Share this article

print logo

The Conversation Gap at a Glance

> What women talk about (that men don't hear):

Men: Definitely, unequivocally, we discuss men at length. We often focus at length on faults, which tend to revolve around their lack of attention to us. But we also acknowledge strengths, and how we'd like to see more of them. We do not usually discuss, unless there's something really egregious going on, intimate details. Unless, of course, we are discussing exes.

Our Kids: How they make us crazy, how they surprised us last, what about them is like us and what's like their father, and what we worry about for them. Within all that, we sneak in some shameless bragging, as well as the requisite praise of each others' children.

Neighbors: Everyone gossips once in a while. Sometimes it's totally innocuous, sometimes less so. Be assured that everyone gets discussed around someone's kitchen table; best not take it too personally.

Co-workers: From a personal motivation point of view - their upbringing, their family, their relationship style. Sometimes it's strategic, sometimes it's curiosity, sometimes it's a play-by-play. In the end it's always about who they are, why they do what they do and what they may do next.

Extended Family: Especially how their choices affect our lives and families and how we fit in. What our siblings are like, what our parents are like, and what our partners' families are like: the good, the bad, the ugly.

Appearances: Fatness, thinness, aging, hair color, clothing, exercise and diet. Other people's fatness, thinness, hair color, clothing, exercise and diet. Boooooring.

Details: Usually the daily home-management stuff; paint, food, appliances, gardens, pets. More importantly, what all that stuff says about us.

> What men talk about (that women don't hear):

The Stuff We Are Doing Right Now: Pertains to whatever is immediately in front of them and can lead to the discussion of....

Equipment: Depending on the guys, can include, but is not limited to, sports equipment, vehicles of any kind, computers, audiovisual components, tools.

Jokes: Practical jokes are great. Relaying practical jokes of the past can be good. Inside jokes are excellent. In all things, crudeness is welcome.

Sports: Excellent plays and heartbreaking ones. The direction, strategies and competencies of players and the people who make up, manage, own or coach teams, whether professional, their own teams, or their children's teams. What would they do if they were quarterback/captain/coach/owner.

Politics: What idiots the other guys are. The direction, strategies and competencies of the people in charge. What they would do if they were councilman/mayor/senator/president.

Work: The direction, strategies and competencies of the people who work above and below them. What they would do if they were Ruler of the Universe.

Women: That women don't understand men. That men don't understand women. That they want something women don't understand. That despite all that, women can't resist them.

- Natalie Green Tessier

There are no comments - be the first to comment