Maybe men are from Mars

Disclaimer: While I believe most men are like my husband I have met a few who are quite chatty. I worked with one who kept me informed on EVERYTHING that was going on.

I went to a picnic this past weekend. It may have been a wedding celebration but I wasn’t sure. It was driven by men – uncommunicative men.

A widowed friend (Tom) of the beloved husband quietly remarried last year. We probably wouldn’t have been invited to the wedding because we weren’t close friends. The beloved husband and Tom were former work friends who continued to lunch and breakfast together with a group of retirees.

When we received an invitation about two months ago for a May picnic, I was suspicious. Is this a delayed wedding celebration? “I dunno” was the answer. It also was the answer to the follow-up questions – should we bring a gift, who do you think is attending, etc.

Women always want the details. After a whole week of daily suggestions on what we could bring which included everything from a card to a 6-pack of designer beer, the beloved husband wasn’t having any of it. It was his social event. I was just his eye candy so we went gift less – not even a hostess gift.

It felt alien to me but again, I am just eye candy and believe me, that is a lot of work. When we got to the picnic we sat with another couple. The husband was also a member of this breakfast-lunch group. Although I had met them before, this was the first time I really had a chance to get to know them. (Translation — talk to the wife!)

Within a half-hour the woman said to me, “I felt awkward coming without a gift.” Her husband had the same information as mine — none. I looked into her eyes and we were comrades. We started to compare notes – does he ever have any stories or information after the breakfast – no. What does he say when you ask how everyone is – fine. Oh my goodness, they are alike. I would call them distantly communicative.

When the host came to sit down and talk with us, within five minutes we had all the details. We knew that it was indeed a wedding celebration. (Luckily, no one else brought a gift.) We knew how they met, stories about their kids (who are all grown and in the 40-year-old range), and some other stuff too. It wasn’t an inquisition. It was casual interesting conversation.

Fast forward to today – we met some cousins of the beloved husband that he hasn’t seen in maybe ten years. We met at a restaurant about an hour away. On the way I asked who exactly was coming. He wasn’t quite sure. How many were coming — also not sure. My next question was practical – how big a table should we ask for? You know the answer. We had a good time anyway.

Here is the question – how can guys routinely meet their friends or arrange social activities and not know any details while women know the menu, what everyone is wearing and definitely who is coming???


Photo courtesy of smkybear via Flickr

24 thoughts on “Maybe men are from Mars

  1. Some of them are just self centered and if they do keep a track, they are labelled feminine. Though I am quite sure that secretly they do keep track of everything 😉


  2. Yep! My hubby said his best friend’s wife finally had the baby.
    ME: boy or girl?
    HUBS: Boy…I think
    ME: What did they name him?
    HUBS: Dunno
    ME: Did everything go well?
    HUBS: Dunno…I guess
    ME: How big was he?
    HUBS: Dunno
    Every. freaking. time.
    By the way, it was a girl, her name was Sara, she weighed 8 lbs and everything was fine. This took me 30 seconds to find out.


  3. I simply chock everything up to the fact that we use both sides of our brain, and they don’t possess that ability. So they save their energy, knowing they can’t handle these extra details and still walk. We are the multi-taskers who were designed to lead them. It may sound controversial, but it’s how it works in my house, Kate! Debra


  4. I have no idea, given up on trying a long time ago … just let them grunt and be happy together and we can gossip behind their backs 🙂 … and yes a best-selling book indeed, but then they don’t have answers either


  5. My husband was also one of those strong silent types. He drove me mad with his lack of information, and I presume I drove him equally crazy with my constant questioning. Eventually, about ten years into the marriage, there was no need for questions. I handled all the social arrangements, and if we accidentally found ourselves attending an event that he arranged, I knew that we would undoubtedly be wearing the wrong clothes, not have a gift when we should, or have a gift when we shouldn’t, or that we’d end up an hour late to our own dinner invitation with friends. It was often humiliating, and sometimes humorous.

    The part that really wore me down is that he took the same approach to parenting.



    • Yes, we have that here too. He can talk to his kids who live on the other side of the country for an hour. I will ask how they are and he will say fine. On the other hand I can get the details out of anyone just like Perry Mason!


  6. I usually show up at these things in the wrong clothes and then silently curse my husband for the next several hours while I twist and turn uncomfortably. What’s worse is his sister is just as bad! If I call her I am more confused than before! I used to think it was the language barrier but now I know better.
    I have a very large purse and often pack sandals, sunscreen and a hat, That way I can turn a nice summer dress into a casual, sporty looking outfit and not feel so overdressed.


  7. It’s like when you ask them what they want to eat for dinner, and they say; I don’t know, whatever. And then after you fix them dinner, the say; I was hoping we could have steak! Whatever!


  8. Welcome to my world!!! One of my husband’s favorite words when planning an event is “about.” As in “be here about 11” or “we will be there about 12.” I can not get him to shake that habit. Some people we know take that “about” to heart and we never know when they will arrive. He just joked the other day that he and his two best buddies in college would agree to be someplace at 1 and then would arrive simutaineously at 1:45. I have no clue how that works!!!


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