Now that I’m an old and undesirable man, women feel free to converse freely and uninhibitedly around me. This includes women of all ages, from 15 to 100. I say this because the women I’m frequently in contact with are within this age range. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I’m not sure, but of course, it’s my nature to lean toward thinking it’s a bad thing. The reason I’m leaning in this direction is because listening to these conversations usually makes me feel more unimportant than I already feel. Women are schizophrenic when it comes to men. If they have a man, (and by this, I mean a long term relationship, married or unmarried does not matter) their conversations are usually about children, grandchildren, shopping, vacations, the latest stupid thing about the man in their life, some home improvement project, some advice about whatever shit some other woman needs advice about, or their most recent weight loss program. If they ever say something nice about their man, it’s only because he bought them some great gift for their birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day, but of course, if he doesn’t deliver the goods on every single one of these occasions, she’s back to talking about the latest stupid thing he’s done. Bottom line…he’s not very important to her unless he showers her with better gifts than her friends got from their man. Of course, a man doesn’t realize this until he’s retired and his woman tells him that he needs to get out of the house more. Believe it or not, the conversations that women without a man have are even worse. Even though women without a man talk incessantly about the men in their past, in their present, and in their future, they never speak a word of truth about any of these men; they only say things about the men who are not in their lives that make them feel better about themselves. Either he treats, treated, or will treat them like a princess, or is, was, or will be a phenomenal provider, or is, was, or will be a great father, or is, was, or will be a lot of fun, or is, was or will be amazingly attractive, or something else that makes the woman sound like she attracted, attracts, or will attract the greatest men on earth, truth be damned. Regarding the ex-man in her life, everything about their relationship was perfect until he became an alcoholic, beat her, cheated on her, ignored their children, or went to jail. Everything that eventually went wrong in her past relationships had nothing to do with her, and every man she has met since has verified that to be true. No need for truth when fantasy makes her feel much better about herself and the new men in her life all adore her. It depresses me to hear the conversations of women who don’t have a man. Women without a man can’t stop speaking about men. Women without a man find men to be the most important thing about their lives. Women without a man expect the new men in their lives to be exactly like the past men in their lives excluding their faults. And, of course, every man in their lives, past, present, and future have all of these wonderful qualities that make them much better than I’ll ever be. Knowing that I could never be as great as the men in the lives of women without men in their lives makes me feel more unimportant than ever. Whether romance novels or chick flicks or Disney Studios is to blame for the imaginary men that women without a man create, I have no idea. The only thing I know for sure is that I felt much better about myself as a man before women with or without a man made me privy to their private conversations.