As I encountered females in my life; classmates, teachers, Mrs. Abernathy down the way who Mom thought dressed too “racy”, I came to realize that women were far more different from men than I could have possibly imagined. Forget Venus and Mars, often, it seems we’re not even in the same solar system, at least when it comes to how the two genders’ think.
Being a life-long observer of the females in my midst, (for scientific purposes only, of course) I am fascinated by the foreign, nay, alien approach to how women’s thought patterns work. As a result, I am a sucker for those lists one reads in Cosmo and the like, which try to contrast the differences in the mental workings of males and females. I believe that by better understanding the female psyche, I can become a better husband, or at least, better at pressing the right mental buttons to get my wife, Cupcake, to do my bidding.
I came across one such list recently that purported to describe the top differences in the thought processes of men that women should know about. Since Cupcake is quite female, to say the least, I felt it was incumbent on me to share the article with her. Timing is everything in a marriage and I wisely waited for the right moment which, in this case, meant during a commercial break in Dancing with the Criminal Idols.
“Hey, Hon,” I waved the periodical at her, “listen to this; it’s The Top Five Things Women Should Know About Men’s Brains”.
Cupcake snickered. “Men’s brains? It’s a fiction piece then?”
“No, seriously, dear,” I pressed on gamely, “By understanding how my brain works, it will help you understand me better. Plus, I can infer from the information that women must process information differently than these five things which will be instructive for me to understand you.”
“What if I don’t care to understand how you think?” she grunted. “I don’t have all day to sit around waiting for you to have a thought for me to understand. Besides, I think I understand you quite well, thank you very much. You’re not really all that complex, frankly.”
“Yeah, but by understanding men’s brains, you will be able to deal with men more effectively to maximize the happiness potential of our relationships. It says so right here,” I responded thrusting the magazine at her.
“All right,” Cupcake relented. “Read me the first one. It had better be interesting. I’m missing my show.”
“I’ll try and make it as relevant to your life as your TV show,” I remarked wryly. “Okay, here goes; according to the article; men’s brains are more attuned to hierarchy and their place in any perceived pecking order. Men are happiest and least aggressive, as evidenced by lower levels of testosterone, when they have a definite sense of their place in the organization.”
“You must be the happiest guy on earth,” observed Cupcake. “You definitely know who is boss.”
“I definitely know who isn’t,” I sighed ruefully. “but it’s not just you that hold dominion over my person, but also the bank, the government, the Criminal Code of Canada. I have lots of bosses and darned few underlings.”
“Read another one of your brain facts,” suggested Cupcake, her interest obviously piqued. “I could use a chuckle.”
“Okay, let’s see… “I scanned quickly, surprised at her interest. “Number two claims men’s brains are hard-wired to fix things. When someone introduces a problem, male crania are designed to “Google search” for a solution. There is no area in male brains that create the “sympathy response” where one wallows together in mutual self-pity instead of focusing on the problem.”
“You made up that whole’ wallowing’ part, didn’t you?” Cupcake squinted suspiciously. “Look, if your brain was hard-wired to fix things, why is the pipe under the kitchen sink still loose?”
I had to admit she had me on that one.
“How about this,” I ventured, “Men’s brains are designed to be far more possessive and “protective of turf” than women’s brains. They must be talking about why it ticks me off when you invade my computer to play your stupid on-line jigsaw puzzles.”
“Last time I checked, both our names are on the deed to this house,” Cupcake observed mildly. “Is that why you built that fence around the backyard? I’m surprised you didn’t just pee around the perimeter to mark your territory.”
“Check this one out,” I offered, ignoring her attempts at provocation. “Men’s brains actually react more emotionally than women’s but men manage to mask it better.”
“That’s only because,” Cupcake explained, “women go through life viewing the world through an emotion lens. We are therefore better equipped to deal with emotionally charged issues that men have trouble managing when suppression and distraction strategies fail to work.”
“How do you know that? Have you been reading my ‘Psychology Today’ magazines?” I gaped in surprise.
“No,” smiled Cupcake enigmatically, “I know it because it’s what I feel.”
“Oh ,really?” I smirked. “What else do you feel?”
“Cupcake thought for a moment, “I feel like some yogurt and granola with a handful of those frozen mixed berries we have in the freezer. Be a dear and whip that up, would you?”
“Why don’t you get it yourself?” I snapped.
“I just wanted to remind you who is boss so you’ll be happy knowing your place in the pecking order. Those magazines have some darned good information!”