So, shit’s been slipping around here. There was no post yesterday and no post Friday due mostly to my new duties as a parent for two. For those of you just tuning into Bad Sandwich Chronicles, allow me to quickly clue you in as to what we’re about here.
This place was originally designed as a forge where I was to smithy out all the finest, newest and most cutting edge fart jokes and dick euphemisms on the entire internet. Quickly we became obsessed with popular culture, talking shit about various things that drive us nuts (people who say ‘supposably’ or point out casual hypocrisy in others for no reason other than to shit on whatever they’re trying to do) and we subsequently devolved into a stream-of-consciousness entertainment vortex where advice was dispensed, the world at large was discussed and of course, new exciting terms for ballsacks were bandied about like so many balls of string in a house full of cats. We also refer to ourselves in the royal first person (which is to say the plural) when really we’re only one very stinky, farty man. Oh, and I talk about my kids some, because, well…I’m like all parents in that I inexplicably think that you’ll be interested in my kids even though even I only find them interesting when it’s convenient and I’ve never met anyone on the earth who’s genuinely interested in someone else’s random little shits. Never mind that precedent! I’ll continue to talk about the kids as though you care.
I’ve got two of them. A boy who’s 2 and a girl who’s six weeks. They’re cool. The girl still looks a lot like Winston Churchill, but she’s coming around more and more every day. The boy, as we speak is standing on the back of our couch, jumping off all the while screaming the word “Elmo” over and over again. This could be a reference to his elbows, which he refers to as his elmos, or it could be a reference to the ubiquitous, super duper stoned red monster that’s currently on the television and leaking into my dreams. It’s really anyone’s guess.
Watching little tiny people get old is fascinating for a lot of reasons, but one of the things that’s really fascinating is watching them grow from essentially wild animals into things that are somewhat cognizant and reasonable. You see a lot of unbridled human nature in babies and toddlers. Sometimes it’s really scary, but more often than not it becomes a really interesting view into what people are about. For example, just by observing the differences between my son and my daughter, I’ve realized some pretty interesting key differences in the way men and women work, stuff that I guess I’ve been subconsciously gathering data on for a while…it just took comparing these two little gremlins to really cement it in my mind. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
When my son was a baby, he needed a lot of attention. He’d cry, or fuss. Sometimes he’d be happy, sometimes he’d be sad. He’d get tired and get kind of whiny, whatever. Usual shit. With this girl though, it’s a little different. She is just calm and peaceful until she’s not and then she goes absolutely apeshit. And that was the catalyst for my latest poorly thought out generalization about women and men. Namely, men are ego driven assholes who need a wide range of emotions in order to deal with their self-importance; emotions that can be subtly different and most of which we attempt to conceal as we get older. Women, however are capable of only various degrees of “happiness” (used here to mean any feeling of general well being, be it ‘mellow’ or ‘happy’ or just ‘content’) and rage. This rage, however, is expressed in myriad ways and is often very confusing.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: either A) I’m being a total chauvinist dick or B) I’m completely wrong about this as women are obviously more emotional than men or C) some combination therein. However, I submit that this is only as chauvinist as any blanket generalization, and it actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
When men get angry, it’s very different than when women get angry. Usually, they get quiet for a while then as it builds it finally explodes into some sort of orgy of punching or cursing or kicking, followed by a quick cool down period at which point the anger is kind of abated. Now, this is the long form. Often, anger can be pacified during any point in this process with say, a beej, a beer, some magazine, or any other distraction, but you get the idea. From your dad to your English professor to your three year old cousin, men tend to get angry the same way. Women, however do this very differently.
Women will cry, and say they’ve got hurt feelings. Women will pout and say they’re sad. Women will remain distant and aloof and claim that they’re ‘fine’ but digging deeper reveals something about one hundred percent of the time. They’re not sad. They’re not hurt. They’re super duper pissed off. Every time.
Now, don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying men are less angry than women. That’s crazy talk. I’m just saying that I’ve seen women around. I’ve tried to figure out what’s bothering them and I’ve been consistently confused from the earliest days of dealing with my mother, to various clumsy entendres with highschool girls to sitting in the kitchen wondering how I’m gonna talk my way into not sleeping on the couch, to just dealing with this six week baby. But she has become my female rosetta stone.
