Month: September 2018



Sometimes good lessons come from the most mundane experiences. It’s usually moments with few witnesses where little miracles play out in our lives. It’s especially true in matters of the heart. For me, it’s these times where I remember: we find it early or we find it late, but we must find love.

My boy shit his pants today. I know, not exactly something to write home about, but in so many other ways it was. Poor kid. Missus kept him home from school because he’d been a little worn out yesterday. I’ve learned not to question her intuition regarding her boy. She’s usually right.

I heard him first from about 75 feet away, near the double outhouse just past the rabbit pens. It’s on the edge of the cut lawn, if I can call it lawn. It’s also where missus has a couple of nooses tacked up against the overhanging roof of the old double-seater outhouse there, just so she can string up chickens.

As usual, I was killing, she was processing. These were meat birds she’d let live long past their due date as an experiment. She wanted to know if she could turn them into egg layers. She got two or three eggs out of one of the four birds, total.

She’s from the city and all this is new to her. She can take the time and learn on her own in whichever way she wants as far as I’m concerned. If she wants to allow an 8-week meat bird to live to 16 weeks just to see what happens, she can.

Though, I’d been reminding her to whack these fowl for a month, she resisted. Today, she relented, if I do the “coup de grace.” Fine by me, men are used to doing the dirty jobs. We’re handy in that way.

In any case, I’d just strung up the last one and done the deed. The bird was flapping wildly and flinging blood all around. Missus likes me to leave them bled and with the head off. I oblige her, she does the rest.

And today, as that final bird’s head came off, I heard his cry: “Daddy, I pooped my pants!” I wasn’t sure I’d heard correctly and since he was a way across the yard, past the rabbits and the pond and the burn barrel and up on the back porch, I got him to repeat it.

“I pooped my pants,” he repeated, along with an explanation about what happened, but I couldn’t make it out from that far away. I just needed him to confirm what I thought he said. He did. He had indeed shat his pants—or had an accident if you prefer. His ma was elbow deep in blood and feathers. It fell to me.

Instructing him to not move, not an inch, I put away my tools and drove the Mule with its now empty cages back over to his side of the grass. I parked and put away the hatchet and utility knife, remembering in my haste to not take the chance of leaving them out lest I forget about them.

I found him impatient and concerned, standing at the top of the steps on the porch, and full of reasons. On mostly a liquid diet because of a collapsing windpipe, he has only recently began to eat fuller meals. I suppose that means his readiness in such a case is still in development.

He’d tried to make it, running from “over there,” pointing to where missus was processing her chickens under the crab apple tree. He’d been hanging around her while she worked and couldn’t get inside on time.

Regardless of his condition, I knew precisely what to do and what to say and I’ll tell you why. I remember shitting my pants as a boy about his age, some 55 years ago.

It was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and I was probably 4 but could have been 5. Ma had ten pregnancies in 12 years, so by the time I was 4 or 5 there were lots of us around. She was taxed to the limit. The brother two up from me was bronchial asthmatic, then she lost a girl before me—which she later blamed on painting the stairs with lead paint—and the sister after me was sickly. If I was 5 then there would have been at least a couple more in diapers and likely ma would have been expecting.

As a sensitive kid, I remember toilet training was traumatic under the circumstances. I was a disappointment and took more years to learn than my mother would have liked. Poor ma, she did her best, but I wore her patience out soundly.

But, that day she was nowhere in sight. Who knows where she was, maybe at the doctors, maybe giving birth? Instead, a fearful man was in charge. I’d been warned by ma to be on my best behavior.  I remember getting a pre-scolding about it, a finger-shaking and stern talking to before she left. I was afraid already.

And so, as it was every day, we were fed and put outside. I wasn’t allowed to leave the property, so while my two older brothers and eldest sister were off doing something else, I lingered out front on the sidewalk.

When the urge to go hit me, it was sudden and forceful. From the sidewalk, eyeing the steps up the walk way and the distance to the front door and its porch, I knew I’d never make it. I needed a reschedule.  Desperately, I sat down on a cement step and wedged the sharp edge of its form into the crack of my ass, fully expecting to arrest the forward movement of my stool.

Not a chance. Nature had other plans and out came the inevitable. Only now, it mushroomed inside my underwear and immediately pancaked against both cheeks. I’m sure at some point I realized the futility of my attempt to thwart its progress and probably allowed the rest of the number to proceed disastrously as it intended. I was helpless, all-in on failure. Ma’s warning foretold my misery. Of all the days for this to happen…

I was in a pickle now. Looking back over my shoulder at the door to the house, remembering ma’s seriousness before she left, fearful of the navy man home on leave whom I knew only as a stranger, the idea of him being my father not a concept grasped with any comfort, I was filled with escalating dread.

It was here I realized my options were limited. I could not sit there in my shit, it’s caking and sticking to my bum obvious to anyone walking by from the smell alone. It would only be a matter of time before either a kid from the neighbourhood or my own siblings would find me there. Either way, the man in the house would be alerted and who knows what would happen?

I decided to sneak back in and attempt my own rescue. Up I went, waddling, penguin-like down the cement walkway towards the front door. I didn’t hold much promise of pulling this off, just as I knew sitting out front of the house on the two steps down to the sidewalk with a full load in my pants was not viable.

