“The kitchen counter is a bad reminder of a better time…”

I’m here to make a confession.

Rest assured, this is no joke.

And it is quite difficult for me share it.



My confession is this:

I am afraid of “strong, confident, independent women™”.

So, to many blanket accusers out there, you are/were correct.

Although, as so often is the case:

For the wrong reasons.



See, the one woman I came close to marrying was gorgeous, smart, indepedent and very confident.

For a year and a half, we meshed well.

But then I lost my lucrative job.

So she took all her great qualities:

And found someone “better” than I.



Now, reason I dredge up this part of my personal past is that it proved my fears to be well founded.

See, the more a woman has those qualities, the harder a man has to work to be better than her.

Because she always wants a mate “better” than her.

It’s not that a man “isn’t good enough”.

It’s that a man is not “better”.



There was a court case regarding the advertising trade, many, many years ago, that stated “best is equal; better is best” when it came to slogans and jargon.

How correct, and how deeply so, the judge that proclaimed that was.

And remains.



Being of Portuguese decent, I’m unafraid of hard work.

“Work is like cocaine to those people” – Seth MacFarlane

Yet, I am but a man.

I stumble.

I fail.

I cannot always operate at 100%.



So, what does all this have to do with my fear of “strong, independent women™”?

Well, I’m afraid I’ll get sick.

Or lose the little I have left.

Or start to fall into depression again.

Which will, very likely, cause me to lose what I treasure.

A pretty face to improve my view.

A melodious voice to bring music to my day.

A warm smile and compassionate laugh to lighten my burdens.

A soft body to let me experience the deepest, most magickal, connection that can be had with another human being.

A tender heart to counter the harshness of the world.



See, the paradox is this:

I fear those “strong, independent women™” because they are part of the more pragmatic gender.

While I am part of the more romantic gender.

And I know, should things fall apart and my misfortune continue its lifelong trend for me:

I’ll be evicted from her heart and memory—

Long before she will be from mine.




45 Responses to ““The kitchen counter is a bad reminder of a better time…””

  1. Ah Hypergamy, that flighty and cruel mistress…

    • I agree with your assessment of “cruelty”.

      I disagree with your assessment of “flighty”.

      The rules are crystal clear and carved in stone.

      Whether they – or we – choose to admit it or not.

  2. Yes.

    Women are spoils of war.

    If you are succesful they flock to you, if you lose it they are gone.

    It is amazing how much women cry foul when they encounter a man who has internalized it and acts accordingly.

    I am waiting for women to acknowledge that they create the men they encounter later in life.

    Any day now.

    • “I am waiting for women to acknowledge that they create the men they encounter later in life.

      Any day now.”

      Along with the ceasing of the tides.

      • Truly, a waste of time. Human nature (male or female) isn’t subject to revision, only redemption.

    • It is amazing how much women cry foul when they encounter a man…

      Absolutely! And also, how quickly they surrender—assuming that they are normal and healthy.

  3. You are absolutely right!

    Besides, Portuguese people are one of the most hard-working people on Earth.

  4. There is much to be done about this – but our society should need a reset first.

    First – stop educating women past a middle school or highschool level (substitute classes they don’t need with home economics).

    Second – develop a culture of reverence for men in women. Women were never supposed to be high up in society. They day they were made “equal” is the day that marked the beginning of the end.


    • “They day they were made “equal” is the day that marked the beginning of the end.”

      They should always be thought of as our equivalent.

      But never our equal.

    • Wald, a couple of stray thoughts come to mind…

      To your first point: no one should be educated beyond their ability. It’s a huge waste of resources. Besides, over-education produces delusions of grandeur.

      To your second point: reverence is non-negotiable. This starts at the individual level and often carries a high price tag. The cultural part is a consequence of the individual part. Also, I have to ask, who made women equal? Did I miss a memo? They are unique and often wonderful in their inimitable way, but I don’t grant the general premise of equality, no matter who asserts it.

      We need to be good at saying “no” as often as necessary. We are all better off as a result.

      • Right. I think part of the reason marriages worked well in the past is that the man was given intrinsic higher status by the ruling structures and cultures of the day.

        A father had power of life and death over woman and child. A woman’s husband was her master.

        In such a case, it’s the man’s nature to disdain the full exercise of his power over a woman.

        Unfortunately, it’s woman’s nature to be entitled to the full exercise of her power over men. As such, they were given none or very little.


  5. […] See, the more a woman has those qualities, the harder a man has to work to be better than her. […]

  6. What’s sad is that a man is always “better” in the humane sense than a woman.

    But the woman only sees this by your social standing, how much stuff you own, or can get.

    Even Job’s wife wanted him to curse God and kill himself when his life was falling apart…and Job was displaying incredible faith. She must have wanted a better man too.

