I’m not good at New Year Resolutions; don’t know really why I even make them.
But I do.
I have learned to make resolutions that are mostly meaningless. If I make them too meaningful, it is altogether more obvious when I fail at the resolution, which is inevitable.
So in the spirit of making meaningless resolutions I have decided on one for 2006.
During 2006 I am going to offer occasional advice to women on how to better get along with your male companion. I intend to accomplish this by pointing out some things about women’s behavior that makes us crazy and is in direct opposition to our ‘male’ thinking process.
Robert Shapiro’s recent post ‘Leadership With Grace’ has a fascinating request for us all to practice benevolent leadership during the coming year. I suggest you read it for far more thoughtful and erudite advice than what I have to offer.
However, I hope by helping women better understand how to integrate with the male mind that I will have provided a public service through my blog. If I can follow Robert’s good advice it will be accomplished benevolently. (Benevolently is hard to spell, thank goodness for spell-check!)
Yes, yes girls I know there are thousands of things men do that drive you mad, but this is the natural province of a female blogger to let us know what those things are. Besides, I don’t happen to know all of them anyway, so it’s your job (female blogger) not mine.
In pursuit of my 2006 resolution I offer the following gentle advice. More will follow as we go through the year. I will start with 3 related and hopefully helpful suggestions.
Two are related to asking questions. For a broad overview of this issue see my blog ‘Brain Research’, November 23, 2005
When men are gathered in the living room on holidays watching football, and all the women are in the kitchen cooking and talking, do not come into the living room and ask “Who is winning” or “What is the score” or “Who is playing?
Here is why. First of all it’s disruptive. More importantly if you look at the upper corner of the screen it already contains all of that information. That’s the way we men get the information. You can actually know the answers to all 3 questions with out opening your mouth. We will never ask another man any of those three questions. That’s the reason that the broadcasting network puts the information up there on the screen. I think that men must produce the games. If women produced the games then that information would not be on the screen. The reasoning of a woman producer would be that it would not allow for the proper questioning and interaction among those watching the game at home. Whatever the case, all the info is right there on the screen for you.
The kinder men will answer you. Most of us will just grind our teeth, especially when it has been asked by five different women in the past 15 minutes.
This part is important too. If you do not have any idea who plays in the NFL or NBA it shouldn’t really matter to you who’s playing since you don’t know any of the teams anyway.
I’m telling you this to protect you. Three years ago the 5 men in my living room at Thanksgiving decided to tell the 7 women in the kitchen that the Torpedoes were beating the Steamboats by 14 points. We were actually watching the Eagles play the Cowboys at the time and Philadelphia was kicking the Cowboys all the way back to Dallas by a sizeable margin.
The first lady came to the edge of the living room and dutifully asked “Who’s playing?”
Our response: The Torpedoes and Steamboats, the most ridiculous names we could think up.
The next entrant decided on “What’s the score?” We answered that the Torpedoes were ahead by 14 points. Both ladies seemed satisfied enough to return to their world.
Later during dinner, my sister-in-law wanted to know what city the Steamboats played for. My brother told her Memphis which appeared to be fine with her. We also relayed to them that the Torpedoes had prevailed in the end.
Our story was blown when my mother called her brother to wish him a happy Thanksgiving. She cheerfully told him that the ‘boys’ had watched the Torpedoes and the Steamboats from Memphis play football on TV. The lies unraveled quickly amid my uncle’s great confusion. He had not heard of the Memphis Steamboats.
And oh yeah, along the same lines, (Advice #2) when you enter the living room and we are watching a movie it is not necessary to ask “What movie is this?”
Men don’t ask. We just watch. The name of the movie is mostly immaterial to the content of the movie.
When you ask, it irritates us because we already know the above mentioned truth. That is, the name of the movie is mostly immaterial to the content of the movie. This is particularly true if you have never heard of the movie in the first place.
When you are all finished watching the movie you may name it whatever you wish. Asking what is its name is just disruptive and non-productive to actually enjoying the movie.
Advice #3: When you are watching movies please don’t talk to them. I watched Munich during the holidays at the theatre. The lady sitting next to me in a ‘full to capacity’ theatre was very quick to inform all around her when one of the actors had a gun or if another looked a little suspicious to her. This verbal play of hers with the story line of the movie went on for three hours. (The whole movie) Surely she was tired at the end.
When one of the actors is wiring a bomb in the bad guys’ house it isn’t necessary to tell your date or husband that the good guy is wiring a bomb in the bad guys’ house. It might be helpful to you to articulate this out loud for your own understanding, but not for ours.
You are welcome for the generous and benevolent advice. Remember to practice and we will be less annoyed.
Please feel free to comment on how we might also improve our relationships with you. Except for cleaning up the kitchen. We already know that we just don’t want to do it.