Approaching the door, carefully, legs spread wide most uncomfortably, with a serious demeanour, I reached for the front handle.

To my surprise, suddenly it opened from inside and there stood my father. He towered over me, handsome I suppose, looking poised in his sleeveless T-shirt and crew-cut hair,  smoking a cigarette I’m pretty sure. Looking me up and down, the paralysis of my body matching the stunned look on my face, he exhaled smoke and enquired something to the effect of, “Had a little accident, son?” How did he know?

He had a neutral look on his face from what I can remember. There was no hint of disgust or disappointment. It was all a matter-of-fact sort of thing. I know I stumbled a weak reply, affirming his suspicion and adding in explanation.

In answer, all he did was toss his finished smoke pass me onto the lawn or driveway and say, “Well, let’s get you inside and cleaned up.”

No lecture. No waggling fingers. No raised voice. No angry story about letting anyone down. No accusation about doing it on purpose. No nothing. Just sanctuary and the promise of cleanliness and fresh clothes.

Whomever this man was, I felt a physical shift I can still remember. He’d earned the right to be called my father at that moment. He was strong, powerful, undeterred by the problems at hand. He was unrushed and purposeful. He was in charge and that was fine by me. No tragedy was too great for him to handle. Unflappable and confident he was. It’s my purest image of masculinity.

It was with great relief I submitted to my father’s care that day. I don’t remember much of how he got me whole again, but I remember a deep respect for him from the experience. He had modeled something I had not seen, and it’s never left me, not in the more than half century since.

It was not me answering the worried call of my boy’s lament this morning. No. Not at all. It was my father who exists inside of me who today rose to the challenge in the same way he had all those years ago.

It is he who calmly took charge and without judgment got the boy out of his clothes, washed him off with the hose and poured him a warm bath. It was my father who toweled off my boy as he chattered about the experience to me in broken images of how it all came to be. It was my father who listened patiently and joked with the boy so that he smiled and laughed and stayed connected. It was my father. It was all my father you see.

And now, my 89-year old dad is languishing in a memory care ward at an old age home. He was put there by my sisters for his own good, his dementia having progressed too far to live at home any longer. He’s busted both hips, one of them twice, and the falls were becoming too numerous for their care to allow. He’s sometimes incoherent, a travesty for a man who lived surrounded by books.

Of those ten pregnancies, he and my deceased mother raised nine children. My father has five sons, four of whom had sons. Yet, none named a boy after their dad, Howard Carew Wallace. I teased him it was because he was a drinker when a young man and pissed everyone off—so no one thought to ensure his name endured.

To be fair, neither did he encourage it. You see, my father’s father was also named Howard. Howard Vincent Wallace was a WW1 vet and had disowned my father right when he was about the same age as I was that day in Halifax. His first memory was of his father striking his mother and leaving the family destitute and abandoned, and not returning for over 30 years.

My father had attempted to reconcile with his father in the time since his return to live in Ottawa, but it never came to pass. I remember angry arguments between them as a boy growing up. Dad lived his whole life burdened with the self-loathing of the rejected. Named after his father, and his spitting image, he waited for some sign of acknowledgement. His father insisted he was not his.

When my grandfather died aged 98, it was my father who held his frail old hand, still waiting for recognition, for a sign of reconciliation and acceptance. It never came.

It was this understanding which allowed me the kind of awareness I needed to move past this part of my father’s legacy. Despite the odd glimpse of what could have been, his pain was too great and compounded over too many years to allow him to be much of a father himself.

He did his best. It wasn’t good enough but it’s all he had.

As I moved through my own life the effects of the men before me followed like a curse. It was my first son well over thirty years ago which forced me to confront the chaos that had followed us all. It was there I took a stand. If at first just an impulse to survive knowing there had to be a better way, eventually I was forced to go deep and find the wisdom I know my father would have wanted to teach had he been able to.

I can trace five generations of Wallace turmoil through the men before me. It was up to me to stand up and decide as a father and as a man: the pain stops here.

Every so often over the years, as I’d tell dad something about my approach to parenting, he would remark to someone in the room, “Christopher is doing his best to not be like me,” and I would know it was his way of approving without contesting his own deficiencies.

At first I didn’t realize it was that obvious but later saw I was proceeding as a father exactly as he observed, with all my might.

When I got a second gift at parenting, it was finally time to give my father a namesake. Indeed, that little boy who shit his pants this morning is also Howard. Howard Thomas William Wallace.  I dare say, when Little Howie visits with me at Grandpa Howie’s, it’s magic between them.

It wasn’t a burden helping the boy this morning, it wasn’t at all an inconvenience. No. For my father, for us both, for all the Wallace men before me and after me, it was an honour; it was a privilege.

And that’s the way it works among us, isn’t it? It is insufficient to describe we each inhabit ourselves alone. The idea you are you and I am I, that you are over there, and I am over here, is a weak explanation for how we really live. For this is not at all true. We clearly exist in each other.

