No, no, I don’t mean that. Or … ahem … those.
Today I want to talk about the real differences between men and women. The differences that matter. The differences that make each day a zing and not a trudge.
Men and women are both fitted with x-ray vision, but it’s wired slightly differently. A woman can look at another woman and instantly know that she is pregnant. A man can look at a woman and instantly tell if she’s wearing a bra.
A man will get his house keys out of his pocket at least half a mile before he gets home. A woman will wait until she is standing by the door before deciding that she needs to go rooting in her handbag.
It’s the same with supermarket checkouts. A man will have his cash or credit card ready long before it’s needed. Heaven forbid that he should be a millisecond late. Something awful would happen. The world would end. Or someone else would spot that he was a tad too late, which is not that far from the world ending as far as a man is concerned.
By contrast, a woman will wait until all the bags have been packed and all the pleasantries have been said before reaching for her purse. Meanwhile every man in the queue behind will be venting steam out of either ear. Thankfully, these days we are mostly spared the ordeal of her counting out the exact money, penny by penny.
Take a problem to a woman, and she will probably sympathise. Aww, that must have been awful for you. How terrible! What happened next? It’s an emotional hug, a skinny latte sharing.
But take a problem to a man, and he will feel honour-bound to find you a solution. What you need to do is … Or, you need a thingie-me-bob. Deep down most men want to believe that 99% of problems can be solved with a swiss army knife. Or Batman’s utility belt.
Men and women speak a different language. When a woman says “does my bum/ butt look big in this?” she is not asking a question. It may look like a question. It may have a question mark at the end. She may be staring at you expecting an answer. But she doesn’t want an answer. What she has done has pressed the invisible button marked “say something nice”.
Oh, and by the way, smart-alec answers don’t work at this point. “No more than usual” or “Depends what you mean by big” aren’t usually good choices.
Incidentally, a reasonably safe answer at this point is to say “I prefer the one in blue. That looks really good on you.”
Of course, it helps if one of the things she has tried on is blue.
The phrase that catches many of us out is the simple “I love you.” If the bum question isn’t a question, this is a statement that is really a question. When a woman says “I love you” what she is really asking is: “You do love me, don’t you?”
Trust me on this. Only Han Solo can get away with the reply “I know.” For every other man, the correct reply is along the lines of “I love you too”.
Sad to say, but when a man says “I love you” he often means: “Please may I …”