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Man versus, Woman

Confusion, or should I say, husband, be thy name?

The differences between men and women are often lamented, as well as celebrated, by therapists, comedians, and humorists alike. Nothing has been more apparent to me than the gender differences between myself and my husband this past week. He's on vacation, and I'm striving to be ultra nice while he's off. A real stretch considering our recent road trip.

On Monday we went to a water park in Atlanta. My husband is not a big believer in gently tapping the brakes, and I'm a paranoid passenger in the car. Needless to say, the trip was a terrifying experience for me, and annoying for him. We finally arrived at the park, thanks to my constant tapping of the "air brakes" and my insistent need to cling (for 2 hours) to the car door. He spent five minutes searching for a parking spot instead of listening to my wifely advice of, "Park anywhere and we'll walk to the entrance." Considering there were fifty or more parking spaces at the rear of the lot, I'm still not sure what took him so long to park. Another case of "she said, he ignores."

And take today. He purchased a computer. The keyboard doesn't work and the thing has glitches. After nine, I kid you not, nine hours of fiddling with the @#@$!!! thing, he's just now coming to the conclusion that he might need to take it back. I told him that an hour after the thing didn't work. It was the display model at Sam's. Hey, you get what you pay for. But I must admit to laughing a lot while watching him try to get online help using a virtual keyboard. In other words, he had to painstakingly tap each letter using his mouse instead of typing away. Have you ever tried a live chat using your mouse to click letters to make words? Ack.

All in all, it's been an amusing and enlightening experience. Woman nags, man ignores. Woman is right, man is wrong, but refuses to see reason because woman is so irritating. (Hey, I admit it. I'm annoying, but moreso because I'm usually right. *grin*)

That Men are from Mars Women are from Venus debate comes to mind. Those many instances where I multi-task and he concentrates feverishly on one project at a time. When he can't find the syrup bottle that's just behind the box of noodles, or the milk right in front of his face in the fridge. Leaving dirty socks on the floor, two feet from the hamper. Giving advice instead of just listening to my hard day with the kids. Or his need to "watch" baseball to relax. He's clearly sleeping while the game is on, but should I dare turn it off, he suddenly wakes as if he's been watching it all along and demands the channel be left alone.

But to be fair, I'm certainly no saint. I'm bossy, stubborn, and think nothing of wanting to change the furniture around or buy a new desk to replace the one we got four years ago, mostly because my taste has changed. If it were up to him, he'd still use cardboard boxes as end tables. I like to talk, and I love to read. (The house is often a mess, but I make deadlines.) And I have a need to be told I'm appreciated. Often. Yes, I'm a woman.

I find it amusing that so many of my husband's traits translate to men all over the world. The friends I talk to, the movies I watch and the books I read show that he's everywhere. He's in every hero and villain, every alpha and beta out there. So what is it exactly that makes the genders so different? Levels of testosterone? Brain chemistry? Body parts?

Sigh. I wish I knew. Now if I could just get him to return that stupid computer, I'd get a little peace.



Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Marie,

I have to say, I think that although your hubby seems to live up to the stereotypes, they are in my opinion just that. I've known many men who are not afraid to ask for directions; who multi-task; who listen to me. Not to mention men who nag and worry about whether the house is clean. My husband hates sports and knows where almost everything in the house is stored. And if he doesn't know, he's not at all shy about asking. (I ask him, just as often!)

Society perhaps encourages men and women to act out these stereotypes. And obviously some men do think and act like they come from Mars. But perhaps we do both men and women a disservice by perpetuating these conventions in our writing. Certainly, I personally don't find this sort of male all that romantic!

(Can you tell that this is a hot-button issue for me LOL?)

Just my opinion...!


Marie Harte said...

I'm always willing to agree to disagree. Of course stereotypes are just that, broad generalizations of people that don't account for everyone. I needed to post about this because one, my husband was being the proverbial XYer that day, and two, I think the topic is fascinating.
I grew up with one brother, a father and mother. I've been to school with both sexes, obviously, but as I grew older, I spent much of my time with the opposite sex. The predominantly male populated military and trucking industry are full of stereotypes, oddballs, individuals and the like. But most of the men I've met embody like traits, both good and bad.

I like writing about men and women, and I like attributing both conventional and unconventional characteristics to both. People can perceive good and bad in everything I write, but I'm not writing romance to instruct, but to entertain. Heck, I never thought that writing this post would provoke anything more than a laugh, yet it did.

Whether men come from Mars or a closer planet (haha), I wouldn't want to live without them.

Thanks for commenting!
Cheers, Marie