My father was once a cub reporter for the very Halifax paper which carried the news of his own idolized grandfather’s death. He’d been taking a shortcut with his horse and buggy and was struck by a train in 1919. I found the original article for him a couple of years ago, when he was still lucid and could read. Still searching for an identity all this time after having his own robbed during his lifetime, he thought it was a great find, considering his grandfather a hero.

He spent the better part of three decades in Her Majesty’s Royal Canadian Navy and rose to Lt Commander, visiting over 50 countries. He chaired the group which wrote the English style book for the public service of Canada. He taught me how to write when I was fifty.

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away, said McArthur. My father sleeps 22 hours lately. He has slightly better days and not so good ones. Probably soon, he will stop eating as he winds down like an old clock.

But he’ll not be gone, faded yes, but not gone. Instead, like any of us connected to each other, he’ll echo endlessly down through time in the people he affected along his way. Especially  in those he loved and who loved him.

Today, for a few moments, I was happy to be my father.

Unknowingly, so was my boy and hopefully, my father will appear in my boy’s boy one day too.

For better or worse, fathers exist in their sons.

Stay powerful,

True and Free,


It’s About Words 

Gents, this is not a post about Shakespeare. Though reading the bard gives leaves me feeling a bit dizzy, searching for levels of meaning I missed, I still appreciate him and his talent.

What this post is about is the words we choose. It’s a post about one of the two superpowers of the Chain of Being. Focus and Language transcend the Chain, affecting both physiology and thinking. I want to talk about word choice.

My father was first a newspaper reporter in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He resisted going into advertising, something which would have been a natural fit for him considering it’s what his father and uncles did. Estranged from his dad for most of his life, he challenged himself elsewhere as a wordsmith.

Eventually, he wrote the style manual for the Canadian Armed Forces, and then chaired the group which developed the Public Service of Canada’s reference of the same name. Often, books would arrive at my home asking dad to review them for an author. In retirement, he served as editor and proofreader at a local outfit near his home, the Grunge Press.

Our family grew up surrounded by books. Indeed, I have many of my father’s old volumes, now added to my own collection. It’s interesting to see the differences in writing styles from his era and before, and now to today.

The Right Words

During my childhood, my father would ALWAYS correct me when I spoke, helping me to find the right word to express what it was I was trying to explain. It wasn’t enough for him to rely upon, “You get what I mean.” Nope. The old man insisted on the exact word to best describe your thoughts and to fit what was said.

To that end, most, if not all, of our conversations entailed corrections, rewordings, clarifications and more rewording. When I was young, this was annoying. Often the words he used I did not know, not very well anyway. But those small exactitudes helped me be more precise. The problem was this: his precision often had to do with how I somehow came up short on something.

But overtime, especially as I learned to read more complicated books in my teens, these subtle differences made for deeper understanding. And it helped me explain myself to others better. I’m sure it got me laid.

Language needs precision because of its ability to carry memory. As you know, the Chain of Being starts with Physiology, which creates an Emotional State, upon which the brain predictively derives Feelings based on past experiences and finally, Thoughts, best understood as bodily explanations. All of it is done surreptitiously, beneath awareness, with body, state and feelings lightning fast, thoughts coming up at the rear later, then measured up against reality.

Words with Extra Bullshit

Because of our various histories, words can become loaded, meaning they can carry more meaning than just their dictionary versions. Use a word too many times for the wrong purposes, or in an exaggerated way, and it quickly loses its power. Words like “awesome,” fantastic,” and many others no longer carry the same weight they once did. They become a cliché, part of cultural memes no longer tied to their original meaning. They lose power.

It’s hyperbole. Now there’s a word. I first encountered this one selling magazines door to door when I was sixteen. A customer refused my sales pitch and said, “I’m not taken-in by your hyperbole and my answer is no,” as he shut the door. I had no rebuttal for this one because I had no idea what he’d said. Later, my manager, a college grad, gave me a definition but I had to go look it up myself to get what kind of dismissal it really was.

“Awesome” and “fantabulous” are hyperbole. My customer could have just cut to the chase and used the word, “bullshit.” That one I understand.

Thinking or Feeling?

We also fool ourselves with language in every day speech. When we say, “I feel that…”, we are not telling someone what we feel at all. We are telling them what we think. Only, we are using the “feel” word to manipulate the listener, hopefully so will be more accepting what we say. After all, a feeling is personal, and each person’s feelings are their own. There’s no accounting for them, so hiding behind “I feel that…” is a great way to dishonestly deceive another. It’s loaded.

We are also hard on ourselves when we insist on using the sometimes self-flagellation words “should” or “must” but just as often these are used to demand something from others. “You should…” or “We all should…” have a place in life, especially in the context of suggesting an approach we favour, one that will result in a better world. But we must be careful about allowing should and must to tyrannize our souls with inadequacies, the kind amounting to “I’m not good enough.”

You’ve no doubt heard it said as “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” the triumvirate whips of coming up short. Be on guard for these insidious perversions of language. Know them for what they are, often petulant demands of ourselves and others.

“Have to” is another one. Nobody “has” to do anything. Make sure you are deciding you “have to” and not lamenting you “have to.” Big difference. One is agency and power, the other is self-pity and weakness. Know which is which. Better still, why not just make the commitment and say, “I will?”