She just gets angry. She’s very mellow. She’s slow to stir emotionally, and generally she’s patient, but once she’s set off, there’s no ancillary negative emotions there, it’s just unbridled rage. And in her, it’s easy to recognize because, to go back to an earlier paragraph, she’s still a wild animal and she hasn’t yet learned the unspoken (and I think before now undiscovered by non-women) code, namely, that there are many ways to couch rage in various other emotional garments.
Men are the idiots who just get angry and act angry. Women are hurt, or confused, or conflicted or sad, but really when the rubber hits the road, if they’re going so far as to give it a name, the truth is that they’re furious, and that’s that.
This is particularly confusing to men for several reasons. 1) It often seems as though the anger, once finally unsheathed, comes out of nowhere, since it takes a long time to cultivate, and it was previously being called “tired” or “not happy” or something, and B) men have a decidedly more simplistic emotional range, in that they often get sad without being angry, but that’s because it takes less.
Men deal in ego and any slight, any belittling, any sense of confusion produces some small emotion. This is often perceived as “gay” or mistakenly as “womanly” and since these are small level emotions, it’s easy to shelve them and pretend they aren’t there. Consequently, men tend to stifle almost all emotion until they get to the point where they can’t anymore (the aforementioned punching, panting cursing rage), which makes most men seem like they only ever get angry and when they do, watch the fuck out. And lots of men are very, very angry. Anger is the stock in trade of men, to be sure.
Women on the other hand, are (as a rule, [and yes, yes, this is just a generalization and no, you’re not like this at all, individual woman/man. Sheesh, relax. This is written by and for idiots as a way to pass the time on dump breaks at work, you know]) not as self absorbed and therefore have little need for the small level bullshit emotions that come with penishood. Here’s a quick example of what I’m talking about:
You go out with your friend and his girlfriend. She’s kind of nice you think, but at the end of the night, you’re struck by the fact that you and your buddy talked the whole time and she hardly said anything. Did this woman have a bad time? The answer is not necessarily. Of course it’s possible that she hated every second of it, but it’s also possible that you and your buddy were perfectly entertaining and she was comfortable just sitting there and hanging out, not compelled to always be the center of attention (now, in fairness, this is often a situation that ends badly. I think everyone I know, man or woman, has had the fight about being ignored by the group and just having to sit there. But I’m not talking about being ignored here. I’m talking about a fairly innocuous hour and a half or so of light conversation with, let’s say, someone you haven’t seen in a while and their girlfriend who, for whatever reason, doesn’t say much). Now, if you reverse the situation, and you’re suddenly a woman out to see your homegirl at the bar, and her new boyfriend is there, what changes?
Well, a few things. Firstly, (and this is a little off topic, but it really can’t be ignored) women are so used to dealing with dumb male ego that they will, consciously or not, usually include the boyfriend in the conversation more than men would do for the visiting girlfriend. Secondly, if that did not happen, and the boyfriend ended up sitting there all night not really saying much, he’d be bored. He’d be slightly stung that he was ignored, but the overwhelming emotion would be boredom, every time, for every man. EVERY TIME. EVERY MAN. He would never be content to sit there and just hang while the girls talk, like the girlfriend potentially could. There would be no anger, there would just be a smug feeling of “This shit is dull. Stupid sex and the city movie. Stupid conversation about handbags. I wonder what Neil is up to”.
Women don’t need all that shit though. They’re good until they aren’t any more, which is to say that they’ve got a high threshold for bullshit, but once it’s passed, the emotion you’re dealing with isn’t gonna be boredom, it’s gonna be a super pissed off girl who patiently waited for you to not make her angry, which you failed to do. The results? Confused man, who is thinking “what’s the big deal? I’ve been ignored before. It’s just kind of boring. Why’s she so fucking angry?” followed by shock that the man could not understand why the woman is pissed off, followed by yelling, smug dismissal, more yelling, maybe some tears, a tense walk up the stairs and then some angry sleep or some computer porn, depending on if you’re the man or the woman.
I dunno. Maybe I’m wrong, but looking at these babies and their behavior, and retroactively applying this theory to every situation I’ve ever been in, it seems kind of right.
Come back tomorrow where I’ll explain all fetishes (except feet, which is kind of dull). Yay!