Thursday, January 22, 2004

There is a problem with male/female communications. Some of you may have noticed this once or twice in your life.

It can begin as early as the first conversation:

Man says “Hi.”
Woman says “Hi.”

By now, both sides have received mistaken impressions. The woman is thinking, “Hey, he wants to talk to me.” The man is thinking “She said hi. I bet she thinks I’m hot. We might have sex.”

The truth is more mundane, but who wants to hear that?

Sadly the level of miscommunication and self-delusion rarely improves.

This is partly because we hear what we want to hear. We’ll spin anything to try to fit what we want life to be, or sometimes what we’re afraid it might be. Someone once told me that everybody is the star of their own drama. The older I get, the more truth I see in that statement. We make more of some things than they really are, and ignore the things we don’t want to see.

I think the truth is not that we can’t understand the other sex. It's that we don’t really try. We want them to understand us. We want them to play by our rules, and play our game. We want them to have a leading role as the romantic interest in our drama. We don’t want to star in theirs.

Then again, sometimes you find out you’re just the comic relief.

I’m just gotten out of a really, really bad relationship. Well, it wasn’t really a relationship, but I wanted it to be. And sometimes deluded myself into thinking it was. Really, I was just the poor schmuck who can't believe the bad girl is bad. "No," I thought. "Nobody could lie that much, and that blatantly. Nobody could be that self-centered." Yes, yes they can.

But it hurt a lot, finding out that I wasn’t anywhere near as important to her as she was to me. It’s a position I’ve tried really, really hard not to get into for a long, long time. And had succeeded, until now. But I fell into the trap of hearing what I wanted to hear, because it made life better for awhile.

The longer you deny truth, though, the more it feels like you’ve been whacked upside the head with a 2-by-4 when it finally hits.

Why do they call it a 2-by-4 when it’s not actually 2 inches by 4 inches? That’s false advertising. I ought to use that measuring system when people ask me personal questions about the size of my genitalia.

But life goes on. I’ve met someone cool, and though it’s not a “Love at first sight” kinda thing, we’ve started out with some real honesty. It’s a nice change. I’m really trying to listen to what she says, and not interpret it in guy language. That's not the language she's speaking. And I think she’s trying to understand me. Not on our own terms, but each other’s.

It’s a good start.

Remember - as George. W. Bush said, “Our nation must come together to unite.” How can you argue with a statement that inspired?


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