I’m going to go off-topic and mention something that struck me the other day. As I was making my wife a pot pie (we alternate cooking duty) I wondered: why do we all have to speak venusian?
Allow me to briefly digress and state that unless you’re a modern “enlightened” man, this entry will make little sense to you. You just go on sitting on the sofa (I almost gave away my midwestern upbringing and said “couch”) drinking beer and farting followed by the statement “How about that one honey?”.
I was startled by the number of situations that require all parties to conform to the venusian view. Why is the venusian view the preferred one? I came up with a number of theories about why men conform. The first starts at the lowest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You know … *wink* *wink* (or at least a better chance of *wink* *wink*). You can easily ascend the hierarchy to come up with the other theories.
Personally, I conform to the degree that is necessary to find a local minima in the time dependent nagging function. I should stress that this time dependence is not just hourly or monthly as most men already know (or have learned very quickly) but changes quite gradually over a period of years. That thing you do that used to be “cute” or “funny” early in a relationship has gradually increased its weight in the nagging function (typically unbeknown to you). What’s interesting in this case is that in venusian the time dependence is a given. It almost seems as if the time dependence of the nagging function is trying to reach a state of maximum venusian. Early in the relationship, some marsian is accepted but as time goes on the marsian is domainated by venusian. Physical proof of this can be easily seen in a couple that has been married for a significant number of years and is deemed a “happy couple” (interestingly, now that I think about it, it’s women that are deeming them “happy”). I’m a people watcher and I enjoy watching the interaction of people. One of things I have noticed is the interaction between elderly couples in the mall. The elderly men follow the women like puppies and do everything that is expected of them (wait patiently off to the side, hold the purchases, hold the woman’s purse, etc). These men have clearly reached a state of minimum marsian.
Just how prevalent is this necessity to conform? The canonical example of the proper position of the toliet seat identifies how pervasive venusian is. This facinating article provides some empirical data on a unbiased solution. Personally, I simply return the seat to the state it was when I started. If it ends up in the wrong state then it was not my fault. Of course, if it was found that I was at fault I would gladly accept the blame if it minimizes the nagging function.
The other day I risked my own life in the persuit of scientific knowledge when I broached this subject with my wife. Her immediate reaction was that the jig was up — I could see the panic in her eyes. She quickly regrouped though and started talking about the repression of women, the role of women as primary care givers, the fact that I’ll never have to carry a live person in my gut and other things that I no longer remember as I was rapidly attempting to reset the wrong that I had just caused (i.e. reset the venusian dominance).
There is clearly a conspiracy afoot and I intend to reach the root of it (while still maintaining the necessary degree of venusian conformance)!
(I’d like to add a small footnote: My wife is by no means naggy. She’s a wonderful person and the best friend that I have. This entry is simply an attempt to understand the inherent differences that exist between the way that men and women understand the world around them and interact. The fact that I feel it’s necessary to write this underlines the differences in the way that men and women interpret situations.)