A number of my male friends feel that the female animal is wildly mysterious. They send around "joke" e-mails to express their displeasure. One that got quite a bit of air time was called "The Rules." It was a takeoff on a book written around the same time the e-mail was going around. The book was written by women, for women, in an effort to show them what they could do to get a good man, not a loser. One of the rules was don't pretend to be busy, BE busy. If a man has to work at getting a date with you, you come off as more attractive. I suppose that sounds manipulative. Except it's true, everyone, male and female tends to be attracted to interesting people. People who are interesting tend to have interests, and let's face it, that can make a person busy.

I have a friend who is single and would very much like to have a girlfriend. As far as looks go, he isn't picky. He doesn't need to have someone reed thin, or model pretty. But he isn't very interesting. His main hobby appears to be drinking. Though he talks a lot, he's not much of a listener. He has very set ideas about what is wrong with the world, and last of all, he's clinically depressed. That's hard. Even when women like him and express an interest he won't follow up because his depression leads him to believe anyone interested in him isn't worth having. So game playing is not reserved for women only, men can be manipulative too.

One of the biggest manipulations to beware of is the "golden moment." The golden moment is defined as your best moment to get out – because your date has just revealed something crazy, demented, or plain unacceptable, but prefaces the information with the phrase "You wouldn't leave me if. . . ." Trust me, this is designed to make you feel like a real heel for saying "yes." Except the information that follows next is something like, "I'm bi-polar and I just lost my health insurance." Or "I'm still married because my ex is so abusive I'm afraid he's going to kill me," or "I have over a hundred thousand in debt." Don't be afraid to run from demented.

People who proudly stay, tend to justify their really, really poor judgment with something illogical like, "She's (or he's) a good person." "Good is defined as what exactly? A person with two legs? A person who can speak? A demented person, a narcissistic person, a borderline personality person or a dry drunk, is not a good person. At least not good to get involved with. Which brings me back to mean spirited emails. The joke about the rules that my male friends were sending around began with: #1, women make the rules. #2, the rules can change at any minute . . . and got worse from there. While some of my male friends thought I couldn't take a joke, I quite frankly didn't find these "rules" very funny.

I didn't find them funny because they were indicative of the fact that men will settle for some pretty crazy chicks while nice girls like me get left on the side. I was nothing but straightforward with both of my husbands. Marriage didn't work because the first was a diagnosed narcissist and the second became very narcissistic through his drug addiction. I am willing to own that narcissists make unacceptable mates. I would rather get divorced than accept another and snicker behind his back about silly emails. People shouldn't accept that, that's "just how women are." Glory be, too many women are just not that. Too many straightforward nice girls are single and why, just because they may be a pound or two more than a working model, or not as smart or worse, too smart, or their bra cup isn't big enough.

I know men are visual creatures but here's the truth about graphics: no matter how pretty a girl is, that will wear off in one to two years of living together. At that point you will start to notice her personality or lack thereof. If you give a plain girl a chance, the opposite might happen. Knowing her a year or two might make her appear more pretty if she has a genuinely nice personality. A good sense of humor can make a person appear more attractive too.

The latest incarnation of mean spirited email jokes is this one I recently received:

A man on his Harley was riding along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, God said, 'because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.'

The biker pulled over and said, 'Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.'

God replied, 'Your request is materialistic; think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking; the supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help man kind.'

The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, 'God, I
wish that I , and all men, could understand women; I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing's wrong, why she snaps and complains when I try to help, and how I can make a woman truly happy.

God replied: "You want two lanes or four on that bridge?" Yeah, yeah, I'm supposed to think that is so hilarious, and excuse me that I am such a wet blanket for thinking – men are at fault for putting up with so much bad behavior from beautiful women.