14 October 2012

Vive la Différence Part 1

by Leigh Lundin
male remote control
© unknown

I've written about the difference between men and women, a topic I find fascinating. It's fraught with danger (I don't think I've ever written 'fraught' before), laced with intrigue, and often enjoyable if not politically correct– which I don't plan becoming anytme soon. Besides, relationships shouldn't be political, despite becoming politicized through the decades.

For some time, I've received eMails titled Why Men are Happy and Why Men are Never Depressed. These have arrived in multiple editions over such a span that I noticed additions, deletions, and edits as these eMails passed through multiple hands. (Many versions can be found on-line.) Cathy Guisewite they're not, but some are fun.

Occasionally guys receive word they might not be pulling their weight in a relationship. Although the foolish might mount a vigorous defense, the wise will probably gather that 20% is not a reasonable balance nor does grilling or any other chore that might be considered enjoyable (fishing, winemaking, working on the car, sitting at the computer, watching basketball) weigh toward the ultimate accounting.

Yes, accounting, because there's a balance sheet and many other factors intrude and guys have a lot to account for. For example, here's a diary circulating on FaceBook:

Guys don't worry about the same things, snoring for example. A fellow can blissfully snore loud enough to crack ceiling plaster, but a woman will stay awake half the night waiting until her man falls asleep so he doesn't hear her snores set off car alarms. The thing is, a guy doesn't mind. First, it makes his woman human, but he also might find her snoring comforting and snap awake if she suddenly stops.

Guys irritate women in ways that are incomprehensible to men. Take finding things. Scientific American says the spatial parts of our brains evolved differently: cavemen traveled the hills and dales hunting mammoths and eventually found their way back home, while cavewomen kept their home running, wrestling leg-o-sarus into the cookpot, fried the bronto-burgers, mended woolies and loincloths for the family, and scrubbed the cave walls clean from their children's drawings. Whereas a male could find his way to a sabretooth carcass on flint ridge (without asking directions), he couldn't find the bone-handled knife in his own cave.

But his woman could, an effect Rosanne Barr in her stand-up comedy called the uterine locator. Back in our unevolved days, the cavewoman yelled, "Why do you keep asking me? Do I look like I know where everything is? Why don't you find it yourself, you're perfectly capable. What, you can't squeeze those big shoulders through the kitchen door? Because that's where it is, in the kitchen, under the sink, behind the second pot on the third shelf in the yellow box marked 'stuff.'"

There could be a wry Linda Ellerbee observation here, but let's move on to that balance sheet…

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Male
  • Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  • Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
  • Your last name stays put.
  • You can never be pregnant.
  • The garage is all yours.
  • You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
  • Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  • You can open all your own jars.
  • Chocolate is just another snack.
  • Your underwear is  $9.95 for a three-pack.
  • You almost never have strap problems in public.
  • New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. 
  • Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
  • One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color for all seasons.
  • You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
  • You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
  • You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
  • You can wear no shirt to a water park.
  • You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
  • The same hairstyle lasts for years, even decades.
  • You don't have to shave below your neck.
  • You have freedom of choice about growing a mustache.
  • Hot wax never comes near your pubic area.
  • Your bathroom has soap, towel, toothbrush, and shaving gear, nothing more.
  • You don't have to dress up to get the mail.
  • You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • Everything on your face stays its original color.
  • People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
  • One mood all the  time. 
  • Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  • You can leave the motel bed unmade.
  • You can kill your own food.
  • You can shop in under two minutes.
  • You know stuff about tanks.
  • You don't have to know anything about celebrities and their relationships.
  • You don't have to know anything about your friends' relationships.
  • You are not expected to know the names of more than five colors.
  • No maxi-pads.
  • A five-day vacation requires one suitcase.
  • You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
  • If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you just might become good friends.
  • If someone forgets to invite you, they can still be your friend.
  • You can call your buddy f•ckface and still be friends.
  • You play with toys all your life.
  • You wake up looking the same as you went to bed, maybe better.
  • You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  • You can ask a woman where to find things.


  1. I don't know who you've been talking to, Leigh, but my experience doesn't match your assertions about snoring. If I'm lying awake, it's because he's snoring, not because I'm afraid I might. He has no trouble telling me when I'm snoring. We bought an air purifier that seems to have cured his. Mine persists (or so he says), but I don't mind--I'm asleep when it happens, so I don't have to listen to it. As for finding things, it depends. My hubby is fond of saying I couldn't find an elephant in a bathroom. And it's true I have to yell for help when I can't remember where I put, say, my glasses. On the other hand, I can find a piece of paper I filed ten years ago in the exact place I would have put it if I were filing it now. He files papers in a kind of midden on any available surface. Oh, and he would say you're dern tootin' grilling counts.

  2. Great post!
    I might add the old truism that women will never achieve equality with men until they can walk down the street with their stomachs sticking out and a balding head and think they are sexy.

    As for finding things, Liz, my wife and I are equals in that department. Neither one of us can find anything we left unattended for more than a day. Old age has a way of leveling the playing field.

  3. Elizabeth, I envy your ability to find things you filed– your description reminds me of W.C. Fields's rolltop. Me, I have the damnedest time finding things. But as Herschel says, age levels the field. Now where is my password…

  4. Gee,when I snore,my wife hits me and says, "Wake up and roll over! You're snoring, you big ox!"

    As for the list:

    You can open all your own jars.
    Yeah. But, you also HAVE TO open your own jars, or everybody thinks you’re a wimp. Plus you have to open everybody else’s.

    Everything on your face stays its original color.
    If that’s true, why does my originally black beard look more and more as if I’ve kept spilling the milk I’ve been drinking? And, I almost never drink milk.. But, it looks like I GUZZLE the stuff.

    People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
    They do when I flex my pecs, Baby! [Just kidding. I can’t really flex my pecs; just wish I could.  ]

  5. Great post.

    I'm reading a book by Terry Pratchett in which he says an old woman's snoring sounds like a man trying to saw a pig in half.

  6. I like the comment about a guy only having to know five colors---none of which are pimento.


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