How different men and women are! One of the men at a former workplace had been talking about a new trailer that someone he knew had purchased.
“It’s a beauty!” he exclaimed, his eyes aglow with admiration, “That’s a cracker of a trailer!”
My eyes glazed over as I pretended to understand his enthusiasm. I’m sure he could tell though, because it was the same kind of look I saw on his face five minutes earlier when I’d mentioned some Swarovski crystal beads a friend had given me for jewellery making.
Another time, the same man was talking about shopping with one’s partner. He said that sometimes you can get a bunch of blokes standing around outside the lingerie department, holding their partner’s handbags with a tortured and faraway expression on their faces. There might be a dozen men, but they will not look at each other, and they certainly won’t talk. They like to pretend that they’re not actually there. To speak would shatter the illusion that they’re somewhere else, like a football game or fishing, or burning their wife’s credit card.
“So how does it work in men’s rooms?” I asked him.
“When you go into the men’s room,” he replied, “Your eyes must always be forward. You will not look at each other. There will be absolutely no conversation.”
This is completely unlike women’s restrooms. We women will talk to just about anybody. In fact, on several occasions I’ve been on the receiving end of some quite personal and even intimate information from complete strangers, that I could well have done without, thank you very much.
Another male I know was talking about the perils of having to carry his wife’s handbag.
“I hide it under my arm if I can,” he said. “If it’s large and bulky, you try to lean it against a wall behind you and hope that no other bloke notices it.”
The challenge is to keep an eye out for the wife so that the man can quickly pick up the handbag before she returns. It’s a risky situation: he has to consider the fact that he’ll look like a bit of a girly-boy to every other man in the room, as it’s obvious it must be his own handbag, especially if its covered in sequins.)
On the other hand, he will have to contend with the consequences if his wife discovers that he wasn’t physically holding the item every single moment she was absent, coupled with the very likely possibility of nagging for at least the next two weeks, with regular reminders for the rest of his natural life of his complete ineptitude when it comes to looking after his wife’s belongings.