It’s okay. You can put the history books away. This isn’t going to be a post about Custer’s Last Stand, otherwise known as the Battle of 1876. No, this is a story of men and women. A story that hasn’t changed in generations. A story I’m not sure will ever change.
I overheard a conversation yesterday. That’s what sent me down this road. But before you accuse me of being nosy, let me just say, I couldn’t help it. The two girls in question were sitting right next to me. And they were not speaking in hushed tones. The only way to avoid listening was to leave. And why should I have left? They chose to talk about a personal matter in a public place. In loud voices.
What more could a writer ask for?
Anyway, I figure they were both in their early twenties. What do you think they were talking about? I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the economy, or the new Pope. Boys. They were talking about boys. One was being neurotic, as only a female can be.
She’d recently met a new guy. She liked him. They went out twice. She hadn’t heard from him in four days. He said he’d call and he hadn’t. Now before you pass judgement and accuse him of being a dick, he had told her he
had a crazy week coming up, and he’d call when he had a chance.
But like most women, she suffers from selective hearing. All she heard was, he’d call. All she knew was, she liked him. And, as each day passed, she became more and more anxious. Agitated. Uncertain. Insecure. Miserable. Pissed off. Downright crazy.
Until she couldn’t take it any more, and called in reinforcements. Another girl. A friend. A comrade in arms. Someone who would listen, commiserate, and assure her she’d hear from him. Or try to make her feel better by insisting he is, in fact, a typical asshole and she’d be better off without him.
Find me a woman who hasn’t been through this.
Men and women are wired differently. Period. There are many things we see eye to eye on. Dating, relationships, sex and marriage are not among them. They never have been. They never will be be. Like it or not, it’s a fact. Get over it, I say. And get on with it.
Let’s talk about sex, because it really seems to be at the heart of it all. So let’s just get it out on the table. We’re all grown-ups here. Men want to get laid. No more, no less. It’s very matter of fact for them. Like brushing teeth. Or exercising. It’s not about emotions. It’s about letting off steam, so to speak.
Women like sex, too. But we want more. Even when we say we don’t need more, or don’t want more, it’s not true. We want more. We want the add-ons. The extras. We want to cuddle once the sex is over. Men do not want to cuddle. They want to get washed, they want to roll over and they want to go to sleep. Unless they’re not staying over. And then they just want to leave, sooner rather than later. You can almost hear them ticking the minutes off in their head.
What is the etiquette? How long would Dear Abby say you must stay in bed, until you can get dressed and go home? What’s considered bad form? I think twenty to thirty minutes is the max any guy is willing to wait. And those are the good guys.
But we don’t draw the line at cuddling, do we? We want emails. And text messages. And phone calls. And more dates. We want to meet the friends. We want weekends together. We want to attend family functions together. We want to walk, arm in arm. We want relationships. We don’t all want marriage and kids, but I dare say most do. And there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s the way we’re programmed.
And men just want to get laid.
Could it be one of the reasons men cheat? Sex does not mean to them, what it means to women. I’m not saying I condone it. I’m just calling it like I think it is. From the time our mothers read us to sleep when we were children, boys have wanted to be Batman. They haven’t dreamed about settling down with the ideal girl, in the ideal cottage, and having ideal kids and an ideal dog who buries his bones in the ideal backyard.
Girls, on the other hand, have believed in fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty. And Cinderella. Glass slippers and handsome princes. Fairy tales are all about living happily ever after.
Think about it, though. Is it really realistic? So you walk into a club or a party or a restaurant or a grocery store. You see the perfect Prince Charming candidate across the crowded room. Your eyes meet. Sparks go off. You walk toward each other, as the orchestra plays. It’s all happening in slow motion. You date. You have sex. You fall in love. You get married. You have kids.
Do you really believe you’ll never get bored with him? Or him with you?
‘Til death do you part?
My happily-ever-afters seem to have all come with an expiry date. So that’s why I’m asking. And if I’m going to be truly honest with you, which I am, I did get bored. The flame died down somewhat. I didn’t cheat, but truthfully, I can see how someone might. Again, I am not condoning anything here. But as I’ve already said, I am calling it like I think it is.
So what’s my conclusion? When it comes to matters of the heart, men and women are polar opposites. And that’s what gets us into trouble.
Will there ever come a time when it changes? Will men and women ever think alike? Or will testosterone and estrogen always be at odds with each other?