Friday, November 4, 2016


Years ago, back when I still did this sort of thing, I went on a blind date arranged by a well-meaning friend.  The friend seemed to think we had a lot in common, although now, thinking back on this, I have some doubts he knew me that well.  Anyway, at a restaurant the conversation went like this:

Me: So, you work at the hospital.  That must be interesting."
Her:  Yes.
Me: Um, I bet there are a lot of exciting situations that happen every day.
Her: Yeah, quite often.
Me: well, uh, you probably meet a wide variety of people.
Her: (nodding head, first real sign of life) Yep.
You get the idea.  Although she eventually did have one or two sentences longer then two words, there weren't many.  She'd talk to me, but it was like I was grilling a reluctant suspect in a murder case.  She obviously was interested in going out on this date, but would not dare take the step of trying to engage in meaningful conversation.
Admittedly, this is an extreme case, but for the most part it seems that women have certain rules about how much they are willing to talk at a given time. Women may be stereotyped as the talkative one of the sexes, but it is definitely situational.  The woman you know from the office as the chatterer extreme, may be tight-lipped if you go out on a social outing. 

Again, I think this hearkens back to my "First Contact" theory.  They won't make first contact and won't make much conversation until they feel completely safe in the relationship.  So on a first date when you ask the female something about her past she'll probably just give you a quick synopsis when in fact she's dying to give you the "War and Peace" version.  As the woman begins to feel more comfortable in your presence, she'll move from a tweet answer to a short story to eventually the major novel response.
To men, this can be disconcerting.  At the beginning of the relationship they may believe she is attractive due to those short, descriptive responses, but later in the game might be a little put off when they learn every minute detail about a short trip to the store.  In fact, they may have bragged about their new girlfriend to their buddies.  They boasted that their new squeeze didn't ask one single question during the movie they went to last week.  However, when they double date later at some exciting hockey game, she asks a question about every little detail of the sport.

This eventually causes the friend to miss the game-winning goal when she wondered why the guy with the pillows on his legs, standing in front of the little cage, had such a fat bat.
Men are completely different.  Many of us, at least those past 30, have probably been influenced by the likes of the Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) from those famous spaghetti westerns who spoke in short, but precise sentences. Normally we don’t want to say too much, but early in the relationship dance must expound relentlessly to not only try to attract the female, but also keep the conversation going.  If we didn’t do this, not only would the female try to sneak out at some juncture, but also the other people in the restaurant might suspect the quiet couple as possible terrorists.  Or at least would tsk-tsk (publicly shame) the ultra-silent pair. 

Later in the relationship, the man can comfortably slip back into the short response mode because the female will feel safer and will now be talking at length about the proper way to eat broccoli.  Of course, she will invariably report to her girlfriends how this typical male is uncommunicative and never willing to discuss his emotions.
In other words, it’s a no-win situation for the male.  Talk too little at the beginning and the female will not be interested and will seek out male companionship elsewhere.  Talk too little later in the relationship and the male is an uncaring, unemotional Neanderthal.  It’s also not safe for the male to talk too much later because then he will be characterized as a gutless wimp because, you probably guessed this, he talks too much about his emotions.  The women want a strong man who knows what he wants and doesn’t have to explain himself. 
Therefore, the best strategy for males is to go ahead and throw those lines early on and try to engage the female in mindless banter to attract her.  Then when everything is going rosy, resort to the expression used by all males for generations:

“Yes dear, whatever you say.”
Ahhhh, Thurber!

We at The Thurber Brigade know you are wondering why there isn't a sidestep this time.  We had seriously thought about doing one about the election, but since we had done one previously about the love affair between the MSM and Trump, we decided we needed something of levity. Besides, we at The Brigade believe that anyone who would think of voting for Trump has the brain capacity of a snail and therefore isn't reading humorous blogs, especially ones about relationships between men and women and so they wouldn't be of a mind to change theirs anyway. Of course, if the worst happens, expect us to revert back to our sidestep ways just so we can make snide remarks about people who voted for Trump and with the election of His Sleaziness any chance of the US joining the rest of the western world in moving forward as a civilization.  So we'll see.