BookjacketHow to
a Man

by W. Bruce Cameron

Copyright © 2004
by Bruce Cameron
Published by
St. Martin's Press



Why I Wrote This Book

I am a Changed Man.

I declare these words proudly, as a testament to the triumph of human will over a seemingly indomitable challenge: my gender. You see, I was born a man--well actually, I was born a baby (same thing, some people might say), but I was a "male" baby--and change does not come easily to a male, because they just don't see why they should bother. Attempting to modify a man's behavior is like trying to talk cats into playing the tuba--even if you can convince them to put their lips on the thing, they'll never understand "why." Yet there are people out there in the world endeavoring every single day to do the seemingly impossible: change men.

For want of a better term, I'll call these people "women."

Now, I'm not a woman, nor do I have any plans to become one. It's too expensive, and the shoes look really uncomfortable. But I am the first male person of my gender to alter his very nature in an effort to become a better man. Along the way, I derived some methods that can be used on less enlightened males to remodel "their" behavior--and these methods are contained in this book.

You might wonder why it is that I would betray my gender--for which I have developed a certain fondness--and reveal to all the women in the world in easy, step-by-step instructions, how to remodel a man. Is it for riches, for fame, for the unrestrained adoration of every single female on the face of the planet?

Actually, if I thought I'd get any of that, I would have done this years ago. No, my decision to join forces with people of a sex different than mine is based on my simple observation that men have been running things around here for a long time now, and as far as I can see, we're not doing all that great a job. I think that if women were in charge, there would be fewer bank robberies and bar fights and movie titles containing the words "bikini car wash."

Of course, it will be a long time before women are allowed to run the planet. Men generally don't vote for women to hold high government offices, believing that females aren't quite ready to handle the most important responsibility that comes with such authority: which is to let men continue to be in charge. So until that day arrives, the best we can hope to do is to modify the behavior of men.

To start with, I had to focus on what it is about men that needs to be changed. I'm no sociologist, but, as an author, I do spend a lot of time studying men, learning their various habits and manners and even living among them. I've been to their houses and eaten their "man food," all in the name of learning more about these strange creatures who have become such a fixture of modern life. Yet when I met my buddies at the sports bar to talk about our flaws, none of us could think of anything that needed to be changed!

The best we could come up with is that often men become so dedicated to completing their mission they lose sight of everything else. We're linear and focused; once we get started on a job, it's hard for us to stop until we're done. Then the hockey game came on, and we sort of lost interest in the topic.

I thought about asking the women in my life--my daughters, my sisters, even my mother--but the first response I got, "Men are always taking credit for stuff that women come up with," demonstrated to me just how unpleasant that method would be.

Then I came up with a brilliant idea. The inspiration for it came from my daughter, who said, "Why don't you set up a place on your Web site for women to write in and tell you what it is about men they would like to see changed?" My idea was this: I would set up a place on my Web site for women to write in and tell me what it is about men they would like to see changed!

I reasoned that even if I only received half a dozen ideas, it would be a big help. I put up the form on my Web site (www. and sat back, hoping I would eventually hear from somebody.

I received more than three thousand entries in the first month.

Reading through the e-mails, many of which were very alarming because they seemed to be complaints about some of "my" most adorable traits, I concluded that men are in big trouble. We haven't been listening (one of the most frequent criticisms) to what women are saying, and let me tell you, some of these women are mad.

I view "How to Remodel a Man" as the story of one man's journey to Changed Man, but along the way I took into consideration the common gripes sent to me by females all over the planet. Some of the grievances--like the woman who says her boyfriend thinks it's funny to drop his pants and show his butt to people, including her parents--I wasn't able to help with. Others, like men who won't ask for directions or men who can't put their dirty socks in the clothes hamper, but can put them "on top" of the hamper, I am able to provide clear directions on how to remodel. In the process, I've painted a fairly unflattering portrait of the male of the species--but I don't think I'm telling anyone what they didn't already know.

Am I worried that men will pick up this book, see that I've provided instructions on how to remodel a man, and want to kill me?