Then, there’s “I can’t.” It’s another devious one. I can’t fly. This is partially true. I am certain if I jump off a tall building and start to flap my arms I’m going to hit hard far below. In this case, it’s a statement of fact. But I can certainly fly in an airplane along with another hundred or so passengers and come and visit you.

If I don’t like flying in airplanes, and refuse to do so, a more honest statement is “I won’t fly in a plane.” Now, it’s a decision. Can’t means won’t. It’s tricky, and it’s one of the ways a man allows bullshit to creep into his life.

To Be and E-Prime

What about “to be” verbs? These are a mess of trouble. The ones we need to discuss are as follows: Being, been, be, was, is, am and are. Problems arise when we use these because they describe things as fixed entities.

He was “being” a baby. You’ve “been” fooled. Don’t be mean. It “was” wrong. I “was” better..  He “is” wrong. I “am” OK. You “are” OK. These are all examples of pronouncements, fixed state qualitative judgments. What about “I am not good enough? Where’s the possibility of transformation in that?

Not great for communication, you and I both still use them. Only, now you’ll be aware of their extra power. They don’t easily permit change, or a fluid state of affairs which would allow dialogue and compromise. They suggest a fixed state of being not easily moved forward into something else, something more.

You could try the above these ways: He’s struggling to find his maturity. If you were fooled, what did you learn? Can you be nicer? It wasn’t the best response given circumstances. You excelled today. His answer might not produce the result he’s looking for. Today, I feel good. I think you look OK, are you? Now, you’re introducing the possibility of change, of levels of quality, of fluidity.

Based on E-prime language from a fella named Korzybski’s book from the 1930s, Science and Sanity (available online as a free PDF), Mel Schwartz gives a bunch of examples in his essay, Change a Word, Change a Life. Among the examples he uses are these:

It’s hot.
I don’t feel hot.
Now if I said, it’s not hot, I’m in for an argument. Instead, I’m just reporting from my personal perspective.

I am stupid.
Maybe I’m not so stupid… but have often felt this way. Why?
This opens possibilities.

I am nothing
I feel like nothing
Now, it’s just another feeling to deal with, to examine for origins and why it is being used predictively by the brain in certain situations. To create new feelings, create new experiences. Now, there’s possibilities.

You are so selfish.
You seem self-centered to me.
Why do you see me that way? Now discussion can happen.

I agree with Mel’s advice when it comes to broaching a subject we think might get pushback. We all know times like this. The tendency is to be ballsy and just step and take a swing. But saying, “You’re an idiot,” is unlikely to produce dialogue and compromise. On the contrary, it’s likely to make things worse.

May I, I think, I feel

Better to open with a qualifier, “Do you mind if I give you my two-cents,” can go along way to breaking down at least a bit of people’s natural barrier. Assuming you’ve been given permission (not that you need it but you’re being diplomatic—the art of letting someone else have your way), follow it up with either “I think” or “I feel|” as you give your impressions and how whatever it is impacts you emotionally.

Make sure you take the high road and don’t resort to the “I feel that…” mentioned earlier. If you say I feel, tell them an emotion. If you say I think, tell them your thinking. You don’t do anyone any favours by introducing deceit into discussion.

Try to keep Korzybski’s E-prime advice in mind. Use less “to be” verbs, and more “I think” and “I feel” instead. Catch yourself making pronouncements at your own and other people’s expense.

Watch carefully for the kinds of demand words making it into your speech. Should and Must are the big ones, with “Gotta” not for behind.  It’s one thing to influence, it’s another to close possibilities in communication.

You’ll find by the elimination of an untruth like “I feel that,” you take greater responsibility for your life and impact on others through your words.

Language is a special Chain of Being force affecting your belly and your mind.

Think for a moment about different words, and how they may have been used to hurt you, to punish, to harm or to cause you pain. Now, think of words which have been used to compliment, to boost you and to reward you over time. It’s easy to see there is both a physical effect to words, and a mental one too.

The Better Man is aware of the power in his words. My father may have known the power of his words but not in this way. What my dad lacked was how to discern how restrictive they can be. We didn’t know how words keep us stuck in a cycle of bullshit over time. In the ensuing decades and the advent of word psychology, we know better.

Not worth your time? Can’t be bothered?

That’s fine: just realize can’t means won’t.

Stay powerful,


©ckwallace 2018 all rights reserved


Summer vacation is over. Charlotte hits grade two today and the school year is off! Little Howie, aged 5, starts senior kindergarten in two days. Charlie was a little pissed her brother got 2 extra days of summer vacation. The cost of maturity, I suppose.

As a man, and as a father to two young children, I tell you what I’ll be watching for in these next few years. Ideologies which run counter to science. I’ll be careful to scrutinize the curriculum which my kids are exposed to for bullshit.

Especially, I’ll be watchful for how it is boys and girls learn differently. Oh, why is that you suppose? Because, contrary to the well-meant idiocy I read about every day about gender being a social construct, on average I know males and females learn differently.

Why is that? Well, it’s because our brains are wired differently. Hormones do that. Chromosomes do that. DNA does that. Socialization? Very little.

