Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It Boggles The Male Mind

Women amaze me. Not just in the typical sense that women amaze men but I'm talking about how they think. With that comment I can already hear most of you saying, "Give it up, you'll never understand them." I'm not trying to understand them, I'm just making an observation of why I hold them in awe sometimes.

My wife has a female friend and they sometimes go out to dinner together (that is, without me). They have been known to have marathon meal breaks. When she finally gets home, my wife tells me that "she needed to talk [or we were talking] and lost track of time." I just don't see how women can do that.

We had dinner with this same friend last night and, as will happen very often, our friend talked about her recent conversations with her mother. Her father passed away somewhat recently and she calls her mother almost daily now. Listening to her discuss what they talked about, what is going on with other members of the family, and how her mother is feeling emotionally these days just fascinates me. It's not so much the actual content that dumbfounds me, it's the detail with which she presents it. I cannot recall a single conversation I've had with, well, anybody that I have been able to glean, much less recall, that much detail.

My parents don't hear from me very often. When I have something to say, I'll give them a call. I don't call "just to say Hi." If I did, it would be a very short conversation.

Joe: "Hi mom"
Mom: "Hi. What's up."
J: "Not much. Just haven't talked in a while and wanted to say hello."
M: "Oh, well it's nice to hear from you. Anything going on."
J: "Not so much."
M: "Want to say hi to your dad?"
J: "Sure."

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I've tried. I really have. I have sat at home and told myself that I should call them because I haven't talked to them in a while. I start toward the phone then I wonder what I'm going to talk about. I play some version of the conversation above in my head and give up on the idea. It's just as easy to send an email to my dad that says, "I'm still alive. Just wanted you to know."

It's not that I don't love my parents or family or friends. I don't have kids. Talking about my job tends to go over their heads a lot. The dog is too old to still be doing anything cute and translatable into dialogue. The wife and I really don't get out much. So, what is there to talk about? I could complain but they don't want to hear it and I would prefer not to be so depressing.

So, ladies, I applaud you. Your ability to converse about the most trivial of subjects and to actually make it interesting is worthy of an award. I just don't know which one.

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