Man Week 2011: Day 4

Happy St. Patrick's Day's! You'll notice Kludge Spot is sporting green in a nod to the Emerald Isle! As we celebrate Irish heritage in America we welcome you to turn your beverages green, talk in a bizarre leprechaun accent, and eat potatoes with boiled meat. Shrug. Of course, this will all be made easier after a few pints of porter! OH, and don't forget to look for that pot at the end of the rainbow!

Now....Welcome to day 4 of Man Week 2011. So far I've alienated my wife, upset close friends and destroyed my page count for the week. All in all another successful man week!!

So what do we have in store for today? Men in social situations, a study in contrast.

"Peter can you call Carl and see if he's coming?"

ring. ring

"Carl? It's Peter."
"Hey. So are you coming over?"
"Cool. Later"

"He's coming hon."
"What time?"
"I dunno..."
"Is Lucy feeling better?"
"I dunno..."
"Did you two actually talk?!"

Of course women will read this and think, "That's the same as my man!" and men will look at this and shrug. They will shrug because they see nothing wrong with this. We called and preformed the exact function required. No more no less.

In contrast:

"Hon can you call Sally and see if she's coming?"

"Sally?! It's June!!"
"June, I was just thinking about you! How did you know!?"
"Intuition. Ha! How strange that is? I was just sitting here yesterday when the phone rang and you'll never guess who was calling me...."

-=20 Minutes Later=-

"So is she coming?"
"Oh, right. I forgot to ask her that... Let me give her another call."

I could not fill a 20 minute conversation with a man on the telephone. Most men would be hard pressed to fill twenty minutes face to face. It's just not who we are.

For the uniformed I present a quick primer of men conversations:

  • Watching T.V.: Not a time for idle chit chat. Sarcasm, cheering and moans are allowed as long as no response from your fellow viewers is required.

  • Playing Games: Whether physical, video, darts or otherwise this is not the time to talk about your feelings. You may taunt, jeer, brag, gloat, belittle and otherwise humiliate your friends. I find that once competition begins all manner of rudeness is expected, understood and ranked. Men who are witty, or especially cruel are highly ranked, while those with a more tender personality will be relegated to refreshment duty. Even with all this jeering and poking fun, no one will get upset and no one will leave the room crying or even hold a grudge.

  • Restroom: DON'T SAY A SINGLE WORD! Do your business and get out.

  • Meal Time: Again, men are objective focused. When eating meals in a group of men you will not hear much conversation. Chewing, groaning, and the occasional utterance of approval for the food is all that you will hear, unless a belching contest erupts.

  • Gathered Round: This is the inner sanctum of male conversation, when men huddle round an object. This is where the lengthly male conversion is born. They will not talk for hours about their children, feeling or gossip but find a huddle and you will finally hear the men. I've seen hours of chat erupt from a huddle by a grill, a car, pair of tickets to the game, a new tool or even a broken pipe. These are man objects and all men feel compelled need to explain the best/right/only/improved method for fixing/using/understanding them. I've literally passed whole afternoons in conversions with other men and then realized we never even asked each other our names.

  • So there you have it. Men and the art of the conversation. Why chat when a nod, expression or simple handshake will suffice? We can and do converses but not about anything so frivolous as what's happening in our lives or what we feel about things. That is understood by how we live. The conversation should not be overused on these things. And that's just the way I see it.

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