How do you shut the feminists up about male/female differences on the spot? Here’s how: mention women respond to certain medications differently than men.

In fact, in one example from the emergent field of chronomedicine, men with colorectal cancer who took meds at midnight when a certain enzyme level was highest survived longer because the enzyme helped clear the meds and avoided painful side effects. There was no advantage for women.

Hang on here, I thought gender was a social construct?

The same goes for learning. Men’s and women’s brains operate differently. Any guy who has had to contend with their woman’s “logic” knows what I’m talking about. It’s not inferior, but it’s fucking different to say the least.

Consider these facts cited recently by the Gurian Institute:

“Boys, on average, have lower language arts and literacy scores than girls and, on average, use fewer words per day when reading, writing, and speaking are measured in totality (this is true of all industrialized and post-industrial countries).”  For more on this, go to google and check out the OECD PISA studies.

“Girls tend to excel in more fine motor activity tasks, especially in the early years, and boys tend to excel in more gross motor activities in the early years.  To confirm this, open any textbook or other book that deals with early childhood attachment and child growth. To go further into these sorts of differences, check out this Stanford University research:

Boys tend to naturally seek out more aggressive, rough-and-tumble, and even physically dangerous play than girls.  This brain fact will also be confirmed in any study, textbook, or book you open on birth to five child development. If the fact were not in that resource—if someone tried to argue differently—the book would not get published or not find any audience, since all of us have confirmed this fact no matter our country or culture.” Michael Gurian

“Girls tend to talk about their feelings more during a given day than boys, i.e. have a higher words-for-feelings ratio; boys do not as easily or quickly access feelings when sitting still, while girls are more able to sit still and immediately access feelings in conversations.” (see The Male Brain and The Female Brain, by neuroscientist Louann Brizendine)

“Girls tend to move toward empathetic relational strategies more quickly than boys, while boys will often show their empathy through aggressive touch (e.g. pushing and prodding another boy to show love).” (see Why Gender Matters, by physician and neurologist Leonard Sax)

“Because males lateralize brain activity more than girls tend to, including moving activity from front to back in one hemisphere of the brain, and girls tend to move more activity between hemispheres, males more quickly apply logic (problem-solving) to emotional issues and girls are more likely to spend more time processing the emotions themselves, before problem-solving.” (see The Essential Difference, by neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen).

Another good resource is Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities by Diane Halpern, which sits on my bookshelf, now in it’s fourth edition.

Susan Pinker’s 2008 superb book, The Sexual Paradox, continues to be a valuable reference I use regularly. It’s a scholarly tome, so well-researched, but written in laymen’s language and replete with identifiable examples.

Then there are the popular titles about our differences which have been hitting the bookshelves since the days of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, first out in 1992. It’s worth noting John Gray is a PhD and continues to contribute to the gender discussion. Recently, he’s co-authors with Warren Farrell (another PhD) of the very well-researched, The Boy Crisis.

Is There Anything Good About Men, by Roy Baumeister, Professor Emeritus at Florida State is an excellent primer on the differences between men and women. Roy told me by email the feminists lambasted him for this book, which made me want to buy it even more.

Me, Myself, and Us, by Brian Little examines the Big 5 personality traits and mentions their differences in men and women. Professor Little works at Carleton University here in Ottawa, and Oxford: a pretty good academic spread.

The corporate training couple, Barbara and Allan Pease wrote a delightfully easy book to read called Why Men don’t Listen and Women can’t Read Maps, out in 2000 and still fun to reference.

I’ve just started on Man & Woman: an inside story by PhD Donald Pfaff. Like Diane Halpern’s Sex Differences series, Pfaff talks about small differences but doesn’t appear to hold back on big differences either. I’m looking forward to the rest of it. It goes deep on chemistry, which means estrogen, testosterone and oxytocin among others.

In reading Halpern’s Sex Differences for the first time, that’s what struck me. How alike we are in so many ways. And so much of the genders are similar. But the differences between us are real too, and often those define the relationship. It’s about our various interests.

Then, there’s my favourite Darwin quote:

Each animal species is a population of unique individuals who vary from one another. No feature or set of features is necessary, sufficient, or even frequent or typical of every individual in the population. Any summary of the population is a statistical fiction that applies to no individual.

Indeed. My wife has put the garbage out all but ten or so times in our 13 years together. I run the snowblower in winter and run the riding-mower in summer. She has cut some of the three acres needing mowing on occasion but hasn’t tackled the snow machine yet. She wants to though.

I change all the toilet paper and Scott towels in the house. I’m not sure why that is. I read to the kids before bed, she makes sure their teeth get brushed. At first she got me to slit the chickens and rabbits throats for slaughter, now she does it herself.

And I think that’s what you’ll find in most relationships. Men and women doing what it takes to survive. Preferences abound in the individual. Many of these are tendencies found in the wider sex. Men and women can pretty much do anything the other can do but they tend to have preferences. Where that’s the case, it ought to be respected without fear of transgressing someone’s errant model of the world.

Here’s another couple of interesting quotes.

