Leaving a movie the other night with my roommate, his friend, and his friend’s lady friend who was visiting him from out of town, the topic somehow leapt into “… women are like spiders, everything is connected to everything else!” That particular bit came out of my mouth, followed up with my roommate’s comparison that men are like railroad tracks and women are like spaghetti, to which I replied that I had heard not that men were railroad ties, but were waffles.
Waffles, you see, compartmentalize. Men compartmentalize and separate areas of their lives and thoughts. In the railroad tie comparison, men are one-track-minded. Both apply.
For spiders, everything in their world is connected to everything else, and women are generally obtuse when referring to the actual problem, instead using the elements around the problem to better define the problem. And as spaghetti, every noodle touches every other noodle on any given plate. So if a woman asks “Do these pants make my butt look fat,” what she’s actually asking is: “Am I still attractive to you? Do you love me?”
For a man’s direct nature, a woman’s indirectness can be wildly infuriating, since women don’t understand how we don’t see what they clearly do and we don’t understand why they can’t just tell us exactly the problem.
Needless to say, our venture into this particular topic turned her from friendly to frigid. My roommate and I both looked at her abrupt change of body language and statement that “I won’t respond how I really want to respond,” and said: “This isn’t disparaging women.”
And in truth, we weren’t. And aren’t. He and I love women. Women are awesome. Like, better than bacon. But it makes women no less complicated or an effort to connect with.
We both looked at her and said: “Please, share. We have thick skin.” But she refused. The man she was accompanying kept his mouth shut — smart man — though my roommate and I wondered if later that his silence may not be considered complicit should she want to include him in her ire.
And as we parted company and my roommate and I headed back to the car, I was reminded of two things.
1) Women hate to be dissected — this I was told by my own mother. Almost more than anything else, women hate to be dissected.
I don’t know if she offered more explanation as to why, because I can’t think of any she might have offered, though in consideration, there are several possible (repeat, possible, certainly not definitive) reasons as to why. Perhaps they enjoy part of their own mystery as a gender? There is power in that mystery, and I don’t imply such power is in any way intended for abuse. Truth is, life is all about power and the subtle struggle to keep what we have, in one fashion or another.
2) This young lady is VERY insecure. I couldn’t help but feel that her immediate shut down was because that dissection threatened to speak about herself as a woman (especially being the only one in a group of four), and insecurity does dangerous things to people.
I’ve had similar conversations with other women, several whom I know are generally very secure with themselves, and they immediately jumped in the conversation! They either corrected me, or agreed with me, and everybody ended up laughing. They weren’t afraid of dissection because they had already done it, themselves! They knew who they were and generally how they operated and my comparisons of spaghetti and waffles wasn’t threatening, it was amusing!
My friend and I walked to the car discussing this issue and mused on it for the rest of the night.
I realize that even writing this post is further dissection of her and women in general, but I’ll repeat here what I’ve repeated before: The opinions within this post are often not the end-all-be-all of anything, and are simply my personal opinion.
And I suppose that’s the point. I expressed an opinion — and a neutral one at that. If anything, we couldn’t land on a single comparison of women. There isn’t one. There is no way to pigeon hole a woman. You’re wonderfully and sometimes frustratingly wonderful creatures that we simpler-minded being struggle to find a way to understand. We do so through metaphors and allegories to remind us during our more frustrated moments that women don’t think like men, and we can’t expect them to.
I hope the same is understand from the other perspective as well.