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Column: POINT/COUNTERPOINT

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / March 25, 1998

SO WHAT IS IT WITH THESE WOMEN ANYWAY?

So what is it about women anyway? Now, don’t get me wrong. I lovewomen. They are endlessly intriguing. At the same time, they can beendlessly exasperating. Why can’t a woman be more like a man? (I know, Iknow, straight out of “My Fair Lady.”)One of the biggest differences between men and women is in communications. Women communicate. They are socialized to talk to oneanother and they can be brutally honest about it. Men are not socializedthat way. For the most part, they do not talk to one another, and when theydo, they lie.

As a perfect example, when there’s a mixed group together, women go to the rest room as a group and they talk to one another. Men go singly and,should they encounter another man in the rest room, not only do they not speak, they don’t acknowledge one another’s presence. It’s a guy thing.Women cannot comprehend this. However it goes far to explain why menare such poor communicators with women. They don’t know how. A womanwill ask a question and usually not get an answer, and sometimes not even acknowledgement. This exasperates women. Men don’t see it as any bigdeal.

Sometimes a woman will ask a man to do something, such as take out the trash. He heard her but he’s involved in watching TV. He plans to do it athis earliest convenience. She wants it done now. He figures the garbagetruck isn’t coming before the next commercial. She wants it done now.Next thing he knows, the trash is in his lap.

My wife (yes, I’m married, 18 years and counting, thank you!) works in an office dominated by women. She says she prefers to work with menbecause women in her office are gossipy, power-hungry and vicious to one another. They get a taste of a little authority and become witches.Another problem, even with my wife, is in the way she tells stories. Iwork as a reporter. I have some little knowledge on how to tell a story.She rambles, drags in extraneous detail and will often tell me the same story four or five times in the course of a week, using the identical language as though she’s reading from a script. That makes me nuts. I callher on it and she replies she “wasn’t sure you heard me the first time.”She also hates my driving, saying I tailgate. I say it’s not tailgating unlessI hit someone. You get one guess which of us has been in more accidents byhitting someone from behind. That makes her nuts.I could go on, but I figure I’m in enough trouble as it is.

By Rebecca Burk

MEN – SOME ARE ALMOST HOUSEBROKEN

Some men are wonderful, and if you are lucky enough to get a good one they’ll do anything for you, even though it may take them awhile.

Well, I was one of the lucky ones. My fianc, Brad, is a great guy, and he’lldo just about anything for me. But sometimes, just like any other man inthe world, he messes up a bit. All men have their faults.I’ll expand on that and share a few more of the faults I find in men.

With men, you never know if they are listening to you.

Sometimes Brad doesn’t respond when I speak. He just sits there,sometimes vacantly staring at nothing, when I’m telling a story.

Although I would like some interest in what I’m saying shown, that’s fine while I’m telling the story because I wouldn’t want anyone to interrupt me anyway. But when the story is finished I want some feedback, of which Iget not much from Brad or other men I speak to, but plenty from women friends.

They respond with adamance, always leaving me with their opinion on the discussed matter. Sometimes we disagree, but because I enjoy theconflict it doesn’t really matter. No hard feelings.But Brad doesn’t argue, therefore I get angry over little things, because like I said before some conflict is always nice.

Men can’t make decisions. Even the simplest ones are often tough for them.”Whatever you want to do,” is not an acceptable answer, but to many men it is.

Let me give you an example.

Brad and I were eating dinner one night. I was about to sit down and Irealized that I still needed to get a fork. So I opened the drawer to get myutensil and, thinking I would be nice, I asked Brad if he needed one, too.

Brad looked very confused, almost as if I had asked him something in another language. His eyes got wide and he couldn’t speak. So I asked him again if he needed a fork. He started to stutter, and by thistime, annoyed, I got him a fork whether he needed one or not and threw it on the counter.

See what I mean. Men can’t make decisions. I know that if I don’t have afork and I am about to eat something that requires a fork, then obviously I need a fork. It really is very simple, but in this case was not.There’s another thing that is often mistaken for simplicity. Asking a manto do something for you.

Brad’s pretty good about this one, however he sometimes gets sidetracked, just like the rest of the male community.

I recently bought some new cosmetics at the mall when we were in Jackson visiting his parents. I left them in the car over night, but I wantedto use them the next morning. So I asked Brad to get them for me while Itook a shower, because he was already dressed and was going outside anyway.

So, after I showered I got dressed as usual and went in the other room to put on my makeup as most women do every day. Alas, the makeup was notthere yet. So I went to my car to get it, followed by Brad, saying, “I reallywas about to go get that. Really.”Yeah right. He forgot and even admitted it to me later.Oh well, I suppose life is pretty darn good, and only some minor improvements are necessary if these are the only things I argue about with my future husband.

Leonard Gray and Rebecca Burk are reporters for L’Observateur.

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