Weather Forecast


Women and the war of communication

Communication between The Tribe of Guys and The Tribe of Girls continues to attract the well-meaning slings and arrows of academicians and sociologists. Step aside, I would say to those folks. When it comes to living in glass houses and throwing stones, I can sling it right up there with the best. If the best is what you are.

My credentials are perfectly ridiculous: a pencil, and a divorce. Aside from an apparent lack of academic credentials, I'm about as qualified as anyone to figure out why she said what she said, what she meant by what she said, and what Some Guy heard when he heard what she said. I consider myself to have a Ph.D. in gender miscommunications.

This is not a study of mercy, either offered or begged. We husbands, wives, ex-husbands and ex-wives are the true warriors fighting in the trenches of this battle. We're on the firing line. Forever. We get what we give, and we deserve every bit of it.

We enlisted in this war. There are very few forced conscription processes in marriage. The bottom line: Volunteers don't get mercy.

Men and women who work together, as compared to men and women married together, may at least draw some slight consolation from the knowledge that day-by-day, they are being paid to confuse and annoy one another.

The rest of us sold in cheap and signed the line that said 'til death do us part.

Here's an example of how the two sexes don't talk the same language.

She locked the car and walked in the door, just wearily home from work. Her husband had arrived only moments before her.

She said: "There's a noise in the car that seems to be coming from the trunk of the car." (She wants to rap. This seems a good way to get the mechanical Neanderthal she married to talk to her.)

He said: "That's the kids. I locked them in there last week." (Rap? He wants to nap.)

"See! You always do that ..." (She is suddenly overcome when her rumbling stomach remembers that there is no chocolate left in the house.)

"You're right." (As usual -- which he didn't say. He's almost asleep now, coasting in that fuzzy in-between-ness that comes just before dreamland.)

"Thank you," she says, slightly acidly. (She realizes that he looks brain dead. Her mother was right, she shouldn't have. Was there any chocolate any place in this damned dirty house?)

He said, "Next time, I'll lock 'em in the well pit." Please, he asks the Fates, don't let this get any worse. (He wonders if he can still squeeze one more fishing trip in this week.)

"The noise isn't the same as it was last week," said she. (She's so hungry she could kill. She eyes him.)

"OK, I'll take a look." He goes outside. Various sounds of hammering and grinding come for the next 10 minutes. He comes back in from the attached garage, wearing an insufferable male look on his kisser. "There. That's that. No more noise." (Fishing looks like a sure thing now. He was a great mechanic, for sure.)

"You didn't kill my noise, did you?" She doesn't know why she's angry. But it feels good! "What did you do to my noise? I suppose the next thing you'll want to do is get rid of me!" (She feels fat, suddenly. And hungry. Very hungry.)

"Had to. You leave a noise like that go, next thing you know: BOOM! Car explodes in a ball of fire." (Somehow, what she had just said sounded like something his mother would have said. Now he felt little. And inadequate. Maybe the BOOM was over-compensating for feelings left over from childh--.)

"You can't leave anything alone, can you! Now I'm too fat, and you want to kill the kids. Isn't anything good enough for you?" (He must be brain dead. Doesn't he know she just wants to talk? Her father had been right about him, too.)

"At least," he says, "I didn't talk that noise to death!" (Oh, boy. He said what he meant to say. By even the loosest interpretations of Robert's Rules of Order in an argument between a man and a woman, he loses.)

"You don't love me anymore because there's no chocolate in this house!" (Now, how had that slipped out. Oh, poo! And she had this one won.)

There you have it, fought to a draw. If only real life could end this way.