Bars, You Can Fake It

It is a little-known fact that most women send out mating signals for the same reason a whale sends out an echolocation song –- to find out where she’s going next. This signal is like two-thirds of a major chord, and to respond to this sub-sonic "Is anybody out there?" the male species has come up with a specifically-tailored "I'm over here!" in the form of guys who have the ability to sing one single in-tune note. Just one. One note. That’s it. But it will always seem like the perfect note to the woman who discovers that it fulfills her search for harmony.

These guys are the Johnny One-Notes.

You all know a woman who’s gone out with one of these guys. He’s the one you look at with her and go “I just don’t get it; what does she see in him?” Or “How can she go out with him? Nobody likes him but her!” And the truth is, it’s not about seeing, or liking, or even thinking. Especially not thinking. It’s about the fact that this guy has the one thing that gal knows for a fact she’s missing. (Which shows you how much you should trust facts, right?) It could be as cheap as sex, as seductive as money, as soothing as passion, or as exciting as logic, but that note he sings to her is the equivalent of Fred Astaire walking into a Ginger Rogers movie and saying, "Let's dance." Cue Ginger's big glowing smile, and run credits. I mean really. Who the hell else is she gonna end up with?

And like Fred Astaire, Johnny One-Notes always (always) get women. You’ll fall for one, too, if you haven’t already, because you're missing that note and he has it -- because there’s that itch in you and he knows exactly where it is, and he will scratch it till you purr and go “A-a-a-a-a-a-ahhhh . . .”

And that’s all he’ll do.

(Let me say that again, because you were too busy purring and going “A-a-a-a-a-a-ahhhh . . .” to actually hear me. )

That one thing? That is all he will ever do for you.

YOU: Oh honey, that feels great, could you scratch over there for a minute?

HIM: God, when did you get so demanding? [Goes back to watching football.]

So remember. Just because the one thing is perfect, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It may feel that way for a while, but eventually you will find that you have changed the notes of your song, because what woman in the world wants to keep singing the same thing over and over again? Only boys do that. (Really. See that guy next to you on the train? Start humming “You Give Love A Bad Name.” He’ll be singing it to himself from now till next Purim. And he’ll be happy. Until some strange girl on a train starts humming “Satisfaction,” and he does Keith Richards air guitar for the next three months. )

The point is, when you change your tune (and you will), you will look at your Johnny One-Note and go “Why aren’t we in harmony any more?”

YOU: Why aren't we in harmony any more?

HIM: You’re not singing the same song.

YOU: Of course I’m not singing the same song.

HIM: Why not?

YOU: We’re not mating. I was singing a mating song. Now I’m singing an “I have a mate” song.

HIM: Well don’t blame me. I’m not the one singing a different tune.

YOU: Look. You can’t keep singing a mating song when you’re part of a couple. You have to sing a duet.

HIM: I can be part of a duet.

YOU: Then why aren’t you singing with me?

HIM: Because I only know the one note. If you want this to be a duet, then you have to work the tune around me.

And at that point, sister, you either have to say goodbye, or resign yourself to singing “When I’m Sixty-Four” while the man of your dreams thumps out the bass note to “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.” There is no other way to deal with a Johnny One-Note. You either have to dump him and find somebody else to sing with, or write your own song around him. And smile. Smile a lot, okay? That way he'll know you're happy.

And whatever you do, don’t despair. There are indeed guys out there who like to sing duets. Lots of them. The reason you never noticed them when you were dating? They don’t just sing the one note. Which is probably why these men can always found in the Guide To Guys under the letter S, for Second Husbands.

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