“Our genomes are 99.9% identical from one person to the next as long as the two individuals being compared are two men or two women. But if we compare a woman and a man, the genetic differences are 15 times greater than the genetic differences for two males or two females.” David C. Page, M.D., Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Everywhere we look, the two sexes are startlingly and unexpectedly different, not only in their internal function but in the ways that they experience illness. To care for them, we must see them for who they are: female and male.” Marianne J. Legato, M.D., in Eve’s Rib: The New Science of Gender-Specific Medicine

Any guy who has grappled with understanding a sister, mother or significant other has known how different we are, maybe most of his life. Some close women friends have chided me, even telling me I needed to have a daughter to better learn about and understand women.

I scoffed at the idea at the time. Now I know they were right. Little girls teach men about love.

I swapped out the toilet when I moved to this old acreage and its old farmhouse. Installing the thing, I broke the reservoir reaching for pliers, allowing it to fall over and crack. I went back and explained my situation and got a good deal on another one, 40% off. Guy felt bad I’d bought 2 toilets there in one day.

This left me with 2 toilet seats. They come in their own cardboard box, and the extra was left lying around my garage. One day, while cleaning up, Charlie was tagging along chattering away. I came across the toilet seat box.

“Here you go Charlie, here’s a present to you,” I said, handing her the big box. “For me daddy? A present for me? she replied. “Yes, you take that inside to your mother and open it up, see what’s in it,” was my answer. Off she went.

About an hour later, I’d forgotten all about it when Charlie suddenly appeared before me in the garage. She didn’t look so happy. “Why did you give me a potty-seat, daddy? It’s not a good present. I thought you were giving me something nice and it’s just a potty-seat. That’s not very nice,” she told me.

Well, well, I thought to myself. She’s right. It was careless and not very thoughtful at all of me to raise her expectations and then trick her like that. I felt about two inches tall. There was only one thing to do: apologize.

I sat her down and told her it was a joke. She didn’t buy that one at all. “It’s not a very funny thing daddy. Who wants a potty-seat for a present?” to which I had no countering argument. I had to tell her it was selfish of me and thoughtless and I was sorry for tricking her.

To my surprise, she forgave me after warning me to not do something like that again. I replied I’d do my best but sometimes I make mistakes too. The important thing is to say your sorry and I was happy she forgave me. You could say I was out of the shitter… for now.

What would have happened if I gave that potty-seat to my son? We’ll never know for sure. But I’d be willing to bet he’d think it was cool. Maybe he’d sit it down somewhere and use it. He stands up and pisses wherever he likes out back as it is anyway, we live on 200 acres of bush.

But that potty-seat taught me a valuable lesson. And it confirmed what my gal-pals were telling me all these years. There are big differences, right down to the very beginnings of life. At 3, Charlie emptied her dresser and we caught her laying out all her clothes on the floor, matching up the tops and bottoms. Howie couldn’t care less. Give him a superhero costume and he’s in.

One final example for you. I used to run sales teams for subscription drives for newspapers. I’d put up bonuses to incite production. Depending on the mix of gender in my van on any given night, I could predict which kind of bonus would be the democratic choice.

We could use top seller, winner-take-all bonuses. Or we could use top three, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bonuses. Or, we could use a van bonus, where if we hit a certain level of production, the whole van was rewarded somehow.

As soon as the mix was 50% female reps, the van bonus was preferred. It got to be where I’d call it out at the start of the evening, “So folks, what’s it going to be, capitalist or communist this evening?” If lots of females, the commies ruled.

The prediction was 100% accurate, even when there was a particularly aggressive female who could win up against any guy. She’d lay down her preference for the sake of being liked by her sisters in the van.

Today, the start of the school year for many, let the differences between how boys and girls learn influence your parenting.

While we are very much alike, what makes us different from male to female are qualities we should not allow to be snuffed out as if they are something bad. And certainly not to satisfy some ideologue with a personal ax to grind. I’ll be on the lookout for how I can reach each of my children based on their particular personalities, strengths and weaknesses, for each has their own way of operating in the world.

I’ll also be mindful of how their brains are wired differently.

Stay powerful,

© ckwallace, 2018, all rights reserved


Something that comes up often enough is how to approach a woman. That’s not my thing. There are plenty of pick up artists and relationship experts out there who will give you tips on this. Often, it’s advice for free, sometimes for a fee.

No. My thing about dating has always taken a backdoor route. That doesn’t mean I slap some wench on the ass and get lucky. Not now, not ever. However, it means I don’t approach this directly in the conventional sense. It’s just not so full-frontal attack. No way.

Bear with me and I’ll explain what I’ve learned.

I know it is women who do the choosing. And I also know she only chooses when she’s ready. You can waste a lot of time beating your head against the wall wooing some gal who is just not there yet.

Full frontal assault is directly asking for dates. Here, you play the numbers game. I used to ask my guys, “who gets laid more often? The guy who asks one girl on a date or the guy who asks a hundred?”

Obviously, chances are the guys who asks a hundred. His odds go up the less picky he is about who he asks. My friend Harry used say, “if you’re not banging fat chicks, you’re not getting laid.” Less picky, indeed.

That’s the numbers game.

My colleagues in the coaching field give out homework to shy young males, and even older males, relying on numbers alone.

