The Difference Between Men And Women

A little humor from Dave Barry

Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty…scumballs.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…

“Fred,” Martha says aloud.

“What?” says Fred, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Fred.

“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Fred.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.

“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Fred.

“That way about time,” says Martha.

“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Fred,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.

They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”

And that’s the difference between men and women.

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4 Responses to The Difference Between Men And Women

  1. Vic Maltby says:

    Could’ve stopped after the third sentence and the title would still be valid.

  2. altair says:

    It was funny as a whole but the horse part made me laugh out loud.

  3. MGTOW-man says:

    There is something left out of this story. The moment he started remembering the time frame in which the car went into the shop, he was wrong…according to women. Shame on him for not staying focused on whatever she is trying to project onto him by the way and by how strongly she feels. When women want to talk about stuff, the men had better not stray…else he is wrong, he doesn’t love her, he is a brute, he is selfish, he is a cad…. women are always right especially in times like these. Men aren’t allowed to do things on their own terms, in their own ways; they must defer to women to control all that, once a relationship is started.

    This is the problem. Women are projecting their feelings, their focuses, their desires, their selfishness onto men and all the world (feminism). And bad, bad men had better fall straight in line now. If I were this man, I would get away from her as fast as possible because she does not understand how her ways will try and dominate/control.

    I want nothing like that for my life. I have as much right to be free of this type of coercion as much as I also have a right to not be hit by violent women in relationships who had to endure truth about themselves they would rather not be bothered with. We all want to live in acceptable relationships: any abuse—mental or physical— is out! She is an abuser…and sadly she is oblivious to herself. Many other people will be too.

    Many women truly believe that they are better, only they know what is real, what REALLY matters, and they spend their lives thinking that everyone else HAS to feel just like they do or else they “hate women” etc —which is bull!

    The question is…will HE be the fool? How badly does he need “to be a man” so much that he accepts a woman like that into his life? He will undoubtedly ask her about this horse? They will speak again on this matter. When they do and he learns how unstable, petty, confused, and selfish she is, will he just plunge right on in deeper, or will he be wise, regardless of how it makes him appear to others—regardless?

    Feminism isn’t winning because it is right.

  4. Man Hater says:

    It’s abundantly obvious that men don’t care about women’s thoughts or feelings. We are just objects to them, and we’re supposed to just accept it. I have–and now they wonder why I make no attempt to communicate with them.

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