Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stereotypes Ad Nauseum

I am listening to a hilariously funny monologue by Larry Miller. Oh ya, it's cracking me up to hear the phrase "men don't hear what women say" 29,000 times. Soooooooo funny. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuch a copout. Sooooooooooooooper tedious, moronic, boring, irritating, degrading and patronizing.

No doubt that I have become more sensitive to the plethora of society who cannot carry on a conversation. I mean a real conversation. I mean something other than a monologue about every minute detail of their and their friends' lives. I'm talking about the kind of monologue that goes on till my eyes have glassed over and I begin having the urge to kick and run. Yep. I glass over, fantasize kicking the current monologuer in the kneecap and then taking my ass on the road as fast as I can do so.

You might be wondering what the catalyst to these monologues can be. Is it my fault somehow? Is there something I do that leads these people to launch their diatribes and/or James Joyce worthy descriptions of people I've never met and whom I never hope to meet? Well you're right. It is me. I am the catalyst. How do I accomplish this amazing feat? I'll tell you how: I speak. I actually attempt to get half a sentence spit out in record time regarding some fascinating subject and then you know what happens. A WORD I have spoken interrupts the monologuer's flat line and ignites a distant memory in her catalogue file. At which time I'm interrupted with a 7 minute monologue on what that word means to her. Her card file opens, everything spills out and she proceeds to pick each card up from the floor, trying to sort everything in date order without pause for comment, as I ............. glass over.

Case in point. The other day my neighbor stopped over. After serving her tea on the front porch and exchanging (I use this word loosely) initial pleasantries, I began to explain why I had been on the phone in the midst of quite the animated conversation when she arrived. Since she overheard a portion of this conversation I felt a polite explanation might be in order. Having confused her for someone who might be interested, I soon realized how wrong I was! I had no longer gotten out the words, "That was a good friend of mine who just heard from one of my former boyfriends who ............." and she was off and running. Yep, she heard a familiar word: boyfriend, and BINGO, the card file opened.

"Oh, I had a boyfriend once who left me to go sailing around the world. Can you imagine ...... blah blah blah blah blahdy dah" for the next ten minutes."

So back to my original point. MEN don't hear what women say? Actually I agree. They generally don't. Why? Not because they can't, but because they don't care to listen. Listen is an action verb (back to those verbs). I have to take partial issue with the statement that men don't listen, however. I would like to suggest that most people don't listen. I am fortunate to have a dozen or so friends (both female and male) who know how to listen, analyze, converse and enjoy a true exchange of ideas. For these people in my life I am shockingly thankful. I blame all of you for making me impatient and contemptuous of those who choose not to do what you do so well.

I'm tired of the excuses. Not only is intention crucial for our ascension to a higher societal level; communication is equally as essential. If we can't perceive another's intentions because we choose not to hear them then intention means nothing in the whole scheme of our relationships. (Can anyone say George? Dick? Donald? Condie?)

I'm still sitting here watching Larry Miller and waiting for the punch line. Any punch line. What I've gotten so far is that men can't hear, men only want the remote control in their hands (well ALMOST only the remote control), men appear to listen to women on a first date only as foreplay to sex (amazing how fast they forget to do that, isn't it?), women remember every single word men say and hold it against them forever, when men say they'll call that really means they won't, when men say "I love you" that really means I want sex, and on and on ad stereotype.

That's OK. I stopped hearing him a long time ago.

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