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  With a name like SalsaGang, it's only natural that I spend most of my time talking about issues that relate to salsa. Today, I'd like to talk about women, however—and there are a lot of them who read this site.

 Now, obviously, I've never been a woman—even though I am always mistaken for a woman on the phone. (Could be my sexy voice.) Regardless, I think that I know a little bit about how women want to be treated. This column, then, is my Valentine's Day gift to women everywhere. It's a primer, if you will, on how you men can make the lives of your girlfriends or wives easier.

 First of all, apologize. For anything. For everything. Chances are, not a minute goes by where you haven't done something to show that you're an insensitive lout. There! It just happened! She just asked you to open up a jar of peanut butter, and you just opened up the jar and gave it to her without remembering that the first time you made love, some eight years ago, you plopped her on top of a Reese's peanut butter cup that had been moldering in your back seat for a couple of months. And here you were, handling a jar of peanut butter, and you forgot to acknowledge your first sacred union, you unromantic, "oh, boo-hoo, how could you, I thought you looovvvvveeeed me" slob.

 There! You did something again, and if you don't know what you did, I'm certainly not going to tell you (followed by a big, Marge Simpson-like "hrummmphhh!").

 A good course of action is to apologize every half-hour or so, just to stay on top of things.

 If you do something nice by accident, don't 'fess up to it by admitting it was an accident—milk that baby! Women don't realize that "being considerate" isn't part of our biological make-up. If we do something nice, it's most likely inadvertent. For instance, I once coughed up a hairball after falling asleep, face down, on an Angora sweater. Turns out it was my girlfriend's birthday or Christmas or something. She walked in immediately afterward, saw the hairball, and thought I had bought her a "cute little dog just like in that 'As Good As It Gets' movie!" She put a leash on it and, as far as I know, she's still carrying that thing around with her. Won a couple of dog shows, too, as I remember.

 For special occasions, a romantic meal at a good restaurant never fails. Now, as far as picking out a nice restaurant, it's permissible that the menu offer things like chicken or ribs, but not if they're preceded by the phrase "bucket 'o." And, you may think that you're being a gentleman by carrying her tray, but it's not going to cover up the fact that you're a cheap bastard who takes her to "all you can eat" buffets. Furthermore, don't go anyplace where the waitresses' skirts are so short that every time they bend over to clean a table, you get the inexplicable urge to order tacos.

As far as gifts in general, buying her toolbox isn't romantic, nor is buying her a Play Station. Instead, get her perfume, flowers, jewelry, or a cuddly, stuffed doll that you stole from your kid sister. Victoria's Secret products are perfect.

  Women, in my experience, are `also big into communication. If they tell you that they're having problems at work because that b*tch in R and D is taking credit for all of her ideas and that the snot-nosed kid they just hired out of college who can barely pick his nose without first reading the user manual makes more money than she does, asking her "What's to eat?" is not a proper response. They want you to feel the same indignation and anger that they're feeling—after which you can ask, "What's to eat?"

 Cheating on them is also on most women's lists of turn-offs. However, if you go down that route and she catches you, Lady Schick's your "jewel" off while you're sleeping and then hangs it from the rearview mirror of her Honda Accord, you've got no real right to complain. After a while, if you behave yourself, she'll let you have it back for brief periods—but only on special occasions, like the coming of Haley's comet or the dawn of the next new millennium.

 Television is another thing that women have trouble understanding, and we don't understand why they don't understand that we love television almost as much as life itself. Mother, teacher, soul mate—that's what television is. And if we flip through stations with the remote control so fast that the resulting strobe causes an epileptic seizure, they're baffled. They fail to comprehend how we can possibly evaluate the worth of a television program if we're already five stations ahead by the time the picture reaches our retinas. It's really quite simple: we're looking for glimpses of naked or semi-naked women. If the image of some hooters doesn't reach our cerebellum in a nanosecond, we're on to the next 50 stations.

 However, we must, occasionally, slow down and let our partners partake in the television ritual. COMPROMISE. If, say, you slow down to a leisurely 10-20 stations a minute, our girlfriends and wives can perhaps see if there's anything on the tube that appeals to them. And if there is, you can pop in a tape and record it for them so that they can watch it during one of those brief periods of time when we're not interested in watching the TV—like, say, when amonsoon is approaching.

 Above all, women occasionally like to hear those three little words that makes everything they have to put up with seem worthwhile and, unbeknownst to most men, those three little words are not "IN DA MOOD?"

 No, the words, my hermanos, are "I love you" (I'm speaking to a hypothetical woman—not you, bonehead). Yes, love, soft as an easy chair, love, fresh like an everrrrgreen...the kind between a man and a woman, but not, say, between a man and the busboy at Denny's, or even a man and a sheep. I'm talking about Romantic love, the kind that songs are written about or the kind that causes you to stare all night at the ceiling in anguish until either dawn or the garbage men come to rouse you.

 So, this Valentine's Day, take some time out to make that special person in your life feel truly loved. After that, make sure to turn on the TV, because they're showing "The Making of the Victoria's Secret Swimsuit Catalog" on the E! channel. 




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