A new blog (oh, why the hell not?) for a new year. But, I'm going to talk about an age old topic long analyzed by hack stand up comedians and talk show hosts from the 80's. Men and women. Specifically, how we communicate...or more accurately, how we don't, and why there is very little use in trying. Let me proselytize here (as if you could stop me).
Let's use the data set of "X" and "Y" for simplicities sake. It does not matter what "X" and "Y" stand for or what they are (a woman would probably tell you it matters very much what "X" and "Y" is, whereas a guy can live with the fact it "is what it is"). If a conversation were to take place between a man or a woman over "X" and "Y" it might go something like this:
Woman: Is it "X" or "Y"?
Man: It's "Y".
Boom. Done. Information disseminated and conversation moving on to other topics. Well, in the man's world this is what's happening, but the woman's head is racing because the conversation SHOULD have gone something like this if the roles were reversed:
Man: Is it "X" or "Y"?
Woman: (25 minute preamble on why it's important to understand the differences between "X" and "Y"; why you need to "feel" the difference between the wildly divergent properties of "X" and "Y"; why it should be IMPORTANT to YOU the very real upsides and downsides to "X" and "Y"; her personal opinions on the merits of "X" vs. "Y"; why her friend Jennifer is such a bitch; her crazy mother's phone conversation with her earlier that day; don't piss her off because she's having a bad hair day ((you've failed to be able to tell the difference)); how come you're not wearing that shirt she bought you?; she is unhappy with the size of her ass ((somehow that came up...again)); why are you bothering her with "X" and "Y" anyways since you OBVIOUSLY DON"T CARE; and she'd like to know how YOU FEEL about "X" and "Y" before she answers your question because she needs all the pertinent information before she commits to an answer) It's 3 o'clock (that was her answer).
Now, the man has no idea why his question was answered with a completely different topic than the question he asked. Somewhere in minute 17 of her answer he got lost, and started wondering if that movie they're going out to see later has any nudity in it.
He will now get in trouble for not paying attention to her answer, and be accused of not having any feelings. Which is true. We don't. We're men. The only feelings we have are hunger, horniness, occasional fits of rage and anger, and merriment and laughter at the misfortune of others. That's it. And, if the guy is 41 yrs old like me, even the horniness isn't the overriding thing it used to be when he was, say, 21. Generally, a good nights sleep, a really cold beer and his teams game televised in hi-def on the tube has displaced that particular lizard brained urge (which, by the way, has made life immeasurably easier). So, somewhere along the line you will apologize for not listening appropriately, and never really know if it were "X" or "Y", and the woman will have accomplished her goal of keeping you in a constant daze of confusion. But there is hope.
And what is that hope you ask yourself? Age. You see, as a man gets older, we loosen that death grip on the need to be right, and have EVERYBODY know it. You hit your 40's, and are quite comfortable knowing you're right, or, if you're wrong, not really caring. Just smile, nod your head, enjoy your beverage, and be dazzled at the wonderment of your team rendered with such crispness on your widescreen (this can also be substituted or accompanied by really good high fidelity audio equipment...the kind of stuff where you are mesmerized by the clarity of the hi-hat and can hear the 5% delay added to the crash cymbal...and the infinitesimal percussive tick of a finger tip on an open E-string. Some of you will know what I mean).
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