July 7, 2011 

Beth Wiesemann

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, food." You know what that is? It's what a man hears when a woman's talking to him. That's not the only thing of course. Sometimes there are other substitutes for the word "food". And I'm not really sure if they actually hear the blah-blah part either. It may not really register as a sound per se. It's kind of like that tree falling in the woods puzzle. If a woman is talking when a man is around, does she really make a sound?

One pressing question I have is why don't men want to hear about my PMS? They like movies with violence, blood and bathroom humor. If that doesn't sound like my period, what does? Is it that they're grossed out by it? I go to the gym and I can tell you that most men don't care one bit about wiping down the benches after they're done. Don't tell me you're squeamish if you have no issue whatsoever about sitting on another man's butt sweat. Please.

I will go see just about any type of movie. But men have a special aversion to anything they consider a "chick flick". Recently I saw Bridesmaids, which was advertised as the anti-chick chick-flick. It was hilarious and I posted my review on Facebook. The wife of one of my co-workers - who I'll call "Robert" - replied that she wanted to see it really bad, but Robert refused to go. I tried my best to convince him. It was the trifecta of male-humor: bad language, fast driving and vomit. I couldn't convince him he'd like it. I think he was mentally calculating the ratio of dialogue to action and still couldn't crunch the proper numbers.

See, it's that dialogue thing that men can't seem to get around. That and the possibility that there might be hugging and crying of some kind. The one exception to the hugging and crying rule is the sports flick. It's okay to hug after the final against-all-odds touchdown in the championship game. It's okay to cry if the against-all-odds touchdown is missed and the team loses a heartbreaker. But any hint that someone might cry because of a broken heart or that two cowboys might like camping with each other a little too much, expect to make it ladies night at the movies.

I'm not totally opposed to leaving out the human interest in certain movies and shows though. One of my favorite cable shows is about a male and female pair of U.S. Marshalls. For some reason, this year they decided to have the female lead become pregnant. I'm stumped as to why they would choose to do this, but I'm certain the actress is pregnant in real life. You know how I know? Because no makeup artist alive can do bloat that convincingly. I'm already dreading the inevitable hemorrhoid jokes. It's not the pregnancy storyline I mind so much; it's the actual baby. I'm thinking about starting a pool to see who can guess in which episode she's going to start lactating on a stakeout.

I do sympathize with men who have the unenviable position of working in an office full of women. Let's admit it ladies, we can be difficult when we're in packs. For one thing, we can never get that thermostat right. Hey, do you think men really know why we carry our purse to the bathroom?

The pack mentality is really evident when someone brings a baby into the office. Women become like a pack of wild coyotes on a carcass when this happens. I've noticed over the years that not one man in my office has any interest whatsoever in babies. I asked Mr. I-refuse-to-see-the-movie-Bridesmaids Robert about this once. He told me he had his own kids and didn't need to see any more. Well, I have my own pet, but I still like to go to the zoo and see other animals from time to time. You'd think men would love babies. They don't talk too much and they pass gas at will. That's like a total dude flick. Of course, there is that crying thing. Maybe that's it. And vomit is only funny when it's not on your shoulder.

I sometimes wonder how many men read my column. Aside from my dad that is. And he only reads it so he can collect documentation for later when he has to prove in a court of law that I'm unfit to pick his nursing home.

J.K. Rowlings, the writer of the Harry Potter books, purposely used her initials so that boys would read her books. Can you imagine? Girls will read a book without any regard to the gender of its author. But boys will almost never read a book written by a woman. Female authors hide their gender just like mothers hide mashed up peas in the meatloaf to get their kids to eat vegetables. Perhaps if my column was called something else, I could increase my readership. Let's see, how about "Musings from a Hot, Naked Babe"? Or "Musings from a Gender Neutral Person Drinking a Beer?" Or "I'm Driving Really Fast and I Just Vomited, Now I Want to Talk About It." Any one of these titles could be a description of the movie Hangover 2; a movie I also saw and commented about on Facebook. Robert couldn't wait to see that movie. I tried to warn him that there was a brief scene at the end where there were some bridesmaids and prolonged talking. He said he could handle it.

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