Dear Lena Dunham,
I want to start out by saying that I love you. I appreciate your humor and the fact that you do not look like every other Hollywood starlet out there. I love you so much that when I was in the audience of “Late Night with David Letterman” two years ago and you were the guest, I peed in my pants so I wouldn’t have to get up and lose my front row seat.
In fact, I think of myself as the future you. I am a 43 year old Jewish mom of three and also a writer. I love to make fun of myself and the people around me. I am not shy about revealing myself to the world. I do not have a perfect body and most of the time I’m ok with that.
So, about your “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend” article in The New Yorker: I know people are upset. Especially our people, the Jews. But I have realized the real problem with your article and it’s not really your fault. You are only 28, and Jack seems like your first very serious boyfriend. So I’m going to tell you something that I didn’t realize when I was your age: men are all the same. Jewish, Christian, or whatever religion they are (except Scientology since I don’t really understand that one): we are all dating or married to the same man.
I have friends of every race and ethnicity and every single one of them has the same comments and concerns about their husband.
In looking at your article, you should know that:
1. It is rare for men to remember an anniversary unless it is your wedding one and that’s because they are still questioning their choice (even if they don’t admit it).
2. They are all kvetchy and whiny. They like to be taken care of. This is not a Jewish man thing, it’s just a guy thing. (Hence your boyfriend’s obsession with bellhops. Someone whose job it is is to wait on them hand and foot is the ideal human being.)
3. Men get sick very easily. Even if we women have come down with the exact same illness that they have, theirs will be worse than ours. (Not really-but in their heads it is.) Women are stronger and can deal with more. That is why we have periods and hot flashes and have to give birth and gain weight much easier than they do. Men can only handle embarrassing, unexpected boners. That’s it.
4. They do not like the food you serve, nor do they like the food in restaurants. This is because men cannot verbalize what it is that they actually like. We women can sit down with each other and discuss our boobs, our vaginas and the liquids that come out of our vaginas. Men only talk to each other about politics and sports (so basically they can only discuss other men.) They have no frame of reference for discussing their feelings about anything. (This is why they don’t like going to therapy)
5. Men will never really like hanging out with your friends. This is because they know that you told them every little detail about your sex life and he’s totally embarrassed.
6. They are all ass men and would all love to have sex with a tall, blonde Swedish anorexic model. It’s part of their genetic make up. Nothing we can do.
7. None of them like “Lean In” nor do they want us to be more successful or popular than they are. Not one single man. Think about all of the celebrity marriages that broke up because she became more successful than he did. As much as they want us to have careers and be productive members of our society, deep down, they really prefer the 1950s. They all wish that their ladies would be at home wearing high heals and pearls and cooking dinner.
8. The smothering Jewish mother stereotype is outdated. You don’t have kids yet so I need to fill you in. It’s not just Jewish mothers who smother their children these days. This is the era of helicopter parents. Not one child, Jewish or not, is allowed to fail. They all get trophies. Parents do their children’s homework, get them jobs and house them as long as they want.
It’s ridiculous and I am making it my personal mission to end this madness.
9. Women were blessed with a truly special gift: faking it. We can fake everything from being interested in conversations to liking the taste of beer or semen. Men can’t do that. It’s all or nothing. That’s why we can be nice to the annoying neighbor or the un-approving father in law and they can’t.
Men are just not wired the same way as women. This is why many women must decide to become lesbians.
When I was 28, I was newly married. I had never lived with a man for so long. I thought it would be like having a college roomie plus sex. But I quickly learned that men don’t want to stay up all night talking about fashion, gossip, and how much they hate their hair. They don’t hear half the things you say. They are obsessed with what’s for dinner. They still nap.
The best boyfriends are just like dogs: they get excited when you come home, they love to snuggle on the couch, and they never tire of sticking their heads in your crotch.
If you are lucky, you will find a guy who is your better half. Who will be the perfect partner and will make you feel happy and special in his own way.
Take it from me, your future self, he does exist. Just not in the way you want him to.