Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Men vs. Women

I wrote this during my battle with breast cancer. This also appears on my blog, The Brunette Lucy vs. Breast Cancer & Cancer Can Suck It!

My son, Dakota, is trying to take this whole breast cancer thing with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, it’s a women’s disease, & he’s just turning 15 this Wednesday (boy, that’s a WHOLE other story!). Anyway, it’s not something your average male kid-type wants to discuss. Thankfully, he has a good dad, who’s a good listener & they have a good relationship. They can discuss the situation, & Dakota can express, as best he can, his feelings about this ordeal. However, a discussion between the males of the species is a wonder to behold. There is very little said, yet, they seem to get by just fine. Me, & most women, on the other hand, spend hours on the phone with our friends.

Men, by nature, are “doers” & phone calls are brief & to the point. You can’t bring a problem to them & just complain about it the way you would a girlfriend. For example, this would be a typical conversation between two women:

Woman 1: “I went to Bon Ton yesterday because they were having a sale. They only had ONE of the dresses I wanted. Plus, it was a size too big.”

Woman 2: “That’s awful! Why does that always happen?”

1: “I know! I went through every sale rack AND the return rack looking for my size. Still, nothing. ”

2: “Did you get a salesgirl?”

1: “Good luck trying to find one.”

2: “I think it’s a case of bait & switch.”

I could continue to write this conversation, as it could go on for hours, but you get the idea. Usually, however, this situation is resolved in one of two ways. The complaining & sympathizing will go on for hours until the aggrieved woman is all complained and/or cried out. Then the conversation will change to something completely different.

The second is that between the two of them, they work up a good old case of mad. Then, they call their other girlfriends, & they, too, work themselves into a big ol’ case of mad. Then, they’ll all work together on a letter to the manager of the store. This can often turn into a petition, which is signed by at least 50 of the original complainants’ friends, her friend’s friends, family members & the list goes on. This is either hand delivered or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, followed up by several phone calls to insure that the manager of the store is aware of the grievance, & doesn’t go away until the beleaguered manager turns over “buy one get one free coupons” to each lady on the petition, along with a well thought out, 2 page apology letter.

This is what women call turning lemons into lemonade. Men call it the ODGMISPMISIDAYAIBNLTCOS AND/OR ABIYPJMIS syndrome (Oh, Dear God, make it stop, please, make it stop, I’ll do anything you ask, including but not limited to, cessation of swearing and/or ark building, if you’ll please just make it stop). Don’t worry, ladies, the men know how to pronounce the syndrome, although they usually shorten it to an expletive. That, or some other form of universal man language.

For men, however, the conversation will only go one way. Observe:

Man 1: “Went to Bon ton to buy a shirt. They didn’t have my size.”

Man 2: “Uh-huh.”

Man 1: “Got a bigger one, tucked it in, & nobody will know.”

Man 2: “Good thinking. Do you think McNabb is going to leave Philadelphia?”

The information has been shared, the solution decided upon, & now it’s on to sports. All in little more than a few grunts. Women’s heads would spin if this was the extent of a conversation between them. And don’t even get me started on the solution that the men worked out. If a woman put a dress on that was one size too large, our butts would look too big. Can you imagine THAT little tete e tete? But, the minimalist approach works for guys. Weird, I know, but there it is.

In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter what form conversation takes. As long as the lines of communication are open, who cares? Grunt, complain, laugh, joke, pound your chest, whatever. Emotions & the ability to share them are what make us unique & human. Having good family & friends to unburden our loads in whatever form it takes, is such a blessing. Trust me; if I didn’t have my family & friends to support me, along with a few “earthly angels”, during this trying time, I doubt very much that I could be so optimistic. Leaning on them & my faith in God have gotten me so much farther than if I had to go this alone.

Sometimes, the Footprints in the Sand are all types & forms of earthly angels that God sends to do His work. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed to have been carried throughout most of this journey.

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.