Tom Purcell, 2/12/2014 [Archive]

For Valentine's Day - a Return to Romance

Exclusive Excerpt from: "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" by Tom Purcell

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For Valentine's Day — a Return to Romance

By Tom Purcell

For the past 40 years or so, a movement has been afoot to make men more like women and women more like men. This movement has been successful. I cite exhibits A and B as proof: Cosmopolitan and Men's Health magazines.

According to one past issue of Cosmopolitan, women are in a panic to "follow sexy strategies to ignite our desire." But you ladies need not waste your time. We're simple creatures. If you want to ignite the desire of normal men, just show up.

As for men who subscribe to Men's Health, how did you become such dweebs? Why have you let your self-esteem get so low that, like women, you are obsessed with your weight and how you look in a swimsuit? Our fathers never cared how they looked in a swimsuit. They saw the value of a belly big enough to set a beer can on.

And, ladies, I know you've always been obsessed with your looks, but things are out of hand. You don't need Cosmo for "pasty-face fixers." You certainly don't need advice on the "three ways to amplify your cleavage." If you want us to notice your cleavage, to revisit an earlier point, just show up.

Both magazines devote more than half their print to sex. Men's Health promises techniques to seduce women. Cosmo promises techniques to seduce men. In fact, so devoted are both magazines to this subject, you begin to wonder if the editors think we have any other need as humans.

And, of course, they don't.

You see, ladies and gentlemen, we have let magazine publishers and advertisers beat us down for too long. They want us to feel fat, ugly and unwanted so that we will buy the lies, and the many useless products they advertise, to make ourselves feel better. It's no mystery why we've become such shallow and pathetically helpless creatures, completely out of touch with what a man or a woman is really supposed to be.

But this St. Valentine's Day, let's take a stand.

Look, we're humans, not vulgar animals. We're better than the magazines — than the popular culture — are making us out to be. See, we humans have two natures. We're part animals, to be sure — a few links away from monkeys, for goodness sakes — but we also have hearts, souls, minds and spirits. This deeper nature is never promoted in the magazines.

No, sir, the magazines, and television, have done their best to keep our lower nature, our animal part, in a constant state of agitation and overdrive. When our animal side is inflamed, all we think about are animal things (like three ways to amplify a lady's cleavage). All we think about is ourselves. And all we think about is buying the tripe that advertisers are trying to sell us.

And so amplified have we let our lower natures become, that men and women have lost their distinction. Women have become more like men, getting more masculine and physically aggressive, and men have become more like women, turning into a bunch of delicate-voiced pansies.

To be sure, we're confused. And our confusion fills us with longing. And what are we longing for? Romance!

Surely women prefer to spend time with men who know how to be men. Men who are confident, witty and self-assured. And surely women detest what so many men have become — cowering little creatures, who deliberately say what they think a woman wants to hear.

And surely most men long for a woman who is not afraid to be feminine — a woman who carries herself with grace and style, an air of mystery, a dignity and quiet confidence that demands respect.

It is only when the two truly opposite forces called man and woman collide that romance may occur. And it will only occur if we restore our lower, selfish, vulgar natures back to their proper place and reintroduce our higher natures.

Our higher natures see no conflict between a woman being successful, independent, well-to-do AND able to maintain her distinct feminine grace. Our higher natures know that a man can be at once sensitive, caring and considerate at the same time he maintains a distinct masculine presence — unlike so many bumbling husbands and fathers on TV sitcoms these days.

So, men, this St. Valentine's Day, woo your woman, court her, sweep her off her feet. Ladies, revel in our adoration and attention.

When both sexes follow their true natures, the sparks fly.


© 2014 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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