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'Little White Whys' for Valentine's Day

February 11, 2010 - Betsy Bethel
Just in time for Valentine's Day, I would like to share with my single readers a book I found to be quite illuminating. It's called "Little White Whys" and is written by South Carolina psychiatrist I. Major.

It was the book's subtitle that piqued my interest: "A Woman's Guide Through the Lies Men Tell and Why."

Dr. Major, who is a single man, says he spills the beans in his book because he wants to save relationships, keep people from hurting each other and rescue children from the divorce and failed relationships he has seen in his private practice. These are goals I can get behind.

He offers men as sacrificial lambs because, well, he is one, and he knows how they think. He also probably knows a woman is more likely to buy and read a book about how to tell if her man is lying, as opposed to a man buying a book about how to stop lying to his woman.

To men, Major says, truth is akin to one of their many beloved tools, and we all know you should "use the right tool for the right job." "We pull (the truth) out and use it when we need it, but then tuck it away neatly after it is no longer needed," he says.

He says all women ever needed to know about the men they date can be summed up with three simple truths:

1. "Believe half of what men say and all of what they do." Ask the right questions, listen to the answers, but "believe what we show you" — not what you WANT to hear or WANT to be true, Major says.

2. "Guys want only one thing — sex." And,

3. "Everything you need to know about us, we told you during our first three conversations."

It has to be a good thing, doesn't it, for women to know when the men in their lives are lying to them and better yet, why? It's strangely satisfying to see in print — from a psychiatrist, no less — the cliches we've seen played out in movies from "Some Like It Hot" to "Saturday Night Fever" to "Dirty Dancing" to "Fifty First Dates." He admits they're cliches, and that they are cliches for a reason: because they're true.

By the time I finished perusing the book, however, I began to get a nagging feeling about Dr. Major's agenda. Is he just cluing women in to men's dirty secrets and tricks, or is he condemning his entire gender with his blanket confessions? Worse, is he poking fun at women for ever having believed the crap they'd been told?

Dr. Major says he has five sisters and a mother whom he loves "fiercely" and whom he doesn't want to see hurt. But if he spoke to his mother the way he speaks in the book, I think she would send him to bed without supper. He addresses the "ladies" as if they are errant little girls who "should know better." His tone implies "men will be men" and it is the "lady's" fault if she "falls for" a man's lies.

If you can get past the obvious cliches and the cynical and condescending tone, "Little White Whys" is still an entertaining read. And I CAN see it being helpful to women who are clueless about men and need to be able to at least recognize, if not cut through, the crap men are known to dish out during the dating ritual.

I like that Major points out in black and white the hard truth about what questions women should ask, what answers are red flags and what NOT to ask in the first place.

To all you Ohio Valley singletons, best wishes in your searches. My unsolicited advice: Learn to love and be happy with yourself first. The rest will follow. Happy Valentine's Day.


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Dr. I. Major, author of "Little White Whys"