The strategy consists of standing at the bottom of an escalator in a busy mall and each time a gal comes down the stairs towards you, you say the following: “Hi I’m Frank, would you like to go for coffee?”

Maybe you get a guy to do it for five minutes the first day. What you are looking for with this exercise is refusals. We want Frank to be so used to refusals, one more won’t make a difference.

Meanwhile, we’re relying on him to refine his game. Each day, he will naturally practice saying the invitation a bit more confidently, remembering to smile each time. Repetition is the mother of learning.

At first, he’ll smile like a lecherous fool. But after a few days, once he drops all expectations and focuses on collecting his refusal number goal, he’ll settle down and be all business, increasing his time at it.

If you can keep a guy at something like this for a week or two, a couple of things happen. He develops an immunity to refusals. He can see through the “not ready types” and not take it personally.

But something else happens too. He becomes more powerful as he states who he is and what he wants. “Hi, I’m Frank, want to go for coffee?” said with a smile and no possibility of being let down or hurt is an attractive thing by itself.

But like I said, that’s only for extreme cases. But already in its telling, you can surmise the seeds of success in a man’s approach.

In fact, about men’s social skills being lacking is not a new problem and it’s not something going away. I’ll tell you why. We think differently.

That’s right, contrary to the idealogues who insist gender is a social construct, men and women think differently. The social constructionists are full of shit.

Medicines work differently on men and women. Uh-Oh! Now I’ve got their attention. Oops! Exceptions OK, if they are going to die.

The list of ways men and women think differently are too great to list here. Researcher Diane Halpern’s book, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities in one place to start, though there are thousands of studies. The Gurion Institute is another good resource.

But some basic understanding of what appeals to a gal goes a long way in avoiding embarrassment and increasing chances of success.

When a woman hits her mid-teens, she will self-assess up against her peers and rate herself accordingly. Let’s say she uses a 1-10 scale. At this point, she’s not competing for partners; she is competing against the other girls in her group.

This is something she does the rest of her life. As missus once told me, “I want other women to look at us and wish they were me; not look at us and feel sorry for me that I’m with you.” Her game is always wrapped up in her peer group.

No? Get this: have high school girls run against boys. Some girls will record their best times. Have boys run against boys. Some boys will register their best times. Have girls run against girls and what happens? Times slow down. WTF? Yup. They dog it, holding out.

I worked for decades running teams of young sales people, both male and female. The girls all demonstrated better understanding of their position in life, and attributes and detriments.

Most of them knew by age 16 what kind of husband they wanted, how many children they’d have later, and what kind of house they’d live in.

Guys? Not a clue. Not a one had plans at 16 beyond that year, if any.

The thing is, nature makes women more precious. No? Don’t believe you are the expendable sex?

Here’s why 90+% of workplace fatalities are still men, and not women, though women make up 48% of the workforce. We do different jobs. Men and women can pretty do anything each other can do outside biological differences, but they have preferences which hold, largely because of the differences in how they think.

So, it’s not going away anytime soon.

And women can safely deliver children (and it’s still risky) from about age 15 to age 35, after which each year in age brings her greater chance of things going wrong.

Men can father children into their 9th decade. In 2007, a farmer in Rajasthan fathered a healthy little girl with his 4th wife.

So, who is more precious?

Women tend to use both hemispheres when they think. They can read emotion on a man’s face better than we can. They are usually more intuitive, relying on “gut feel” more than guys. They generally have more empathy. In context, they can spot bullshit a mile away.

These are great powers indeed, but they also tend to overthink things at times. “Ont as tous les qualities de nos defauts,” the French like to say. We all have the qualities of our faults and the faults of our qualities. Women’s great powers often get the better of them. It’s also why nature designed us to be complimentary to each other.

And outside of the teen years, where physical attractiveness most counts in courtship, women tend to choose males based on their sense of power. Women need a powerful man who will leave his peer group and come and start a new tribe with her, if so ordained. She needs a man who has her back if she has children. Who can provide and protect.

But it’s more than that. Because she tends to overthink, she needs a powerful man who will stand up to her overthinking and help keep her on track. A man who will step in and say, “Woman, stop it. You’re ok, we’ve got this,” and lead her away from the brink of her own insanity.

All this is the context from within you operate as a man in asking a gal out on a date. You almost wish you could be the sap at the bottom of the escalator by now. A guy who would haplessly just ask and play the numbers, doing it long enough to perhaps get lucky. The numbers.

It’s in the results of the escalator strategy we see the best way forward emerge. As our man gained confidence, his two new mindsets served him well. One, he was immune to refusals, realizing it wasn’t about him, it was about readiness. And two, because he knew this, he was free to focus on his approach, making it better, without being married to outcome.

What he did was gain power. And power is what attracts women.

Neediness is a sure sign of weakness to her, and it must turn her off because of her pact with the universe. She has a short time to find a mate. When she finds one, her overthinking means she will question herself for the next 20 years wondering if she chose right. Knowing this, men can stand up and stay powerful for their women.

Men are attracted to women for looks, that never changes.