Of course not.

Men don't read instructions.

Chapter One


Men Just Figure It Would Be Easier If You Changed Instead

Women are willing to purchase a man off the rack, but then they want to take him home and make alterations. They'll witness some adorable trait--such as a man's inability to stand before an open refrigerator and locate the jar of mayonnaise within it--and want to fix it.

Men don't want to be "fixed." Men want women to love them just the way they are. Men don't want to adopt such unnatural traits as sensitivity or thoughtfulness. And when I say men want women "to love them," I mean, of course, "to have sex with them."

Unfortunately, men don't really understand why women would want to have sex with them. We sure wouldn't want to! It must be, we conclude, because we are so manly. And what are manly traits? How about strength and resolve? To have strength and resolve means to be unyielding and uncompromising. So men will be unyielding and uncompromising in their belief that they shouldn't have to go grocery shopping, and somehow conclude that this makes them more desirable to women!

Yet paradoxically I wouldn't be a Changed Man today if it weren't for the feeling that I needed to adopt a new strategy when it came to attracting members of the female sex. After my divorce, I went through a long period of time when I didn't feel like dating anyone, followed by an even longer period when it seemed no one really felt like dating me. I'd ask a woman out, and it would go very well--we'd get to know each other over dinner, with me relating my likes and dislikes, telling her where I stood on critical issues of the day such as the Instant Replay Rule in football. I'd considerately steer the conversation back on track whenever my date brought up a topic I didn't think she'd find interesting, like her job or her friends--stuff she already knew about and was probably sick of discussing. My dates all seemed fascinated with me--by the end of the evening, most of them were so spellbound by my narrative they quit talking and just nodded appreciatively. Yet when I called these same women for a second date, they all demurred, using excuses like, "I can't on Saturday, I'm joining the Witness Protection Program" or "I've come to realize I am a man trapped in a woman's body."

When my ex-wife got remarried, I was happy for her, but it spotlighted my own dismal situation. Though I had gotten used to living on my own, I missed the sort of connection one gets from a long-term relationship with a female of the opposite sex, not just the physical part, but all of it. I plunged into a depressive, self-loathing state--and immediately got on the phone so that friends and relatives could assure me that there was nothing wrong with me at all.

(continued on next page)

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Current research suggests there is a large group of people who have been trying to change men. For want of a better term, let's call these people "women."

Their urge is understandable. We've all had to take measures to accommodate men, because they are involved in nearly every aspect of modern life except maybe housework and they like to run things like corporate meetings and the planet. The only other alternative has been to try to avoid men altogether, which is pretty hard to do if you are interested in stuff like reproduction or having your oil changed.

That's why "How to Remodel a Man" is so indispensable--it is a clear, step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to alter the character and behavior of a man, written by an actual man. Author W. Bruce Cameron provides startling insight into male pattern thinking, explaining why men can open a refrigerator and not see the
mayonnaise, or how it is that they can throw dirty clothes at the hamper or in front of the hamper or even on top of the hamper and yet not seem capable of getting any of it in the hamper.

Normally, changing a man has certain obstacles, including, but not limited to, the fact that it is impossible. But Cameron is able to overcome this hindrance because he, himself, has been remodeled. In a move so bold it may be shocking to people unaccustomed to such personal courage, Cameron turned himself over to the women in his life and asked them to change him. It started with a list of his flaws (Cameron came up with four; the women came up with 178) and ended with him writing "How to Remodel a Man," so that others could learn from his experience. If you're a woman, you'll be amazed to learn that men can be trained to perform all sorts of tricks, like using the instruments on the sides of their heads (the ears) to listen to you, and the space between those instruments to think about you.

If you're a man, you've been given this book so that you'll see that it's possible to watch television without holding the remote or to ask for directions from strangers without suffering a catastrophic loss of testosterone. Cameron changed, and you can too.

"How to Remodel a Man" is the essential guide for anyone in the awkward position of having to interact with a person of the male gender.