Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with OM
I was rather surprised to discover today that I am not a woman after all. I may look like one, but try as I much as I may, I was unable to identify with the “typical” female behaviour described by OM in his recent post about Those things women do… Perhaps it is a matter of perspective or perhaps I’ve been too busy juggling the daily challenges of existence to find time to fit into the required mould. Or perhaps… it was an accident of birth and I was allocated the wrong gender? This will not do.
Now… I know that OM’s posts are often tongue-in-cheek, so my reply ought to be allowed to be in kind. What do women do exactly? Here are OM’s findings:
They “Ask where something is before actually looking for it first.”
Yep. My grandpa used to do this a lot. Poor granny was forever searching for the things he had misplaced. Wait a moment… This does’t quite fit. I’m supposed to be searching for evidence in the women’s drawers. I’m more a woman of action myself. If something is missing, I’ll go find it. No question about it.
Need to delve deeper… Aha! Got it!
Before smart phones and map apps came to the fore, I would always ask policemen for directions. I figured that since they patrol the area, they are in a better position to tell me where things are than anyone else. I do the same when shopping in a supermarket I’m unfamiliar with. Rather than wondering aimlessly around the shop floor, I ask the nearest assistant to help me find whatever it is I’m looking for.
You know what. I’ve a mind that “looking for it first” is a bit of a time-waster when it comes to both. Whether you happen to be a man or a woman, when others are in the know: ask. You are on this earth for a limited amount of time; I say you’ve got better things to do than going on a wild goose chase when someone could help if only you dared request it.
Sorry, OM. Afraid you lost me on this one. It’s a rational choice issue when it comes to time and resource management, rather than gender-based preference 😉
“Upon marriage women suddenly lose the ability to reach anything above their shoulders,” says OM.
It is the greatest of burdens for husbands everywhere, reaching out for that top shelf. It’s become an endemic problem; so much so that the top reason given by men when filing for divorce in 2013 was “over-straining of wrist due to wife’s refusal to reach for anything above her shoulders.”
I was shocked to discover that the additional weight of her engagement and wedding rings did not stop weightlifting champion Svetlana Podobedova from securing a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. In fact, being in possession of a marriage certificate proved to be so unproblematic that I had to rush online to search for proof of a divorce. Surely no married woman would’ve bothered to lift that thing up when there was a husband in the stands to do it for her? Perhaps Podobedova did not hear of this rule. Must draft up an emergency letter to inform her asap!
A word of warning from, OM, so take note: “Women, if you have a husband or boyfriend that is secure enough about themselves not to care if you go out with your girlfriends all night that doesn’t mean we want to hear about the whole damn evening the next day… all day.”
I hear you, man. I hear you. You’ve no idea how many pub night stories I’ve had to listen to in my day. This happened, then that happened, then the other. Same goes for blow-by-blow rendition of any other kind of outing. Don’t even get me started about sports.
You’re right, OM. Women do it too, but there’s a catch. That glint in the eye when we tell our story, delving for the most inconsequential of details… ever notice it? Oh. Yes. We are having a blast. I’ll let you into a secret: women don’t go on all day long about what they’ve been up to because they want to share. It’s payback for all the boring stuff we’ve had to listen to day in day out, week after week, ad nauseam.
Alright. I may have embellished a little. Ok. A LOT. No matter. You liked it enough to put a ring on it, so listening to your other half’s revelling narratives is part of the deal – no matter which side of the gender divide you find yourself on.
This must be a specifically American problem. You see, us Brits have centuries of experience to draw on when it comes to our significant others’ physical ability. We need not ask what they can and cannot do.
We are rather big on subtext over here too. However, when there is something we need a little helping hand with “Would you be so kind as to…?” is always the question of choice. 😉
Oho. I must tread carefully when it comes to the next one. It sounds like a toe or two will be in need of bandaging any moment now: “If your husband or boyfriend does the dishes or laundry try not to complain. If your significant other does the cleaning ALL THE TIME, just keep your damn mouth shut period!”
You heard him, ladies. Let’s keep calm and carry on. We are all aware that the division of labour when it comes to household tasks has been rather hard on men over the years. Just think of what they have to deal with on a daily basis. They wake up early in the morning, make breakfast to give you that extra half hour in bed, get the kids ready, have to do the school run before rushing off to work, and it does’t stop there. Once at work, there is the matter of all those women colleagues having an easier go of it when it comes to high pay and promotion, so you understand why at the end of the day they might be unable to be as attentive when sweeping floors, washing dishes, polishing the silver and so on.
Give them a break. It’s not easy juggling a career, kinds and being a domestic goddess on top of all that. Sorry, domestic god. I meant to say domestic god.
Make sure to let “your man” know that you appreciate all their hard work. And if your whites turn pink every now and then because he accidentally put a red sock in the washing machine, just shrug and smile. We like pink, don’t we?
In fact, go one step further and buy them something pretty to say thank you. OM is quite right: “These are tough economic times women” and certainly we should’t “get angry at your husband for actually not getting you a gift.” Instead, I think we should focus on what we can do to make them feel the love. We just don’t take the time to make romantic gestures these days. Some men pretend that they would rather get tickets to a football match than receive flowers, but we all know that’s not true.
When it comes to OM’s next piece of advice I have to say I’m at a disadvantage. Jealousy is something I am utterly unfamiliar with. As a writer too, it makes life rather difficult. I have to add it to my list of things to research, rather like a sociopath having to learn how normal human beings react emotionally to a situation. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You must have OM’s take on this first:
“If you are the jealous type of women than understand that about yourself and try to think rationally. This is hard, I know, but before you snap at your husband or boyfriend for looking at the chest of the waitress stop and ask yourself this, “was he may be reading her name tag?””
You see my problem now? I am not the jealous type. If my husband looks at another woman’s chest, chances are it’s because I’ve made a comment about it first and he’s inspecting the supporting evidence. Or unsupported – as the case may be.
I am also yet to find myself in a situation where rational thought eludes me. Although I have to say that my interlocutor underestimates the value of an emotional response: at least you can be certain that you haven’t married a sociopath, and that’s something in this day and age. Have you seen the news lately? Domestic homicide is on the rise.
And this bring’s us nicely to OM’s last point: “Women seem to love social drama. They watch it on TV and chatter about it with their friends. Suddenly a “friend’s” relationship problem is your own because you decided to reexamine your own partner due to your friend’s current drama. That is insane.”
Ahem. I’m yet to come across a woman who does that, although if OM says they exist it must be so. In the absence of personal experience in this case, I will have to ask you, dear readers, to share you own, if you would be so kind.
What is the one thing you want the woman or man in your life to stop doing?
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