I don’t remember where I first heard the statement I’m using for the title of this piece. The saying has stuck with me through many years of observation of the female of the species. I remember a young man in my National Guard unit that stated “I know all about women.” He was newly married and had it all figured out. Some weeks later he came in and announced that they were going to have a baby. I told him “Now you are going to find out about women.”
In the span of 70 years of life and 51 years of marriage I am still amazed at the way women approach life. I’ll start with some comparisons of men and women shopping then move on to other observations. A man will go in and buy a white shirt no sweat a white shirt in the right size and he’s out of there. A woman goes in to buy a white blouse, and the fun begins. The color white now takes on meanings that stagger the imagination. There is ecru (in various shades), off-white (I don’t know off of what or for that matter how far off), ivory, pearl, on and on ad infinitum. Now the question of style comes in to play. Does it go with the current styles? Does it hide: various figure flaws? Does it match my handbag and my shoes? Is it the right season for this look? O.K the blouse is finally purchased. Is this it? Not on your life. Since the color was not just exactly right there is nothing to do but shop for accessories that will match.
A man goes to the store with one thing in mind, get what you need and get out. A woman approaches the store as you might approach a trek to the Amazon. There are new things to see, every corner of the store must be explored for new adventures. Then suddenly around the next turn is a SALE TABLE containing the treasures of the ages. In another location a crowd has gathered, curiosity must be satisfied. There must be terrific buys to attract that many people. The amount of curiosity is directly proportional to the size of the crowd.
Men have you ever been standing in line to pay and suddenly without warning your wife gets a shopping urge. She says “I’m just going to run right over here and get something. I’ll be right back”. The words “right back” now take on a new perspective in the space time continuum. This seemingly
harmless term now represents a time of from 30 seconds to .infinity. You have no choice but to wait and wait and wait. Customers in line with you are now begin to grow restless. A vigilante group is being formed; there is even talk of lynching. All you can do is wait, now fearing reprisals from angry shoppers behind you. They have just purchased ecru blouses in 40 different shades and need to get to the next store to accessorize. It’s becoming an ugly scene.
Before we leave the world of shopping we cannot ignore the QUEST. I have really never figured out what triggers the quest, I guess I just don’t understand. Sometimes a woman will decide that there is a particular item that she must have. Now the quest begins. No matter how insignificant the item is there is no turning back until it is found and purchased. Spending $100 for gasoline to find a $19.95 “whatsit” is of no consequence, it is after all a QUEST for truth and righteousness. These quests make the search for the Holy Grail fade in significance.
Some of the terms we commonly use to communicate have totally different meaning when used by women. For instanced the term “YOU ALWAYS” is common to refer to some character flaw of the male subject. This term taken at face value means something that has been repeated many, many times. Used by a woman it can mean that this disgusting behavior has happened from one to maybe three times. Another descriptive phrase is “there is blank allover the blank. Let me elaborate. My wife comes in and states emphatically that. “there is hair allover the bathroom”. The immediate thing that comes to mind is that you will go into the bathroom and find most of your scalp lying in disarray “allover the bathroom “. In fact what you do find is 3 to 6 hairs lying in the sink.
The war of words between men and women is not a real battle it is a matter of learning to understand the jargon women use to emphasize their position. So men gird up your loins and enter into the fray with kindness and patience. Because, if you could understand women you wouldn’t believe it anyway.