Tag Archives: differences between men and women

Differences Between Men and Women #14 Color

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Some recent painting at my house has brought to mind another of the myriad of differences between men and women.  So let’s talk about color.

We all learned in elementary school that there are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue.  After we mastered that concept we moved onto the color spectrum with the mnemonic of “Roy G. Biv”  to help us remember red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  

As a child I remember coloring and drawing with the crayons from an eight pack of Crayola crayons that, since 1903, has consisted of red, yellow, blue, green, orange, brown, violet (purple) and black.  In reality, those eight colors were enough.  I remember wanting the larger box of crayons, especially the 64 pack with the nifty built-in sharpener.  But even when I had the bigger box, I pretty much stuck to the basic eight.  

Pretty much all the colors a man needs are included in that box of eight crayons.  If you are talking about painting a wall, a man does not even need all eight.  Add white to the list and knock off red, yellow, orange, violet and black.  That leaves you with white, blue, green and brown.  If you are talking to a man about painting an interior wall, it will come to deciding between those four colors.  Simple, right?

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it would appear.   Apparently not all people (i.e. women) are not content to choose between four, or eight, or even sixty-four colors.  Someone decided to add shade after shade after shade and name each and every one.  Did you know that Sherwin-Williams has over 1,500 paint colors? 1,500!!

While a woman may appreciate the nuances between white, antique white and eggshell.  A man will see white, not so white and white with some brown (his mind will pretty much operate within the parameters of the four colors mentioned above).  So, my wife, after much consideration and consternation decided on painting our bathroom Malaysian Mist.  I think the bathroom looks nice painted blue.

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Differences between Men and Women #5 The Three Stooges

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Men and women find different things amusing and to prove my point I only need three words: “The Three Stooges.”  Right now, if you are a guy you are smiling and nodding your head.  If you are a gal you are shaking your head and softly saying, “I just don’t get them.  They aren’t funny, they are just stupid.”  

Women and critics dismiss The Stooges as juvenile and brainless.  Which they are AND which is why they are so funny.  Perhaps it is just the way men are wired.  Apparently, men find pleasure in the absence of pain, so therefore pain being inflicted on anyone else is funny as long as it is someone else. So to see Larry, Moe and Curly poking each other in the eye, hitting each other with pipes or twirling ladders into one another’s noggins is quite amusing.  Even if we know it is coming, even it we have seen it before, even it we have seen it 100 times, it is still funny.  The more the character suffers, the more we realize that we are not the one suffering so the funnier we find it.

Women, on the other hand, apparently find a need to have empathy with the suffering character.  So the antics, instead of being amusing, tend to be discomforting.  While the masculine mind says, “hit him harder this time!” the feminine mind says, “I feel your pain and I want to help you out of this unfortunate predicament.”  

Women want “higher humor” that is social, rather than physical.  Humor that is based on awkward interactions of complex characters is the humor they are looking for.  Discomfort, not pain is what makes women laugh.

But, wait, perhaps The Stooges are not as “low brow” as we have assumed.  In a talk entitled “Are the Stooges Funny?: Soitanly!” (1996), Robert Solomon, who taught philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin until his death in 2007, argued that the Stooges humor “constitutes a counterexample to the major philosophical theories of humor and is the basis of a better view, which he called the inferiority theory.”  So when I laugh at The Stooges, I am not just laughing at the prat falls, I am laughing at the ritual humiliation that runs counter to prevailing social constructs of humor in modern society!

It is interesting that almost every list of qualities that women look for in a man will include a “sense of humor.” Yet, it does not seem like the ideal man is Larry, Moe or Curly unless he is a kinder, gentler Stooge who finds his humor in complex inter-personal relationships.  But then if those complex inter-personal relationships involve a few ladders and power tools……

Differences Between Men and Women #43 Bedspreads

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I want to visit another one of the many differences between men and women: bedspreads.  If you are a man, you may have never given your bedspread a second thought or even a first thought for that matter.  If you are a women, apparently you have devoted a lot of thoughts to your bedspread.  Google the word “bedspread” and you get 5,940,000 results, none of which originated with a man.

As a guy, I am vaguely aware that there is something that goes on top of the sheets when the bed is made and I refer to this “thing” as a bedspread.  Apparently there is a definition for a bedspread and it is “a decorative cloth used to cover a bed.”  So, to a guy, throwing several jerseys of your favorite sports team across the bed would seem to meet this definition and thus constitute a “bedspread.” My guess is that my wife would not agree with my interpretation.  

To complicate things further, consider that what is covering your bed may not technically be a “bedspread.”  Perhaps it is a quilt (a warm bed covering with all the squares made of padding enclosed between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of decorative stitching), a duvet (a soft quilt as compared to a hard quilt I suppose – filled with down, feathers, or a something that is not down or feathers), a comforter (a warm quilt, although if the definition of quilt is a warm bed covering what is the difference between a quilt and a warm quilt?), a coverlet (a bedspread, typically less than floor-length – not sure I have ever covered my bed with something that went to the floor on both sides so I must have always had a coverlet), or simply a blanket (a large piece material used as a bed covering which sounds like it meets the definition of all of the others). If you are a guy, then blanket is probably the only word that you recognized in the preceding sentence.  If you are a gal, my guess is you can articulate the nuances between a duvet and a coverlet. 

To my recollection, the following words have never come out of my mouth, “Honey, I think it is time we got a new bedspread.”  I just tried to read that sentence out loud and I just cannot do it.  Another sentence that I have never uttered, “Sweetie, I just saw that there is a really good quilt show at the museum, let’s go.”  

To a woman, a new “bedspread” will bring a new look to the room, especially if it can be accessorized with new sheets, new pillow cases and perhaps, even new curtains.  It will be like a mini room makeover and she will feel energized for a while.  But then the look will become old and tired and she will want to do it all over again.  A guy on the other hand would continue to use that bedspread that went on that nifty race car bed he had growing up if not for the fact that it only fits a single bed.

We must all pick our battles in life and this one is not worth it.  So guys, the next time you wife says it is time for a new bedspread just smile and say, “I think I saw there is a quilt show at the museum, maybe that will give you some ideas, would you like to go?”