Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.
And then, one evening…
when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”
And then, there is silence in the car.To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.
And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.
And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?
And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.
And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.
And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.
And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty…scumballs.
And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.
And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…
“Fred,” Martha says aloud.
“What?” says Fred, startled.
“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)
“What?” says Fred.
“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”
“There’s no horse?” says Fred.
“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.
“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.
“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.
(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)
“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)
“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.
“What way?” says Fred.
“That way about time,” says Martha.
“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
“Thank you, Fred,” she says.
“Thank you,” says Fred.
Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.
The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.
They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.
Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”
And that’s the difference between men and women.
by Dave Barry
From his:Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys: A Fairly Short Book
350 thoughts on “The Difference Between Men And Women…Very, Very, True!”
If relationships start & end this way, what is it that they find in common & keep going, or do they just bring it to a close?
A very amusing read.
Hello Robbie! ‘Tis isn’t it? 🙂
Reblogged this on Author_Iris_Chacon and commented:
And this is why I love Dave Barry! LoL. Thanks for sharing this, Amy!
That was extremely funny, thanks for sharing!! I had a good laugh – guess because there’s a true core to it.
Kathrin — http://mycupofenglishtea.wordpress.com
Right? We laugh but we know it’s true! 🙂
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
Anybody out there think they’re an expert in human relationships?
Me neither 😱😄
Ha ha! Nope! 😀
Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
This may be the funniest, and TRUEST, thing I’ve ever read, about the difference between Men and Women. Oh, Mars. Oh, Venus! It’s a wonder we even manage to keep the human race alive!
He he! Somehow we manage eh? 😀
Indeed it is!
How very true.
Thanks for visiting superwife…! 🙂
Pleasure! I really enjoyed it 😀
Men and women are very different, even if many will not accept this 🙂
Agreed Irene! I cannot get behind this movement that suggests everyone is the same. We are not, but that does not mean we cannot celebrate / enjoy / laugh at both our similarities and differences. 🙂
I laughed out loud…..spot on. 🙂 Still chuckling….
He he! Excellent stuff! 🙂
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
I read this morning and laughed my head off… so true.. this was featured on The Editors Journal which is a terrific blog with a wide range of topics including humour.. this particular post is by Dave Barry from Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys: A Fairly Short Book that sounds a blast and a must read for both men and women.. Anyway do head over and read the whole post..#recommended
Thanks Sally, how cool to tag in the author’s details too!
Reblogged this on LIFE,LOVE &MUCH MORE and commented:
SPOT ON! MEN ARE FROM MARS AND WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS.
Hilariously awesome – that’s a thing, right? I’ve noticed in my lifetime that often I don’t have to say or do a thing without a “meaning” being assigned to it. It’s possible to partake in these conversations without saying a word.
Ha! It’s certainly been my observation having found myself privy to both camps as a quiet observer or confidante that men and women speak completely different languages and certainly derive different meanings from situations. Somehow the human race muddles through!
I see it in the kids I coach. When I address the team at halftime, and point out something we’re doing wrong, the boys look at each other like “I’m doing fine – it’s the other guys who need to step up.”
The girls look at the others like, “Oh my God. I’m the one. I’ve got to do better.” Such an interesting contrast.
Amazing. I think it was Margaret Thatcher that said men tend to blag their way into the Big-Title jobs but can rarely live up to their bluster, whereas women do the ‘better’ work (or the grafting minutiae that actually keeps things afloat), all the while undermining their ability. – That’s my long-winded paraphrasing. She said it much better.
I have found this to be absolutely true in every sphere I have worked in.
How fascinating that it starts so early!
I was once told I was 30% woman. I took it as quite the compliment.
I must have written about it 1,000 times. It’s uncertain which gender that’s attributed to.
[…] The Editor’s Journal About the difference between men and women… […]
Thanks AMV! 🙂
Oh that made me laugh so hard!!!! Spot on…
Haha! There is a similar story about “Pass me the salt, men are simple”? 🙂
(Is Martha like, from lower Manhattan?)
‘Pass me the salt?’ What is that? Haven’t heard that one.
