The truth about men and women
by John Gosselink
| I was
cleaning out a cabinet when I came across a book the wife made me read when I
was courting her, John Gray's "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus." If I hadn't
been doing intense courting, there's no way I would read this nonsense, which
should have added to the title "and John Gray's from planet Stupidhead."|
This guy got rich from telling the ladies what they wanted to hear - women are
nurturing caregivers who just want to be listened to and accepted; men are pear-shaped
gas machines who just want a clear view of the television. This may be true, but
there's a bit more to it.
One of the problems with our lack of understanding
of one another is that most of books are written in women talk. But that is about
to change. Instead of couching all of this "men are insensitive jerks" stuff in
psychobabble terms like "comfort zones," "enabler," and "waffle iron," we're going
to get to the point using language guys understand. Lots of monosyllabic words,
sports analogies, grunts, belches, words that sound dirty, that sort of thing.
Definitely no "Oprah" words.
We're also hoping that if the woman folks
hear the male perspective, they'll be a little less harumphy when dealing with
our seeming shortcomings. Hopefully they'll learn that what may come across as
insensitive and oblivious may just be a testosterone-fueled approach to self-preservation.
And also learn that we really like sandwiches. Yep, guys like sandwiches.
"Overwhelming Difference" - We can start with the basic philosophical
difference between the sexes: Men dangerously oversimplify everything and women
have to exasperatingly complicate everything. It's amazing that any of us survive.
A man hears that a nuclear attack has decimated the east coast; he thinks, "Whoa,
I bet that looks cool." A woman sees a thread unraveling from a throw rug, she
thinks "My gosh, first that string, then my marriage, then the very fabric of
society will unravel! I've got to go on Oprah and talk long and repetitively about
my feelings and how men and rugs don't meet my needs."
I hate that rug.
"Communication" - This is where the stats about nonverbal communication
get skewed. They need to break it down by gender. Men could easily function using
only gestures, honking noises, and the phrases: "extra cheese", "super unleaded,"
and "burning sensation." That's why men hate talking on the phone. It's much easier
to just point at a gaping chest wound to explain why you're going to be late to
work than go into a long dissertation about the importance following gun-cleaning
Whereas women talk, therefore they are. If a picture says
a 1000 words, a picture of a woman says a million words. I don't know how many
of conversations at our house end with something like, "Yes honey, I guess you
could call it an important decision that needs 40 minutes to discuss all of its
ramifications and how they may affect your and Oprah's feelings, but, to be honest,
I really don't care whether we buy name brand cheese-slices or generic."
"Body Self-Image" - The phrase "letting yourself go" really never
applies to guys. A fella could weigh 400 pounds, not shower for a week, have a
four year old cut his hair, and he'd look in the mirror and think, "Hey, looking
good in that swarthy Marlon Brando kind of way. Hot stuff!!"
actually quite understandable. If you have ever looked closely at the male form,
something I go to great pains not to do, you can see that even at our best, it's
still really lumpy, hairy and simian. Whereas the female form is all curvy, soft,
and easy on the eyes. So it's no wonder they freak out whenever they gain a pound
or two. They have actual perfection to shoot for.
resolution" - There's a huge difference between inter- and intra- gender fights.
If it's just men that have a problem, it's simple. They call each other a few
names, trade punches in the eye, and then go drink beer. Done and done.
If it's women heading to conflict, they have to spend several months pretending
there isn't a problem; in group settings, start sneaking in little double entredres
about each other that can be easily justified as innocent little remarks; evolve
into talking pejoratively about each other to mutual friends on the phone, making
sure to keep it "just between us," knowing full well that the recipient of the
vitriol will be hearing about it in 20 minutes; finally the battle comes to its
climax with ugly glances over the Jell-o mold at the PTA meeting and disparaging
remarks about each others shoes.
Whew. You've got to be tough to be a
"Courtship" - Men get a raw deal on this one. How
many times do we have to hear about how we've changed since our courting days?
No kidding. Of course we've changed. We were putting up a big ol' fake front so
you'll marry us, and it worked. When you catch the fish, do you still feed it
worms after it's in the cooler?
So, ladies, know going in that we're
lying and we're not going to spend the next 40 years holding our gas, pretending
to like Bette Midler movies, and reading relationship books.
that should clear up quite a few misconceptions. Sadly, I can't tell you why men
take off our shirts for no apparent reason and have this strange affinity for
buffoonish Three Stooges shorts. Let's just say the ways of men are mysterious,
a euphemism for we don't have a lick of sense.