Review: “Dealing With Men” by Robin Stratton

Dealing With Men

It’s hard enough to know the self, let alone your partner or some guy you’re dating. Despite such an impossible task, Robin Stratton gives it her heartfelt best. She puts feeling and emotion into words and succeeds with each piece included in Dealing With Men (published by Big Table Publishing).

“Nice Talking to You” is a great example, displaying the two sexes, their insecurities, and a ‘hey, that’s the way it is’ acceptance. In acknowledging human nature, Stratton brings us back to the root of our dysfunction in a poetic moment titled “Lucy’s Skeleton.” Millions of years come and go, but the human species still acts destructively, whether it be with rocks or Weapons of Mass Destruction.

International wars are a global enactment of our inability to communicate clearly. In “My Boyfriend Wasn’t From Here,” she laments her own mistakes and disconnect. Loneliness too, makes its way into the collection, with “Again Last Night.” Sure, it’s okay to be an independent gal, but sometimes you just want to wake up next to somebody.

Not all of it is sorrowful though, for the short Dealing with Men offers a solution to the quite common female flaw of devoting herself to the quest for external validation. The truth is no man is going to respect you unless you do.

There is comedy within the pages too. I found myself laughing while reading “Awaiting Clarity,” a story about trying to cope with the early arrival of the boyfriend’s angst-filled daughter. Finally, through weed-laced ice cream, they are able to break through the wall and talk.

Quick, short, and touching, this collection provides validation and clarity for other insecure souls struggling with relationships. No sides (or causalities) are taken; there’s no sense to fighting when both sides are right.
Dealing With Men is available from Big Table Publishing, here: bigtablepublishing.com.

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Nicolette Westfall is a former wedding photographer assistant who likes to take pics of food scraps and garbage.