This was a former Red Room comment posted January 2013 and reposted with a few minor changes. Thank goodness for Mars and Venus–their differences definitely makes for a more lively existence. . .
Men and women think differently. I didn’t just figure this out. I knew this fact when Hubby and I were dating. We went through a lot of stuff before we were married. I like to think of it as a test–sort of a compatibility test. Come to think of it, we’re still testing ourselves, even though we’ve now been married over 18 years. You know that book, “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus? Well, that’s how Hubby and I approach problems and solve them. Amazingly, we usually arrive at the same conclusion, but one path is slightly more convoluted and I won’t say whose.
Hubby is a detail person. This translates as a man who looks the whole problem or project over and plans it to the last finishing touch: the materials needed, the tools to be used, and the space required . I’m a do-it-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of woman. I know what the job is and I know what the finished project should look like. It’s the getting from A to B that’s interesting. When a detailed person does a project with an interesting person, well, the working atmosphere becomes “emotionally charged.” That’s why Hubby and I–depending what the project is–wisely defers to either the detail person or the interesting person. So far, we have survived this solution.
The family car is another area that shows the gender difference. I love the Volvo station wagon because it gets me to wherever I need to be. It has sufficient room in the cargo bay to hold groceries, books and other paraphernalia. When we moved, it held a lot of our small furniture and household goods. Hubby loves the Volvo too, as he carefully vacuums the carpets, cleans the dust off the dash, washes and polishes, checks under the hood to make sure all the proper fluids are topped up, tire pressures are regularly checked. I think I’ve heard a pitiful whimper whenever the “Silver Bullet” returns from its errands with new battle scars: a ding from some careless stranger’s car door; a scratch from someone’s runaway grocery cart; some high-flying bird deciding to drop his “big boomers” on the shiny roof of a moving target and the list goes on.
Years of experience has taught me a few things. The thin edge of the metal workshop ruler works as a great screwdriver when the butter knife doesn’t do the job. The small screwdriver with the flat thin tip can’t always pry open a tight lid. The handy-dandy hammer works on loose nails, but doesn’t work on loose screws. I also learned that some men are very protective of their tools.
Shortly after I got married, I needed something to open a pickle jar. This jar’s lid refused the hot water treatment, the “knock” on the countertop; the rubber “grip” that never failed before and several other techniques that usually worked. This was a stubbornly stuck lid and required Step B, the drastic step. I needed to raid my Hubby’s toolbox and find the vise-like tool that would solve the problem. I was convinced of this. If this failed too, I could always bash the lid with the vise. Hubby arrived home just as I was trying to wrap the vise’s teeth around the lid. He grabbed his beloved tool, seized the rubber gloves by the sink, stuck his hands in the gloves, gripped the jar and twisted the lid. The lid popped, the jar was opened. That day, I learned Mars does not share everything with Venus and that included the workshop and the contents of the toolbox.
And let’s not forget the stereo system. I like listening to music on the car radio, the kitchen radio, on my computer and on the stereo. It’s magical how the music flows out of the speakers and sounds wonderful. I like to switch it on, adjust the volume and dance. Simple. To a stereophile male, yes the stereo does all these things, but to get there, the speakers should not have knick-knacks sitting on top of it. The amplifiers are delicately adjusted so the various instruments are clearly distinguished. The speakers are carefully positioned so the sound is evenly distributed and aimed to the proper corners of the room. So far, our negotiable truce is holding. Hubby gets to fiddle and twiddle all the knobs and switches so he can sit back and enjoy the music. I get to turn the stereo on, let the music fill my heart and soul–then, dance.
Yes, some Men can be from Mars and some Women may come from Venus, but Life can be so dull if we all thought the same and behaved the same. Excuse me, I just noticed a loose nail poking out of the floorboard and my shoe didn’t work. I’ll have to resort to Plan B. . .