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Coping With The Beast

How to deal when your Girlfriend Skis Better Than You

by ben tiffany

“You go fast, plenty fast,” my buddy Mackay told me. “Your problem is that you just can’t turn.”

And as I lay beside the old spruce that nearly split me in half, I had to admit that Mackay did have a point. Early that morning, I mounted tele bindings onto the fattest, stiffest and longest pair of Atomics I could talk my way into. And these things were monstrous. Seriously. Calling them water skis is too kind. They were far more cruel than that.

“What you’re forgetting,” I said, coughing out a mouthful of snow, “is I have a diving board under each foot. These things defy all…”

A primal scream stopped me. It came from the rock band above. And down came a streak of red and black that crashed into the frozen crud beside me. It tumbled. It did a shoulder roll. And before my eyes could even pull focus, it was gone.

“What the Hell was that?” I cried.

“Your girlfriend,” Mackay answered with a gasp. “That was your freakin’ girlfriend.

Yeah, my girl can rip. Whether it’s skying off a tall cliff, pointing ‘em down a tight chute or floating through a field of moguls the size of VW Bugs, my girl does it in style. She’s impressive. She’s spectacular. She’s the best skier I’ve ever seen. And needless to say, she’s absolutely killing me.

But she doesn’t know it. And she never will. Long ago, I learned that it’s important to manage your pain and keep your mouth shut. Otherwise your whole world goes to Hell. And goes something like this:

First you wonder if you can even hang with her—if skiing with you bores her to tears. Before long, you develop performance anxiety—both on the hill and in the sack. The more neurotic you become, the more she wonders what she ever saw in you. And sooner or later she drops you on your face. She clears out the liquor cabinet, takes “her” CDs, packs the queen-size bed and kidnaps the dog.

Next up? Your dirt bag friends start riding with her and ignoring you altogether. She, of course, promptly loses five pounds, grows her hair down to her butt and decides that oral sex isn’t so gross after all. (At least that’s the word around town.)

But that’s just one scenario. In some cases, she forgets “her” CDs. And if her new landlord doesn’t allow pets, she opts to destroy the dog rather than leave him with you.

Now if you are in a similar situation, take heart. I have been there. And I can help. But first, to better understand your situation, let’s take a look at what makes a man. Men have been showing off to impress women for thousands of years. Cavemen showed off by making fire. Egyptian men showed off by building pyramids. And by dreaming up The Holy Crusades, medieval men were not only showing off, but they were developing the foreign policy we still use today.

Fellas, it’s in us. It’s in our flesh and it’s in our veins. But this macho behavior is also learned. It is nourished by modern American culture. After all, what do little girls get for their birthdays? Cute dolls to be loved, talked to and nurtured. What do little boys get? Remote controlled tanks.

And the message is clear. We are expected to stomp anything that gets between us and our idea of happiness. We are expected to dominate our competitors, our foes, and at the very least…our girlfriends.

So how do I manage the pain? Well needless to say, I pick a lot of fights. I drive a big truck. And like I said, I take out trees on the largest skis available.

I recommend you do the same. Never mind Robert Bly and his sissy men’s movement. You are a beast. And it doesn’t matter if you dive headfirst into therapy, meditate on a mountaintop or bathe in a tub of patchouli. You’ll always be a moron. And you’ll always be macho.

So let your frustration work for you. Focus that anger and feed it like a pig. With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of anger, you might finally exceed your potential. You might finally make the grade. That is maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a way to keep up.