Archived Story

Ladies, avoid the back and forth

Published 7:57am Thursday, June 28, 2012 Updated 11:59am Thursday, June 28, 2012

Through the years, I’ve written a lot about communication between men and women, and how there are several terrifying ways that women might begin a conversation with a man.

First, I assume that women would like to talk to men, and have men talk to them. I don’t know that for certain, as I don’t know many things about women in general.

But I think that’s true, judging from past experience.

So, ladies, there are better and worse ways to begin a conversation. And men, you have to give them some leeway here; they enjoy the physical act of making sounds so much that it throws a monkey wrench into the process.

By them enjoying talking, I simply mean that, again, judging from experience, to a female of the species, a short conversation is not as good as a long one. A long one is not as good as an even longer one, and so forth.

Men: Picture a tennis match, where points are awarded not for hitting the ball where your opponent isn’t, but are instead awarded for hitting the ball back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

And more back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

And even more….

There. I think I’ve gotten the gist of this over to you.

So, Ladies — if you want it hit back to you, you have to hit it correctly to begin the rally, or whatever we want to name this backing and forthing.

So here’s a hint — don’t start out with something that sounds bad.

Sure, that’s easy to say when you run into the kitchen and the car is behind you, in the driveway, on fire, but stuff like that even has to have a rule, if you want a male not to have apoplexy before you get to the point.

Some women would run into the kitchen, shouting: “Oh, honey! I’ve got really bad news! Something terrible has happened!” Throw in some body language here, like, hand twisting and crying and stuff.

The husband during this initial onslaught? A moment ago, he was standing at the refrigerator, a beer in one hand, home from work, had a good day, lawn is all mowed, life was good.

Now this freaked out woman has come charging toward him, shouting that the sky is falling, or something. He doesn’t know what the something is, and there is the problem.

He’s thinking relationship stuff, which is his Achilles’ heel, and his heart goes to triple rate, his blood pressure skyrockets, and he knows she’s leaving him for someone (here, just a short list) better at talking, better at listening, better at money, better at cooking, better at washing dishes, better at back and forthing …

The woman in this example has applied the back and forth pleasure principle.

She doesn’t want to, she wants to get to the point, but she’s done it this way so long that it’s now second nature.

The concept of time, of moving forward quickly, when the car is on fire, would dictate an expedient shortcut to what it is she’s communicating about. Custom, however, prevents it.

He, of course, is so worked up with all the scenarios racing through his mind about what emotional/relational catastrophe might possibly be happening that, when her next utterance is “The car is on fire,” he is at first angry, and will likely respond with something along the lines of “Well, for @#$%^&!!!’s sakes, why didn’t you say so.”

He doesn’t mean to be grumpy; but he thought it was going to be something he couldn’t fix, but he can fix this, but he could have fixed it better a couple of minute’s worth of back and forthing ago than he can now, what with the fire having spread, and whatever.

So ladies, there you have it. Sure, there are other things that you don’t want to start conversations with, lots of them, but, you’ll have to excuse me, My True Love just came in the door. What’s that she’s got in her hand? Is it….is it… oh no!

They’re paint color samples. She is saying to me: “Which color do you think I like the best for the bathroom?”


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