Oh, it ran on the Internet: “Men are simple. Really simple. If a man says to his wife at lunch: ‘pass me the salt, pliz’, it means just that. Pass me the salt. It does not mean ‘the food is tasteless’, ‘one cannot eat a decent meal in this family, etc. etc. It just means: ‘can you pass me the salt?’. Men are simple. 😉
Ah…yes I’d agree with that! 🙂
Reblogged this on Contrafactual and commented:
Oh yeah … this is bang on
… and while reading it I remembered my car was due for an oil change …
No extra charge for the service! 🙂
Reblogged this on Get Resurgatized and commented:
Whilst you can’t apply this to every situation, it is an accurate portrayal of how men and women think differently, and interpret behaviour differently, and I just love the simplicity of the situation and how the two different views are presented. Loved it. Laughed. Actually weirdly had a flash-back to a few times I’ve been in cars with a boy and probably misinterpreted the same expression on his face!
Lols! I’ve seen this too with girls who get far too serious, far too quickly about someone who is just tagging along in a relationship with his priorities focused on other things…such as his car!
Man, I LOVE Dave Barry! Thanks for the laugh…reblogged this on http://www.riddlefromthemiddle.com.
Lol. This piece introduced me to him. Great stuff! 🙂
Reblogged this on Riddle from the Middle and commented:
The Journal shared this fantastic piece by Dave Barry. While I wouldn’t swear to it, sometimes it sure does seem like BrightSide and I are having two completely different conversations simultaneously…
Reblogged this on theextraaamile and commented:
big difference afterall 🙂
deserves a reblog….on the ‘theextraaamile’. Well written buddy…. 🙂
Reblogged this on Conversations I Wish I Had.
This reminds me of how my mom would tend to over analyze things her girl friends (or acquaintances) would say to her sometimes, or what they wouldn’t say. She puts a tonne of thought into what things actually mean when people say them. And then there’s me. I read an email from someone and I generally tend to take it at face value (the only exception being when I read emails from my father).
Sometimes my mom will look at me and ask me what’s wrong because she thinks I look upset. Then I’ll look at her and ask “What do you mean/what are you talking about?” Because there never was anything wrong. I was probably just spacing out and for some reason my mother thinks my neutral face is my “something’s wrong” face.
I hear you WR!
yep your are right! Society trains women to think like that. And yes. You get to think like that and think it’s ok. even if you don’t want to feel and think like that. Right. Worse there are plenty women who don’t really think like that and then comes along someone… probably woman and say…WHAT !? YOU NEVER THOUGHT LIKE THAT!
And think …there is something wrong with me…
The same story goes to men. In fact, I guess very few think and fell like that, but history, society, media sell that as truth. And as a human being have a need to belong, to be included, end up thinking, probably they are right, and so I belong.
But truth is, it isn’t right. And when we ask to old people the same question very often, there are different answer. Those answer that make meaning only to them. F word to what the others think.
So girls be stupid, passive and blame for all wrong things in this world. So guys, be stupid and aggressive and bully. And this isn’t how the world is. And there is plenty people showing how wrong this is.
You’re right uroua, for good or bad we are the result of our systematic training or brain washing and general environment. Although a lot of people can’t see it.
That’s the good reason to show and to teach them. Human brain love to learn. But there are so afraid to try, so afraid to fail, but once they falling is a learning process, and not the end of a journey they will want to be aware and learn everything.
Reblogged this on Woman and commented:
A fascinating insight into the differences between how women and men think…
Hi bechanson! 🙂
Sorry to ‘call you out’ on this, but … while I chuckled at this, it is sexist. Women don’t have a monopoly on sitting in torture trying to work what was going on and where to head next, and as a man I certainly don’t necessarily just rush off to the minor distraction – much though I recognise the random free-association of Fred’s car maintenance worries! The trouble with stuff like this is it implies men simply don’t suffer, at least over relationships; which is probably a common impression because men don’t talk about suffering, they tend (in our Western postmodern society) to process in their dark solitary man-caves and keep up a casually insouciant front in public (public being where anyone else is around). But it’s not true, just apparently true. Sorry to break the mood, but there’s a lot of this attitude around, with big variations in how visible, explicit or serious it is, and if the general tone is loaded in one direction it doesn’t help any of the individuals involved.
Hi Martin, so despite the fact that SOME men do suffer and not ALL women have a monopoly on sitting in torture you think these perceived generalizations came from where exactly?
I would suggest they come from fact and general experience. Even in a small sample group like the comments, whilst reflecting that SOME men play the role of the woman in the story and vice versa, they still overall agree in the majority that this scenario pretty much represents the recognized GENERAL behaviour from both sexes, which is all the writer was pointing out in a humourous way.
I don’t think it was written to ‘help individuals’ to be honest, just to be lighthearted fun.