Now that he's grown and in a relationship, you expect that same boy who was told to keep quiet and keep it moving to be a man who can sit and listen and communicate and nurture? I'm telling you now: your expectations are off. Women have different moods, and ideas in their head, and you all expect us to fall in line, and if we don't, it's a problem—you're telling your girlfriends, "He won't talk to me," and "I can't get him to open up." But opening up is not what we do. Profess, provide, and protect—all our lives, that's what we men have been taught and encouraged to do. This, we've been told, is how a man shows his love. And The Fix falls firmly into the "provide" category. For sure, provision isn't just about money; for us, providing also is about righting what's wrong, and figuring out what's going to keep everybody happy. Because any man with sense knows that when mama's happy, we're all going to be happy. And when you're happy, there is a great return for us. So we provide and fix.
I'm telling you right now: if you go to your man with a situation that's fixable and he doesn't try to fix it, he is not your man—he is not in love with you. Go ahead, I dare you to try it for yourself. When your man comes over, tell him, "You know, I just can't stand this kitchen this way. The color just throws me all off, the cabinets are all wrong, they don't go with the stove and I can't get my mind right in here when I'm trying to cook." If he's all the way in it with you, he will say, without hesitation, "What color you want this kitchen to be, baby?" Tell him "pink," and see if by next Saturday the whole kitchen isn't painted pink, cabinets and all. He will see your distress, understand that if you don't like the cabinets and the walls and the way the stove functions, you're going to walk into that kitchen with your mouth poked out—phoning in the home-cooked meals because you just can't hook up the steaks and baked potatoes like you want to in a kitchen you can't stand. And we definitely don't want that, so to the hardware store we will go. Even if we don't have money for a complete remodel, we'll go and find you some hardware for the cabinets, maybe some new handles, and some sandpaper—lots of sandpaper—to get that color you can't stand off your cabinets, so that we can refinish them exactly the way you want them to be finished. A man who really loves you can't wait to do this for you, because in the back of his mind, he can envision you with a smile on your face, setting his place at the head of the table, and serving up a fine meal in the new kitchen he fixed just for you. (Oh, make no mistake about it: we want to see you happy, but it's also all about the return, ladies. Please understand and respect the return.)