Sunday, June 2, 2013

What Do Guys Really Talk About?

There is a real sexual divide that does not begin at the waist or even the chest, but in the mental processes that differ men and women.  Now several people have commented on this, including the oft-repeated saw about women saying about 60% more words per day, using or not using certain words (Like adorable:  Can you name the last time you heard a guy not Cole Porter using the word "adorable"?), and especially topics.  We gain little insight by observing their behavior in mixed settings; certain species are shy and do not engage in species-specific behavior if observers or possible threats are present.

But I took my cue from Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall:  just hang around, and don't do anything remarkable, and those wily animals will stop paying attention to you.  Maybe Wiley Coyote should use this strategy to catch roadrunners instead of the junk from Acme.

Fortunately, there is a way to observe the conversations of guys.  Hang out in a setting where guys are present, but be seemingly engaged in using a laptop computer.  If you avoid eye contact, and appear to be engaged, they soon stop noticing the skinny chick who's typing.  This is exactly the same approach used by Jane Goodall when she studied the apes.

This was my methodology.  I was occasionally offered a coffee, and I mostly responded to those overtures by thanking and saying "I'm good."

Anyway, male-male dialogue tends to run this sort of course:

1.  There's the brief greeting, often reduced to a grunt or two.

2.  Then, there's talk about sports, initiated by a remark such as "Didja see the game last night."  This is likely to last over half of the encounter, and be enjoyed by both.  There's mild oneupmanship, but no real status-seeking going on.

3.  Now and then there are allusions to work.  While guys might work in the same place, "talking shop" tends to be a low priority.  That may be because their work is so unpleasant so that they would psychically avoid any continuation of it.  Now and then remarks are cast:  "My boss is a ball-buster," "The Comptroller is a real asshat," "Back to the old salt mines," "I wish I could tell them to take this job and shove it."

4.  There are brief comments of a sexual nature that crop up toward the end.  (I have to be careful to look intently at my screen and hopefully not blush.)  "Look at the hooters on that redhead!"  "Got any last night?"  "She's so hot, it would take two men and a boy just to look at her."  These are more throwaway lines, rather than actual topic shifts.  Surprisingly, men talk just a little about sex and not too specific -- at least in restaurants or coffee shops.

5.  Comments about the food.  Now these are spirited!  "This Carolina barbecue is for weenies," "Try the banana puddin' sometime," "If I eat that stuff, I'll get the runs." 

An interesting this is what they don't talk about.  Feelings.  Worries.  Clothes.  They're pretty self-contained.


MarkD60 said...

Do you remember the beer commercial where the guy walks into a bar, sees his buddy and says "How ya Doin?" His buddy says "How ya Doin?". Then the bartender... "How ya Doin?". Everybody says "How ya Doin?" and nothing else.
THat about sums it up.

John Hill said...

We do talk about feelings--how we feel about food, sports and our asshat bosses!

Dianne said...

which is why I often find it so relaxing to converse with men

TexWisGirl said...

laughing at john hill's add...

Mike said...

This post was adorable.

Banana Oil said...

I think it is too.

Bilbo said...

I have adorable grandchildren. I use the word all the time.