Monday, April 11, 2011

Spears & Baskets

It's easy to tell understand the opposite sex. All you have to do is accept the fact that they are different from you. Completely. Stop expecting one another to act or think the way you would. Once you understand that, you're on your way to a peaceful co-existence.

Here's a scenario: A table in a house, six guys around it playing cards and eating chips and salsa. They're talking, laughing, throwing down a few beers, playing poker; nothing extreme. Just having some good times. Now, suddenly, the salsa runs out. All the men look at each other for a few moments to decide - what? - who gets a new bowl of salsa. Immediately the competition starts.

"Well, I'm not getting the salsa because I bought the chips. So I shouldn't have to."

"Well, I'm not 'cause I filled the bowl the first time."

"Well I bought the salsa. You get some, Bill."

"Hey. This is MY house. You get some, Ted."

"Who got the beer we're drinkin' here? I did. Scott?"

"Well I'm not going to because... I... dammit, fine!"

And he gets the salsa. A pecking order has now been established in terms of who does what, who did what, and who contributed to the brotherhood. And now we all know that Scott has been designated to Salsa Duty should they run out again.

Now. Same scenario, but this time six women. They're chatting about their husbands and all the stupid things they do and what they sound like in bed, shopping strategies and the last episode of "Desperate Housewives". Suddenly, they're out of salsa. What happens? That's right! ALL SIX OF THEM GET UP.

"C'mon! Let's all go get more salsa!" They make a conga-line for the pantry and turn on music and dance for intermission while they all get a bunch of new snacks. Some may even go to the store to buy some new condiments. They have fun and make a party out of it.

Believe it or not, this made us awesome at watching TV.
Men are totally fine not moving and making someone else get stuff. Women are naturally social creatures; Men are not. This dates back all the way to caveman days. Back then, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. Men would go out, grab their spears, bring a few other guys along, split up into groups of four or five and go out into the wild to find a Mastodon. Now what does hunting entail? Being silent. They communicated just fine - after all, you have to if you're in a team - but they did it without speaking. Just hand movements, small grunts, a few looks, and basically instinct. You can't make noise when you're hunting for food, for survival. And when they did come across some food, like a saber-toothed tiger or something, they focused on that ONE... SINGLE... TARGET. They crouched down, remained downwind, and stared and watched our prey intensely - and only our prey. Not the flowers or the sky or the other animals around it. Just the food. The hunt.

This is why men seem like they can only focus on one thing at a time. It's natural. They may focus on one thing, but they get it done and kill it, everything else around it be dammed. For instance, when men go to the store to buy something like pants, they walk in, go straight to the pants section, grab pants, the right size (which they never need to try on by the way, they just know they fit) walk to the counter and throw it down in front of the cashier like a fresh kill from the forest of clothes. They didn't get distracted by the colorful ads or other malls that have shiny things in the windows. Guys don't even notice them. They hunt prey. They kept their mind on the thing that they needed; the focus part came naturally. That's how guys can get so immersed watching TV. You know how difficult is it to get their attention when they're watching a game or a show? Because it all started with the caveman using their spears.

And even the symbolism fits: Literally, what do men have?

Look down, fellas: Spears.

Above: A historically accurate rendition of
a neanderthal female in her natural habitat.
Now cave women were the gatherers. After the men left to go hunting, they would all come together and talk about the weather and where they would start to gather and pick food. They would all grab baskets and head out to the fields in big large groups. All of them; No splitting up. They would walk to the trees and communicate with each other about which fruits to pick depending on the color of their ripeness. It was essential that they discuss with each other where the best fruits were so they could survive. They would point and share where to find the best harvest and how to cook them. The more colorful something was the more attractive it seemed, and so the women picked the most colorful and ripe fruit and put them in their baskets and kept searching. Sound familiar?


Girls go to the mall in groups just to look for one pair of jeans. Just one. Does is EVER end up that way? No. If the Gap is at the other end of the mall, God help them. Yes, girls could easily enter the mall on that side but they don't: They actually enter the mall from the opposite end so they have to walk though the middle and look at aaaaaaalllllllllllllll the other stores and pretty things in the windows. They get distracted and lose focus of the initial hunt and naturally are victim to colors and shiny objects. And once inside a store, they like to go in the back and try it on or hold it up against themselves in a mirror to see how it would look. Then they put it in their basket and look for other colorful things, flipping through hundreds of clothes and jewelry.

And literally, what do women have? *looks down*

That's right: BASKETS.

We hunt, you gather.

So you see, it's not so hard to understand the other sex. Simply ignore the similarities between the two, throw out all logic altogether, and you'll be fine.

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