Whenever I sit down to write this column, I keep two goals in mind. First, to provide news you can use. I don’t ever want time spent reading this space to be a complete waste.
And second, I try very hard not to throw either spouse under the bus. I am most certainly not without fault, and I have no business pointing my finger at anyone.
But sometimes men make it really hard for me to meet that second goal. When their foolishness makes national news, I can’t help myself.
Take, for example, the man who nearly botched his marriage proposal as it was broadcast on the scoreboard at New York’s Yankee Stadium in September. He dropped the ring.
At it’s most basic level, a marriage proposal has two elements: asking the question and presenting the ring. And I’m sure that the nerves and emotions pumping adrenaline through this poor guy’s body had his hands shaking like pompons at the Homecoming game, but he chose to propose in the most public of venues when he paid money to have it broadcast on the scoreboard in Yankee Stadium; that’s the sign of a confident man. And then he fumbled the jewelry in a baseball cathedral.
Baseball fans around them searched under stadium seats and down the steps and found the ring in the cuff of the girl’s jeans, saving the day. The girl said yes. Cheers erupted throughout the stadium.
I assume this couple will live happily every after – but I hope she sets some limits for the conditions surrounding the birth of their first child.
And then there was the Pittsburgh guy who made national news in August after he got himself wedged between two buildings trying to woo his date.
Yes, some guy met a girl, took her to a rooftop and thought he would impress her when he jumped from one building to the next. Instead, he injured his ankle and got stuck between the buildings. Rescue teams worked more than four hours and drilled through brick to free him. When CNN reported the story, they made no mention of a second date.
I remember from my summer trip to the zoo that this behavior – the male of a species showing off to attract the female – is common across the animal kingdom (think of a peacock showing those spectacular feathers). And it won’t surprise anyone to know that there is a university study to quantify the behavior in human beings.
Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab in 2015 studied the habits of men and women eating at a buffet alone, with people of the same gender and with people of the opposite gender. Researchers found that when a man was paired with a woman at an Italian buffet that man was likely to eat almost twice as much food as he usually would – 93 percent more pizza by volume and 86 percent more greens.
If wedging your body between two brick buildings and dropping a diamond ring at Yankee Stadium is 90 percent better than your average behavior, you’re in real trouble, gentlemen.