Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two Totally Different Planets

Through 51 years of life, married to the same man for 32 years, (although the formative years were spent with three sisters), and years spent raising a son, (yet it is clear that as the mom my perspective ruled on most occasions), I can be perplexed by the male/female, Mars/Venus exchange.

It began like this:
A quiet moment at home and D. asks, "What are you thinking?"
A pause, my response, "Nothing,...really."
D., "A guy can say that and really mean it but I don't think women can."

Later, the same week . . .
A friend and male co-worker, C., sits across from my desk and we are discussing the work schedule peppered with general, friendly conversation.  I'm speaking and typing at the computer, glance over and observe C., deep in thought.
Me, "What are you thinking," he blinks me into focus; smiling I insist, "just now what were you thinking?"
His forehead wrinkles in concentration then offers, "Nothing."
Surprised, "Really, you were somewhere else completely."
"I know" he admits, "I was somewhere else but I wasn't thinking of any thing."

Is this what D. meant?  I went to my next "go to" male expert.

L. is back at school but this same week we were visiting and I explained the exchange with D. and C., "Do you agree with Dad?"

"I think it is a difference in men and women." he opined.  "When I'm thinking it is more like blocks of distinct things that I'm passing over, not giving any one thing attention just scanning, but from that scan I can make decisions on any one block.  It's not a stream of thought, one specific thought leading to another so if you asked me what I was thinking I couldn't say a particular thing, so my answer could, and would, be 'nothing.'"

No one will argue that men and women have different perspectives and often times have difficulty seeing/understanding the other.  As a society we have always wrestled with opposing male/female perspectives seeking to provide insight.  The media thrives and prospers on this.  Two popular examples are the humorous movie, When Harry Met Sally or the relationship book Men are from Mars Women are from Venus.

The interview from Good Morning America between the host of The Bachelor, Chris Harrison and Lara Spencer provides a glimpse of the male/female misunderstanding as it happens, (their interview starts at 1:45 into the video with their differing perspectives around 3:00).  See if the differences are as obvious to you.

I enjoy the male/female differences and realize there are some things about men I will never fully understand but that provides me with the opportunity to practice love, patience, acceptance and respect for the men in my life.

This particular item bounced around me all in one week, providing food for thought.  What has recently given you food for thought?

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  1. This was a very good blog and gives one lots to think about. My question might be,after raising 4 girls,having 2 sisters, and now 6 granddaughters, how can we all have such differeent perspectives on just about every subject. Also, your Father gives me his thoughts way before I ask him, usually in no uncertian terms!! (: (: Love, Mom

  2. Men are definitely a breed apart. Lately I've realized that a person might seem stand-offish simply because they're struggling to hold it all together.

  3. We could spend hours and even days on this subject....I have a son who is very ready to express himself when asked and a husband to has to have it all figured out before he answers and my daughter is more like her dad than me so go figure....Yes, I agree men are very different in their approach than women but sometimes I understand them better than I do women who often like to play games...Thanks for this post; it has cause me to ponder a issue all over again....

  4. Oh this total male household always makes me think..."what were they thinking or did they think?" After 32 years of marriage and mother to five boys...I still don't have them figured out!

  5. Oh, men are the kings of one-word answers. I've told mine that "good, fine, and okay" are not describing words. It really stretches them to come up with a word that is when talking about their day. :D