Saturday, March 27, 2010

Us V. Them

I have been working on a new theory for a couple of days. I think I finally understand the difference between men and women. I know..I know...there have been scads of books, articles and such purporting to pinpoint the differences between the genders and I haven't read any of them. But they're wrong anyway.

I think that the central difference (and I generalize this to all men and women even though I can say this only applies to me and the wife...I feel empowered like that) is that men embrace sameness and consistency and women are more comfortable with change. That's it, but that's a whole heckuvalot.

I couldn't figure out why something I said on a Tuesday got me in to trouble while a similar comment on a Monday went unnoticed or even appreciated. Or why a food which went over well for a certain length of time suddenly was out of favor. What is wrong with being in a rut? Why is there the sudden need to change the bedding, or the furniture or the color of the living room? I'm a guy and I have no problem with it as it is. There must be some deep chemical need in women to change things every once in a while.

Why don't guys ask for directions? Because we're already going somewhere and to stop or change is against the inertia. It isn't laziness which keeps us from wanting to come on errands, but the rituals we have established and a lack of interest in shaking them up. We call it "superstition" when a football player always wears the same shoes or follows the same pre-game practices. maybe it is just that he's a guy and that's what makes him comfortable.

Men don't spontaneously decide to go clothes shopping. We buy what we need because we need it and want to be done with it quickly. The experience of shopping is indulging in change. We are goal directed because the process is just an exercise in uncomfortable shifting. Let's get to the conclusion so we can begin to readjust. We like things like sports betting odds because they give us a statistic sense of what will happen and we can (at least provisionally) rely on that as a near-certainty so we are in a comfort zone.

Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, some men like change and some women are ok with tradition and staying the course, but I think that the ebb and flow of female hormones and the fact that women have a cycle of changes which can be seen as inconstancy might provide a biological basis for differences.

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