Sheila Sybrant

“Men are just happy people” read the subject line of an email from my cousin about why men have reason to be joyful.

It was one of those emails full of presumably funny one-liners, the kind of email that undoubtedly gets passed around the internet multiple times — and the kind of email that usually gets a mere cursory glance from me.

This one, though, captured my full attention when my eye caught the following nugget: “Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.”

Sad, but true. At least in my household.

I decided to take a closer look and found the following: “Wedding dress — $5,000. Tux rental —$100.”

OK, the numbers might be a little off. I’m sure that a tux rental is higher than that, and a wedding dress can be purchased for less than that — but the basic idea is sound. Women spend oodles more on clothes for a wedding.

And it’s not just wedding attire. Studies show that clothing for females, starting from when they are just babies, will set parents back more than clothing for males. In fact, studies show that lots of items marketed for girls or women are more expensive than virtually identical ones marketed for boys or men.

These studies are not new, but they really don’t tell the whole story.

Boy and girl clothes, for example, can’t really be adequately compared. Yes, girls wear jeans and boys wear jeans, and the girls’ jeans might be more expensive than the boys’ jeans; but there is a difference in the cut, fit and style. And, quite frankly, I think girls are luckier in their options.

Parents undoubtedly spend more money on girl baby clothes than boy baby clothes, but go into any baby clothing section of a store and you’ll see why. The manufacturers are getting better than they used to be about their offerings, but, honestly, the girl baby clothes are cuter, and there are more selections.

I saw a survey by MoneyTips that mentioned the fact that parents spend more on school supplies for girls than for boys. Is this any wonder? The products are more interesting and varied, and there is a larger number of them for girls. I know because I have one daughter and one son and shopped for school supplies for each of them for many years.

One might argue that it’s a supply-and-demand thing — that is, that manufacturers simply supply what there is a demand for. In other words, some people might suggest that parents are more interested in spending money on their girl children than their boy children, or that women are more apt than men to spend money on themselves.

Hogwash! If the choices for boys increased in the clothing aisles, the school supplies aisles, the footwear aisles, etc., manufacturers would reap the rewards.

So, although it might cost more to be a woman (although an online Reader’s Digest article by Hannah K. Gold noted that it costs more for a man to get a manicure than a woman), I feel blessed to have more alternatives.

So, can women be happy people, too?

Well, the financials are not a deal breaker, but there’s still the issue of that nighttime deterioration. …

Readers may contact Sybrant at svsybrant@gmail.com or 45092 859th Road, Bassett, NE 68714.

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