  7. Rare to find a woman with a pure heart and dedication through thick and thin.

  8. Only through screwing up can we learn how to maximize our own potential. So much of what’s best about me is a direct result of the mistakes I’ve made.

    But we’re not allowed to grow like real people any more; we’re supposed to spring from the Head of Zeus as perfect and fully-formed, incapable of stumbling or going through an economic rough patch.

    Women have always been hypergamous, but they’ve also followed other instincts from time to time. If a woman sticks by you when things aren’t going well, the bond between the two of you strengthens immeasurably.

    But she’s got no reason to do that anymore, for there’s always some hunky guy at work or on Facebook who doesn’t seem to have as many problems as you do. She wants the perfect guy, she wants him NOW, and damn near every guy who knows how to portray himself well is going to seem more perfect than the fully human man she’s with. She hasn’t smelled his farts yet.

    But someday he’ll fart in front of her, too, and there will be another seemingly great guy hitting on her at the gym, and she’ll move on once again. Deep relationships take work. Fuck that.

    And we wonder why both men and women are more lonely than ever before.

    Awesome post. It made an important bulb light in my brain.

    • “Awesome post. It made an important bulb light in my brain.”

      Many thanks, Martel.

      Glad to help.

    • Martel, there is no rest for us here. Only the sweat of our faces.

      I have seen the ugly side of myself and of my wife. The option for MAD is always available. If it happens, it happens; I can’t obsess over it. Instead, I pray that we keep choosing to build ourselves up, together. The alternative is simply horrific.

      [By the way, I am still writing with intent for you, but have scrapped at least a dozen drafts, so far. Something is off; brain cloud, burn out, writer’s block, OCD, unknown. For right now, I’m not willing to pollute the ‘sphere with half-baked drivel. I will let you know as soon as the fog clears. Meanwhile, best regards.]

      • Alan,

        You’ll be posting on Martel’s site? I look forward to it.

      • He offered, I accepted, and then it all went sideways. Honestly, I just need to pull my head out of my rear orifice… Working on it.

      • Alan,

        Sorry to hear it “all went sideways” but I will certainly keep watch for it.

        Best of luck.

      • I suspect that at least some of your “drivel” is better than you think. I’d be more than willing to check it out and offer any pointers if you want.

  9. Moar Thornley!! “Light my past on fire
    Spell it right in black and white
    A coward’s here for hire”

    I’ve given Western chicks a complete pass for the past few years looking for the feminine. I decided to stay with the Chinese woman because who doesn’t love available, feminine and submissive???

    Just because you sleep with men, ladies, doesn’t mean you’re feminine.

  10. anonymous Says:

    American society has created a model of a self-sufficient yet high-maintenance woman, which is currently accepted as the standard. The whole concept is an oxymoron. Creating a working relationship with one of these women is nearly always an exercise in futility, because not only does she not know what she truly wants nor how to get it, you will destroy what inner peace you have trying to unteach her society’s doctrine while simultaneously teaching her about functional male-female relationships.
    Now on the other hand, if you’ve got an island, a fairly agreeable woman and some time….;)

  11. […] Why Ace fears strong, independent women. […]

  12. Ace, I appreciate the futility of life on the tread mill; all of that running without ever crossing the finish line. At any moment, you can lose what little you seem to have. Hopefully, you will discover how to break the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy and accept the uncertainty of life. Bear in mind where it all ends.

  13. It’s a real shame that a “strong, confident, independent woman” is now a word for an unfeminine shrew, or someone who is extra hard to deal with. All those qualities can be had by a woman, to a degree. Smart submissive women are called strong for a good reason. Confidence is nice to have to a certain degree, after all one needs to be steadfast in one’s morals and principles. And it’s good to be an independent thinker, no matter what gender (however, you can’t be independent in a relationship – love and cooperation has that effect).
    But today, those qualities are interpreted in terms of having a career and possessing sarcastic humor.

    • Emma,

      Since this is your first comment here (and I hope more will follow), I want to be very clear:

      I am polite and respectful to my readers (I treat discussing my work here as an irl conversation) but I am never patronizing.

      That being said:

      I agree with every word you wrote.

      And deeply so.

  14. And while you look at your part in life’s misfortunes…it seems many women are the cause of men’s misfortunes. Then they get to blame the man for it and are rewarded handsomely for being good liars and actresses. Which gives them absolutely no responsibility or accountability.

    That’s what I fear from women. I can handle my own misfortunes…I can’t handle having them handed to me by her.

  15. “I’ll be evicted from her heart and memory—

    Long before she will be from mine.”

    Historically accurate and brilliantly stated. Great post Ace.

  16. […] “The kitchen counter is a bad reminder of a better time…” (Thornley – So Far, So Good) […]

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