Men, Women, and Communication

“Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn’t, they’d be married too.”

–H.L. Mencken

 

The following statement may surprise you:

Husbands and wives think a lot differently about a lot of different things, especially when it comes to communication..

 

It’s a shocking fact, isn’t it? Communication skills vary immensely between males and females. Men believe in concise communication. Women follow the same rule that Leo Tolstoy, the author of the novel War and Peace, incorporated while writing his 1,200 page manuscript—in other words, the more words the better.

 

The other night, my husband hung up the phone after a 45-minute conversation with his mother. I sat there for a moment and anxiously awaited the lengthy synopsis that never came.

 

“Hey,” I finally said to him as he flipped channels on the television, “What did your Mom have to say?”

 

“Oh, not much,” he replied.

 

“You talked for nearly an hour and you don’t have anything to tell me?” I answered.

 

“Yup,” he replied.

 

I sighed while imagining how this conversation might have played out had it occurred between two women.

 

Woman #1: Hey, what did your Mom have to say?

 

Woman #2:  Oh, she’s just doing great. Did I tell you about the recent trip she took to Minnesota?  It was fabulous. She went to Mall of Americas and rode the roller coaster. She wore her red dress, black shoes, and favorite pair of control top pantyhose.  She said if it wasn’t for those pantyhose, she wouldn’t have made it through that ride (sound of hysterical laughter). Anywaaaaaay, she bought a new Coach purse that she can’t stop talking about and said she even walked into Victoria’s Secret and didn’t turn three shades of red.  I told her I don’t even want to think about her buying anything in that store.  I mean there are just some things you can’t think about your Mom doing and wearing lingerie is one of them!

 

Woman #1:  It sounds like your Mom had a terrific time.  How is your Dad doing?

 

Woman #2:  My Dad actually fell down a couple of days ago, but he’s going to be fine.  He slipped on some ice and get this … he said he accidentally did the splits on the driveway!  Can you imagine my Dad doing the splits?  I mean once I tried to do the splits in junior high and I couldn’t walk for days. He said if he would have been in the Olympics, the judges probably would have given him a ’10!’ (laughter again)

 

I recommend that women and men learn to embrace our communication differences. If women are going to be honest with each other … and I mean really honest, we already know that our men prefer to answer our questions with one-word replies like, “Yup,” “Nope,” and “Dunno,” and if those don’t work, a grunt will suffice. Females love lots of words that include nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and a few pronouns thrown in for good measure.  If it takes us 45 minutes to tell the real reason why Bob broke up with Sandy, then we’re okay with it and we might even meet for drinks later that night to discuss it further.

 

It’s okay to admit we’re different. As Bill Cosby once said, “Men and women belong to different species, and communication between them is a science still in its infancy.”

 

Amen, Bill … amen. By the way, did I tell you about my Mom’s trip to the Mall of America?

 

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About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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