By: Jenny Foughner 


Some of you might remember a wee treatise I wrote some months ago about things women wish you knew. Even if you learned nothing from it, I hope that it at least alerted you to the fact that women have secret thoughts of which it behooves you gents to be aware. However, there is another list – a far, far more secret list, the kind of list that Nic Cage would pursue in a multi-million dollar Disney action movie – that I have been longing to share with you, and now that we’ve built up some trust between us, I think it’s finally time. Bear in mind that it is by no means complete (you can’t have it all up front, you know), and, like its precursor, it is not meant to be a weapon of relationship warfare. Instead, it is meant to be a tool in your quest to understand the fairer sex (if that’s even possible, and I’m not convinced that it is). So, without further ado, for your learning pleasure: five secrets girls probably wish I’d keep to myself.

We sort of enjoy PMS.

Although we complain about it more than almost anything else, PMS is one of those things that we don’t entirely dislike. Don’t get me wrong; on the one hand, it’s even more gross-feeling than it is gross-sounding (which you can understand, I bet, because you’re probably totally nauseated by the mere mention of it), and it turns us into crazy beasts of fury for whom no ice cream tub is too deep and no argument too petty. That part unequivocally sucks. On the flip side, though, PMS is like a get-out-of-jail-free card, providing us with a way to explain away cray-cray outbursts and three-pound-burger binges no matter when they fall on the calendar. In fact, y’all are so skeeved by the PMS that you never think to question our claims of temporary menstrual insanity, even if it only happens when the guys come over for poker night. That just makes no physiological sense.

We accidentally fall in love with you – briefly – after givin’ it up.

Evolution really effed us where it counts with the whole babymaking thing. While you’re out running around spreading your seed, we’re stuck searching for ONE mate to father ONE child that we will then carry for NINE months and expel in an incredibly painful process that usually lasts at least 12 hours. As if that weren’t enough, getting busy also sends a load of hormones coursing through our bodies that turn us into batshit crazyladies after you leave in the morning. It’s only chemical – we remind ourselves of this constantly – but for a brief period of time after we hook up with you, our bodies make us believe that we’re destined to spend the rest of our childbearing lives with you. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to experience the full force of this crazy, but trust me. It’s in there.

Girls’ Night isn’t as awesome as Boys’ Night.

Sure, we pretend that we’re superpsyched to go out with the ladies while you stay in with the guys, but with the exception of people who have been married for a while and people who want to cheat on their significant others, we’re just… not that into it. But we’re smart, sophisticated girls who ‘should’ want to spend quality time with their girlfriends, so we do it, and most of the time we enjoy it, but it’s usually not our first choice no matter how much we try to convince ourselves (and you) that it is. We really do it so you can have time with the guys. We’re pretty awesome, aren’t we?

Size matters.

Perhaps the only question more widely debated than that of the chicken v. the egg is that of the importance of size. Before it gets dramatic in here, let me clarify: I’m not saying that one size is better than another. Really, I’m not. I’m saying that every woman has different needs and desires, and we are all acutely aware of your equipment (just as you’re quite aware of the goods we’re bringing to the table). If we’re somewhat experienced, then we usually know what we want, what we like, and what we need, and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not what you have. It isn’t a value judgement. It’s a preference thing. But the good news is that you get huge points for style, so if you haven’t yet had a chance to perfect some signature moves, then get on it. Literally.

That shirt makes you look like a douchebag.

Feel free to replace ’shirt’ with ‘haircut,’ ‘motorcycle’ or ‘teacup Pomeranian’. This is just an example of something we’ll never tell you (well… maybe not NEVER, but probably not on a regular basis); we’ll never tell you that the shirt you love to wear every Saturday makes you look like a guido rapist, or that the length of your hair reminds us of ourselves in junior high. Instead, we’ll try to gently guide you toward the “correct” choice (as in, “wow, remember that shirt I bought you for Christmas? It looks so hot on you that I just want to rip it off every time you wear it.” See what we did there?). And therein lies the secret: often without even meaning to, we act based on deeply ingrained ideas about the “rules” of relationships (i.e., “how to make things work,” “how to be a good girlfriend” or “how not to lose a guy in 10 days”). We’ve been trained by years of RomComs and CW TV shows to be the best girlfriends we can be, which often means keeping a whole lot of secrets (see above re: all the stuff we don’t want you to know). While every relationship needs a little mystery, perhaps – just perhaps – we all need to take a look at how we act with one another, stop being polite, and start getting real.

…Or maybe you just need to stop wearing that shiny three-button shirt. It really does make you look like a tool.