OK Cupid studied what people indicate as an age preference on their profile, compared to the ages of people they go and creep, to see if there was a difference.

Women of 20 prefer a man of 23.
Women of 30 prefer a man of 30 (age parity)
Women of 40 like a man a couple of years younger.
Women of 50 like a man about 4 years younger.

Men of 20 prefer a woman of 23
Men of 30 prefer a woman of 23
Men of 40 prefer a woman of 23
Men of 50 prefer a woman of 23

It never fucking changes! There’s nothing wrong with any of us; indeed, it’s how nature made men. So why stay with a woman past age 30?

For loyalty. He may be initially attracted to her for her looks, that certain hip to waist ratio, but he stays with her for loyalty.

Men are adaptable creatures. We can learn to love in almost any circumstance. And in time, a woman’s looks mean less and less, if she is loyal. That means loyalty to their sexual union as well. Damn straight.

Men cannot stand disloyalty. It’s a blow to our sense of being respected. Perhaps it’s a throwback to when tolerating disloyalty around you could mean your life. I’m not sure. But, I do know that loyalty is more important to a man in time than looks.

For a man with a loyal woman by his side, she becomes his standard. When he thinks naked, it’s she he sees. When he imagines a vagina he sees only hers, all others look askance. With a loyal woman by his side, she becomes the wind beneath his wings.

Trick is to avoid her becoming the storm which makes you crash.

But I digress.

With all this background, now you get a bigger picture from which to ask a woman out. It’s no wonder most first dates off social media dating sites involve tentative first steps, like meeting for coffee.

There you go, back to square one. You’re standing at the bottom of the escalator in a big mall, asking random strangers for coffee. Only, with social media dating sites, you’ve had a conversation first, by text or by phone, and know something of each other’s life, likes and dislikes.

The real contest is to ask in such a way as to preserve several of these elementary principles. She must feel safe. She must not be embarrassed in front of peers, yours or hers. She must have an idea of your power as a man to even consider you. And she must be ready.

One more thing. Children. Fawning too much over a niece or nephew and she’ll see right through it. But if she gets the impression you are somehow good with kids or even like kids or can tolerate children, it’s another clue and can sometimes trigger her readiness.

A man who is powerful and confident and likes children is almost like an aphrodisiac to a young woman. And what of later stage women, middle-aged gals who are past the time when they might have kids?

If they are over forty, and have a successful career, you can bet they had to assume a very masculine part of themselves to do this. It’s a man’s world they say. That’s not because we run things, or some stupid notion of patriarchy standing in her way. No. it’s just that to succeed in most careers requires competitiveness, something men score higher in than women.

But if she’s a feminine woman at her core, which 80% of women are, she will still find a powerful man attractive. If he can recognize her special skills and not be intimidated, instead, look past these for the woman underneath who craves a powerful man, you increase your odds.

She is first and foremost a sexual human being. Never forget that.

Now to the question. Use any version of this according to circumstance and your own creativity. “I’m planning to attend such and such (an event, restaurant, museum, show, movie, political rally, fair, concert, etc. etc), on such and such a date, would you like to come along?”

Another version of this is to include other people. If it’s too early—like a first date situation—she will feel safer if there are others coming along too. There’s safety in numbers. “Me and a bunch of friend…” can be intimidating or welcoming, depending on the gal and her readiness. Her confidence counts too.

You could even invite her and a friend if you thought she could use back up on her side but be careful of this. In that case, she is partially delegating her assessment of you and your life to her friend, always risky. You’d have to win over the friend as well.

But if you are inviting her to come watch you race cars and you’re the driver, you don’t want her sitting in the stands alone. That won’t work.

“I’m planning on attending…” tells her you can go alone. It’s the first layer of bread in your invitation sandwich. You don’t need her there, you’re going anyways. Either she jumps on the train and comes with you if she’s ready, or she doesn’t. You’re not outcome bound. The greatest ploy in any negotiation is to be able to walk away.

“… such and such an event…” is the safe, neutral territory. It’s something if she told a girlfriend, would make her look good.

“…would you like to come along?” is the last piece of bread in your invitation sandwich. It reinforces your independence, your power and confidence, but opens a crack in the door for her. You don’t need her but if she likes, you are willing to tolerate her ass in your life for at least a few hours while you go to this “thing” you have planned. Getting to know each other is secondary. No pressure.

What about readiness? When a woman is ready for a partner, she takes her self-assessment and looks around at the available males and chooses one she thinks she can get.

Then, she presents in front of him and smiles, catches his eye, strokes her hair, touches the throat and other parts of her body. She may allow proximity and may even touch you in return. She shows an unmistakable interest men can miss if they are not watchful.

She will laugh at your jokes and if you shut up and let her, tell you all about herself. In no time, it will feel as though you have chosen her.

It’s one of her great skills: diplomacy. The art of letting others see things your way. She’s way ahead of you. She chooses, and lets you think you chose her. You chase her until she catches you.

Because she’s precious, and because she can’t afford to make mistakes at any age, nature stacks the odds in her favour. Make yourself powerful and chances are she will find you.

After all, everyone likes to feel like someone’s chosen.

Stay powerful, never give up


©2018 ckwallace, all rights reserved