Having been married for over a decade, I’ve learned a few things about the male gender (or species, as some would call it). Most importantly, I think I’ve finally discovered the answer to the age-old single girl question: “WHAT THE HELL IS HE THINKING?!”
I am here to tell you that I’ve uncovered this well-hidden secret. The answer is ”nothing.” Yes, ladies, 85% of the time, he’s really not thinking about anything that you think he’s thinking about. Odds are he is thinking about sex, food, sports, work, or his aching back. But, rarely is he thinking what we think he’s thinking.
For example, when my husband and I first started dating, he let a weekend go by without asking me out. It wasn’t just any weekend, it was a 3-day Memorial Day weekend. He called me throughout the week to say “hi,” but never asked me out. I obsessed! What is he thinking? Why is he not asking me out? Maybe he met someone else. What did I do wrong? I called all my girlfriends, but none of them had answers. I went out and purchased that “Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus” book to lend clarity to the situation. That, followed by a pint of Haagen Dazs and a bag of Fritos did nothing to satisfy my need to know.
After we were married, and I figured he wasn’t going anywhere, I asked about his egregious faux pas. I asked him: “What were you thinking? Were you not sure about me? Was it another girl?” He barely remembered what to me was a most memorable event. After thinking for a few moments, he unlocked the secret door that held the answer. He said “I had a conference to attend that weekend.”
That’s it?! A conference? I consumed over 10,000 calories in dairy products and enough sodium to kill a wild animal because he had a conference to attend? What a waste.
As women, we constantly do this. We overthink every little thing. This is OK for us when we are dealing with each other, but when dealing with men, it doesn’t work. This is simply because men don’t analyze every little detail the way we do. This is not to say that they are less intelligent than we are. They just don’t waste time on frivolous details.
I worked with a guy for 4 years, day in and day out. I knew everything about his family, his upbringing, and most details about his everyday life. After 4 years, he asked me one day how many kids I had.
This is what I mean. They don’t focus on the details.
This frustrates us like crazy. We get upset if he doesn’t remember our half-anniversary, or has no recollection of what we wore to the surprise party we threw him, or can’t remember the meal we prepared for him on that first Valentine’s Day together.
But, I have learned to appreciate this refusal (or inability) to recall such events. Sometimes I’m glad that he doesn’t remember things (like what I looked like during my last pregnancy or the image of me hurling during my last stomach flu).
Maybe they have the right idea–focus on what’s important and let the minutia slide by. Maybe we’d all be healthier and happier. At the very least, life would be a lot simpler.