He was her best friend in the entire world, but when it came to giving valid and significant relationship advice he always fell short. Nonetheless he always threw himself out there to do it when the opportunity arose. And right now was no different.
"What?!?" she bristled not bothering to hide her irritation with the question.
"Are you Lois Lane or Mary Jane?"
She was no comic book ignorant. She knew her fair amount of mythos. "Mary Jane, as in Watson?"
"Yeah, Pete's woman."
Her brow crinkled. As comfortable as she was with the genre, she didn't think being able to refer to a fictitious character by his nick name was healthy.
"I know who she is. What does that have to do with me?"
He shrugged in that way that implied that it was obvious for anyone paying attention. But the shrug was never the part to wait for, his explanations, no matter how farfetched, were usually money and quite entertaining. She had told him years ago that he needed to record his rants and have them transcribed. He'd make millions.
"All women can be divided equally and completely by one question. Is she Lois Lane or is she Mary Jane." he paused dramatically. It took a moment more before he acknowledged the obvious. "It’s how I remember the question, try to ignore that they rhyme."
Despite herself she did crack a rather sheepish grin because he did know her very well. "Fundamentally impossible." She finally sat next to him on the couch knowing that the words from her mouth would spurn an explanation that no one would want to stand for. "Do tell."
He took his time, as was his nature, before he imparted some of his well thought out and completely inane views on life, liberty, and love. He stretched leisurely, snapping and cracking the joints in his shoulders, arms, and wrists in a fashion that made them pop one after the other like a shuffled card deck. Then he settled back into the cushy sofa while taking a long theatrical breath.
"It’s quite simple really. Think about Lois Lane, wholly irritating completely annoying and seemingly self-involved to a disturbing level. And MJ is the girl next door, wholesome and sweet as apple pie. Nicest little girl you would ever want to meet. On the surface. Then you get to know them through their superhero mates."
"The real Lois Lane is a goody-two shoes cynic because she understands human nature. She knows that not everyone has figured out what she has, which is that most things in this world we can take care of ourselves, and don’t need to be saved all the time. She knows right from wrong, and is always trying to reveal the truth regardless of what trouble that may bring."
Taking in her frown, he paused, and then shook his head. "Think about it, at no point in time does she ever get into trouble accept for when she's trying to do the right thing. She's banging Superman, and he's the last dude she calls when she's in trouble. Instead she hunkers down and sees what she can get done herself. She's usually in way over her head, but she doesn't let that little fact stop her. And before long old Supes says, hey I wonder what my lady's doing. There she is, in it up to her elbows, and still she hasn't relented. He's pissed because she should know by now to come to him first, but he respects the fact that she won't to the point that he doesn't even give her a hard time about it. Shrugs and says that's just Lois."
He holds up his contradiction hand, which is the right one. He always raised it when he was about to embark on the counter argument.
"MJ though is different. She's one of the sheep, the flock. She thinks that regular people should depend on super heroes for everything. So she's banging Spiderman with the unspoken understanding that she has priority. All hell breaks loose if she thinks for one minute that he is off saving someone else besides her when she's in trouble. Regardless of whether or not she could've saved herself and maybe someone else couldn't. She's got small town girl issues so she's always jealous of Spidey's fame. Trashing him for coming home all beat up, getting mad when his enemies come after her, worried about other women beating her out for his attention. Let's be real, you're dating or married to a super hero, she should've known from point jump that this is the way it would be. You either want him enough to let it not be an issue, or you want the issue enough to be with him."
Her frown was increasing because for once in his inane asinine uttering, he was actually making some sense. And like clouds parting the wisdom of realization and enlightenment fell on her. With an eerie gleam in her eye, and a confidence in speech that she never possessed, she declared in an even unwavering voice.
"So what you're saying is that as women, we either want to be with someone because they respect who we are, or we want to be with them because they tolerate us for not respecting who we are? As women we have to understand our own limitations and strengths and find a mate who understands and agrees that who we are isn't a terrible thing, but the only thing that they will ever accept from us. Finally breaking free of the clingy woman, or ball-breaking bitch stereotypes. Finally being accepted as an entity not defined by sex but sex being only a characteristic of the person as a whole."
He looked at her as if she had grown two heads. "Where the hell did you get all that from? I'm saying that women who seem like they are sweet usually aren't, and women that don't usually are. Depending on who you are you either pull in a Superman or a Spiderman. A guy that can really lay down the smack, or one that can take the smack." He looked at her expectantly. "Are you a woman that can pull a man that can deliver the smack, or just one that can take it?"
"Its not that simple," she countered. "While no one is as proficient at taking an ass-whopping as Spiderman is, Superman has been known to get it handed to him before he gets pissed off enough to do something about it. And when they get fed up they both lay down the smack. Pretty efficiently. So what does that say about their choice in women?"
This was a moment for posterity. She had just once, for the first and probably only time, actually turned an argument of his against him.
He shook his head, with a self-effacing grin beginning to take hold. "Not a damn thing."
"Honestly I thought you were going to go with the whole,” she formed quotations in the air with her fingers, “Lois seems dumb as a stump while Mary Jane seems unnaturally intelligent for an actress, but the opposite for both is actually true,” end quotations in the air, “angle."
The blank stare confirmed that this was an avenue he had not considered, and in fact blew apart his whole theory. "I hate telling you these things."
She smiled at him. "I'm going to stick with what I said so that I can give you credit for actually helping for once." She patted his head endearingly. “I suggest you do the same.” She popped up and started away. “It’s good advice for guys too, you either be with a woman who accepts that she’s not the only thing going on in your life, or is pissed because she isn’t, and is always lobbying for it.”
He continued to shake his head at her. “You know there is much to be said for not being so skilled at emasculation.”
She nodded. “I agree, be strong enough that your woman can’t. Superman can handle a self-possessed woman and Spiderman can’t.”
He smiled at her then. “Lois Lane all the way.”