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The Sexes: Like 2 Ships Passing at Night

Lucy laughs at the differences between men and women.

The differences between men and women are staggering; it’s a bit of a miracle we’ve gotten along all this time. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, just as with everything in life. But most often, we’re as different as night and day.

Women tend to be more flowery in our handwriting. Have you ever seen a man dot his “I’s” with a heart or a happy face? Even if a woman is leaving a note to let you know that a family member is in the hospital, it’s generally ended with assurances that everything will be ok. Then it’s sealed with a lipstick imprint of a kiss. If men remember to leave a note, it’s hit or miss to understand his chicken scratch.

When a woman goes to the grocery store, she’s generally armed with a list. And then she sees that canned tomatoes are on sale and even though she didn’t need them, you can never have too many on hand - into the cart they go. As she continues, she realizes that while she has onions on her list, she forgot about lettuce and carrots. As she rounds the corner from the produce aisle, she runs into a lady who’s handing out free samples of cereal along with a coupon. That cereal is now nestled amongst the lettuce and carrots. By the time she gets to the check out, the cart that should be holding 20 items is now overflowing and in danger of toppling over. As she’s waiting in line, she’ll pick up a magazine, add a pack of mints, a miniature hand sanitizer, and, oh, look – batteries.

A man will walk into the store and promptly forget what he was supposed to get, even though not 10 minutes ago his wife asked him to get milk and a loaf of bread. He thinks he remembered something about beer and promptly heads to the liquor store.

When it comes to our children, women can tell you the names of all their friends, which one needs a dentist appointment, who was invited to a birthday party and thus buys a present, knows the name of their girl/boy scout troop leader, remembers to give them lunch money and knows pretty much everything about them right down to their favorite color.

A man notices small humans living in the house, vaguely remembers bringing them home from the hospital, and generally refers to them as “hey, you – the one with the brown/red/blonde hair.”

Another huge difference between men and women are toys. Women gave them up back before they were teens. Men just get bigger, more expensive ones, like cars. And ones with lots and lots of remote controls.

When it comes to laundry, women are meticulous; we might not like doing it, but we know how it’s done. We sort clothes into colors, then separate jeans and other heavier fabric from T-shirts. We keep lingerie and underwear in yet another pile. We have at least two different types of detergent to use on various fabrics, and fabric softener is purchased not only to keep clothing static-free, but for its smell. After we put a load in the washer, we choose the correct setting; we understand that the white setting means super hot water, while the express setting is only used for lightly soiled garments.

A man hates laundry and will only consider doing it once he’s worn every article of clothing in his closet at least twice. He’ll wear socks that don’t match, and will even grab a worn pair of underwear and turn it inside out. When he gets to the washer, he’ll take huge armfuls of clothes and jam it inside. If he’s ever heard of sorting, he’s either forgotten it or considers it optional. Then, the man who has every electronic device available on the market, who reads PC Magazine and any other publication that discusses gadgets, will stare at the settings on the machine as if it had just landed from space. Inevitably, he’ll decide on express wash, because that cycle must mean it gets clothes done fast.

Women understand the fine art of communication, and develop vast support systems. Men have only two types of “friends,” guys at work and guys he goes bowling with. This may explain why we communicate so differently amongst ourselves.

Women know that sometimes, all their friend needs is to vent. We understand that the only proper words to be uttered during such rants are “I can’t believe that,” “oh my goodness” and the Mac daddy of them all: “tell me more.”

On the rare occasions that men speak to each other about something other than sports or work, the conversation lasts less than a minute and then it’s over. If there was any sound made by the “listener,” it’s most often a grunt.

And of course, any discussion about the differences between men and women can’t be complete without bringing up restrooms. In a social situation, a woman will get up to go to the restroom, which signals all the females in the group to go along. Women use it like a social lounge. You will never in the history of mankind hear a guy get up and say, “Hey, Joe, gotta go to the bathroom – wanna come?” That would be grounds for revoking his man card.

All in all, we’re pretty different and the reason they say “opposites attract.” And if you think about it, life would be boring if we weren’t. We celebrate the good times and cling to each other during the bad. We find comfort in our differences as we learn to count on each other. We become the other’s beacon of light; a safe harbor from the storm. Possibly, that was the point after all.

So maybe it really isn’t a miracle that we get along. Perhaps it’s simply the magic of ordinary days.

Like Lucy on Facebook, where you can read more of the story.

Ron Goralski September 02, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Jennifer: Are you an unhappy person Sweetie? When I'm cranky I read, Tuesdays With Morrie. Then I'm all better again.
Jennifer Restwick September 02, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Personally, I think it's a tired topic but you write well so I will try other articles of yours. I'm glad you're healthy and I wish you all the best.
Jennifer Restwick September 02, 2012 at 09:41 PM
What then, Ron, you gaze into a Thomas Kinkade painting and dream of being back in high school? Try 'Motherless Brooklyn', 'Lamb' and 'Infinite Jest.' Don't fear actual literature!
marty smith September 03, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I thought the article was very well written and entertaining. It's not the topic but how it was written.
Ralph Lydick September 03, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Funny and entertaining as always.

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