What A Belle Really Thinks…
The other night my friend Jeremy and I were having a conversation about men… and women… and how well, we seem to be so bad at communicating with each other, especially when it comes to relationships. I could sum up the discussion by saying we concluded that men mean exactly what they say, and women mean exactly what they say… some of the time. As the words left his mouth, I could feel myself sinking into my chair as if to admit my guilt. But there’s more to it than just that…
I understand some reasoning behind why we do this: although I don’t know if it is my Southern upbringing or if it’s something all women understand. Certainly there is the “fairy tale defense”: while boys were staging GI Joe battles and playing with plastic water guns, we were playing with any number of dolls (all which had perky tits, tiny waists, and were wrinkle free) created to teach us that happiness equalled love and love equalled having Prince Charming around for our rescuing, bug killing, and of course, all the DIY household projects that required tools. I get the “fairy tale defense” is part of it, but it’s really only the beginning of a series of messages.
For example, I cringe to imagine coming home at 17 and telling my mom about the guy in English class “I’m seeing” and how “I didn’t want anything serious… but rather just hoped to get to third base in the backseat of his Nissan Maxima for a couple weekends, dump him, and then start dating the quarterback of the football team.” This would not be followed by a “high-five” between mother and daughter. And yet… if it were father and son I would presume that while maybe sparing a public “high-five”, this remark would definitely bring a smile to the dad’s face as if to convey a private “high-five”. …Needless to say, the genders have been conditioned to think very differently.
I’m not saying it’s been a breeze for guys. It makes sense that they don’t excel in foreplay when the fact is, for a few very impressionable years we were swatting their hands away to keep them from feeling our breasts, only then to… 10 years down the road, expect them to be excited to attempt this same gesture. I get it, we sent one message as girls and now we’re dealing with the repercussions as women.
But where positions really seem to differ between genders are emotional matters. Specifically the labels we give ourselves as we get older. Boyfriend, girlfriend, dating, relationship, exclusivity, monogamy, marriage, husband, wife, etc. I could see Jeremy’s blood pressure going up with each word I said. See, parents don’t bring their sons up saying, “don’t you let that girl get in your pants until you’re exclusive, she might also be shagging your best friend too”, although… it’s very possible she could have been sleeping with his friend too. No, instead they’re told to date around, spread their seed, “get it out of their system” while we were being reprimanded and/or judged for even having such thoughts. It’s a wonder that women ever actually know what we really want with a man considering all the mixed messages we’ve been given. How could we possibly be expected to know what men are thinking?! (blink)
I was waiting for Jeremy to concede to this explanation, but instead he said, “You should read High Fidelity.” …Huh? Did he just give me a book recommendation? Does that even qualify as a response? Nevertheless, being the avid reader I am, I found myself sitting in Yolk at 6:00 AM for breakfast accompanied by the book that was going to provide me insight into the thought processes of the male mind. Only, instead of peeking into the male mind, I found myself relating to male mind more than I ever could’ve imagined. Is it possible that the difference really lies with the way we communicate our thoughts, rather than the actual thoughts? Have we been taught that we shouldn’t think a particular way for so long that we feel ashamed to admit we have certain thoughts? Are we just a bunch of Belles “should-ing” ourselves all the time?! I know this isn’t true for all Belles, but I confess it’s definitely a recurring struggle for me. This being said, I’m making it a point to do a little less “should-ing” myself and a little more saying what I’m really thinking. Maybe this will help avoid any future confusion with a certain someone in my life… a Belle can only hope so.
What are your “thoughts” on the topic? Comment below or email them to Belle@IndependentBelle.com. Have a great weekend Belles!