Joe talking to his daughter, Meghan. You can tell by the look on her face that it's something boring.
About six months ago, Joe re-entered my life - an old friend who became my new love. The very good and very bad news is that Joe is a man.
I now remember why it's so difficult to talk to a man. Here are just some of the reasons:
Joe can recall the names of every athlete, author, musician, actor, poet, composer, or protagonist he's ever watched, listened to, or read about in his entire life, but he can’t remember the names of any of my friends.
Me: “I’m going to call Bonnie.”
Me: “You know Bonnie, the one we visited whose husband is the banker. They have the baby named Jasmine.”
Me: “We’re going to visit Portia on the 10th, right?”
Me: “Portia, my cousin, the one we are going to visit on the 10th.”
So it’s hard to carry on a conversation when I'm always having to regurgitate everyone’s biography every time I start talking.
2. Men don't gossip (at least not well).
Joe doesn’t know how to gossip. He just doesn’t get the point of it. This is made more difficult since he can’t remember anyone’s name and I have to provide the back story before I start in on the juicy stuff.
Me: “Remember Mavis?”
Me: “My friend whose brother accidentally set himself on fire. Well, her other brother, not the one who set himself on fire, his wife ran off with another man. Mavis is so upset.”
3. Men aren't interested in anything interesting.
Joe only speaks in sports or old movie or Bob Dylan analogies, which are stupid. And when I ask him a sports question just to pretend I’m interested, he goes on too long, with too many facts, too much analysis, and, before I know it, the commercial break for House Hunters International is over and I’ve missed out on which house the cute couple chose.
4. Men's sense of humor is different (and less evolved) than that of women.
Joe only knows one joke, the string joke, which is not funny. In spite of that, he doesn’t get my jokes, which are funny, although they are often dirty.
5. Men are not good commiseraters.
When I want to complain about something or someone, Joe provides a solution. A woman would never do that. She would just agree with me about what an ass that person who wronged me is. Joe doesn’t understand that I don’t want to solve the problem, I just want to bitch about it in a friendly and agreeable milieu. I want to be validated, not fixed.
6. Men are literal and without nuanced layers.
The other evening, Joe and I went out to his back patio for an after-dinner drink when he noticed that something had torn the upholstery on his patio chairs. After some brainstorming about what it could have been - a squirrel, a snake, a cat, a dog, a mountain lion (in Coastal Georgia), or an angry neighbor, Joe finally conceded that it just might have been a raccoon since they are known to frequent his neighborhood.
At that point, Joe said, "I wonder if Robert would let me use one of his traps," to which I said, "Now, remind me of who Robert is", hoping that he'd fill me in on some kind of interesting information (if not gossip) about Robert.
But alas, Joe's reply was
"He's the guy with the trap."
And so, there, in one big ole man-sized nutshell, is why it's so difficult to talk to a man, or least to Joe.*
*If you have any commiseration to offer, let me know. Otherwise, keep all solutions to yourself.