The secret of how to understand women.

Much has been made about the inability to understand women.

There are many different theories about this, and suggestions range from them being of a different species, to coming from a different planet, to having smaller brains. Throughout the ages, scientists, philosophers and sexist pigs have all studied the subject deeply before compiling their noteworthy conclusions. Although everyone has an opinion about understanding women, in reality no one actually has a clue.

Why you will never know how to understand women

The largest single obstacle seems to be communication. Great strides have been made in communicating with various forms of life, and we are regularly shown evidence of primates who use sign language to communicate their thoughts, in some instances more clearly than many humans. For example, Gumbo, the mountain gorilla will ‘say’ “Can I have a banana?” while Bimbo, the shopper will say, “Can I get a latte?”

Gumbo, clearly recognises the concept of a service and cleverly avoids making himself look like a dick by referring to it as if it were self-service.

Latte to go

The art of communication.

Communication is an incredibly complex concept and requires both parties to be familiar with the intricacies of the language. This is where the understanding of women becomes difficult.

In principle, men and women use the same language. We use a common dictionary and are taught the same rules of usage, but women are wily creatures and go out of their way to disguise their conversations so that men don’t know what they are talking about.

They have many techniques for doing this. Here are some that have baffled the hell out of me.

Try to finish what…

One of Rachel’s favourite ways to confuse me is to stop talking part way through a sentence. This in itself could be quite disconcerting, because I am left wondering what the ending is and whether I am required to act upon it, respond to it, or just agree with it. However, that is not the end. Two days later, when we are eating or watching telly she will randomly say something like,

“I suppose three of the green ones would be best.”

Whoa, now I’m in trouble. Three what? What other coloured options are there? What the fuck is she on about? The thing is, is that she has picked up exactly where she left off and expects me to know what she is talking about. In her head the conversation isn’t complete until she gets to the full stop at the end (which, according to the rules of language is essentially true). It just happens that the full stop might not arrive until a week after the discussion began. I am convinced it is a cunning ploy to be able to say, “What do you mean ‘green what? You never listen to me.”

…you say.

To me, it’s a weird and crazy thing to do. As far as Rachel’s concerned, it’s me that is weird and crazy for not being able to do it. She does it with her mother and sister all the time, and they always know exactly what each other are talking about, even if it is a month later.

cut-and-shut image

Say what you see.

Another way of disguising what is being said is the cut-and-shut technique. Most people would recognise the term cut-and-shut as taking two or more cars, usually ones that have been written off in accidents, and welding them together to make one complete car. The secret to successful cut-and-shut is to have all the parts from the same model and all painted the same colour. Generally speaking, if the front is that of a blue Audi A3 and the rear is a red XR3 you would probably think something was amiss. But, some of Rachel’s sentences go even further than this and are more like a VW, where you can’t even hazard a guess at the output.

In our house, I live in a world where: “Remind me we need avocados that box needs to go in the attic a cat’s messed on the front grass again,” is a perfectly normal sentence.

I am not entirely sure I will ever get to grips with understanding women.

What women say: The rules.

The rules seem to be: don’t be in any rush to get to the end, don’t bother with punctuation and always say what you see.

I wonder if Gumbo has this trouble with his females?

Do you?

Gumbo the gorilla