Lisa with Johannes, Jonathan and Julia Claire
Photo: Michael Edwards
I've done a lot of things for men. I have worked for men and worked out for men. I have cooked for men, cleaned for men, dressed for men and undressed for men. I have been waxed, pedicured, and—God help me—platinum blonde for men. I have tried meditation, medication, tennis, chess, golf, poker, laser tag and escargot for men. I have relocated, reproduced and reinvented myself on more than one occasion for men. I have seen the films of Jackie Chan, read the poetry of Charles Bukowski and learned the finer points of the Indianapolis 500 for men. I have changed my plans for men, stuck to my guns for men, stood up for men and gone down for men. I have lived for men and I have lived in spite of them.

But somewhere between the snails and the childbirth, I got a little tired of trying to figure out exactly what it is that men want from women. The real question is, What do women want from men? It just so happens that I, Lisa Kogan, am an actual living, breathing, water-retaining member of the female species and have been for years. So allow me to throw out a few ideas...

  • We want—and it's nothing short of remarkable that I'm saying this in the year 2006—to make the same money men make when we do the same job. And while I'm taking care of business, we want people to either quit telling us how essential it is that we breastfeed or start providing places where we can pump milk without fear of bumping into that guy who's making 30 percent more than we are for doing the same job.

  • We want high heels that do not leave us praying for the sweet release of death.

  • We want foreplay.

  • We want a lot of foreplay.

  • We want safe, healthy, fun, warmhearted day care for kids. But here's the thing: We don't want to have to sell off a kidney to pay for it.

  • We want peace, love, and understanding, but we also want red wine, compassionate lighting, and the occasional cheap thrill.

  • We want all rock stars over 60 years of age—I'm talking to you, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney—to date women over 60. Gentlemen, the day will come when you'll be needing a hip replacement. And—mark me—the moment your little friend can't be there for you because she's got Gymboree, my aunt Selma will seem like a slice of heaven.

  • We want to stop being forced to watch The Godfather every single time it airs. The movie is a masterpiece. "Leave the gun, take the cannoli, blah, blah, blah." It's brilliant. We get it. Move on.

  • Did I mention that whole foreplay thing?

  • Every now and again, we want somebody else to pick the restaurant, arrange the playdate, plan the seating, buy the tickets, do the laundry, schedule the appointment, pack the bags, balance the books, send the gift, walk the dog, fill out the forms, break the silence, lift the ban, make the payment, count the calories, hold the phone, explain the joke, beat the odds, hit the ground running, win the race, and save the day while we sleep past noon in high-thread-count sheets and a cashmere blanket. In other words, we want time off for good behavior.


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