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November 21, 2007


You know how when things aren't going well in your friend's life, or day, or whatever? And he or she complains a little about them to you, because you are always willing to lend a sympathetic ear if it gets you out of doing any work? So then, when it's your turn to talk, because you care, you say, "I'm sorry."? You know?

If the other person is a woman, she will respond, "Thanks. Yeah, it sucks." Or some such response, often followed by a continuing litany, but the point is: She recognizes what you meant.

Whereas if the other person is a man, when you say "I'm sorry," he will respond, "It's not your fault."

This is merely an observation. We shall leave the sexist interpretation of this fact, and subsequent flinging of angry rhetoric back and forth, to the commenters of either competing gender.


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Because it's not his fault.

judi, I normally reply, "Apology accepted." Isn't that better?

That happens with my husband all the time. What the heck is it about men? Judi, we need naked men pictures to distract from this issue, stat!

Besides it's your fault for apologizing. What did you expect?

Oh, Edgar. Edgar, Edgar, Edgar. Siouxie's got a machete, and I'm looking to arm myself with some boiled potatoes I WAS planning to mash for tomorrow.

Bad move, man. Bad move.

I see your mashed potatoes, and I raise you a Single and Multivariable Calculus textbook.

It's not your fault.

I always say, "I'm sorry, but that's not my fault" then walk away. That pretty much ends the gripe session. I have no time for gripes when it is always beer-thirty somewhere.

Hmmm. I wonder if this is why I have no friends?

While we're at it, let's clear something else up:

I think what you are wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without the belt, it looks fine. No, those pants do not make your butt look big. It was all the margaritas, pasta and ice cream that did that. Your hair is fine too.

Can we just go now?

Maybe it's because men are always being blamed for all of the world's problems, so when we say "It's not your fault", we are implying that it is our fault, or at least that some woman will say that it is our fault.

You need to be very specific and direct with men. You can't just say, "I'm sorry". You need to say something more like, "$#!*, your life $uck$."

Edgar is soooo dead. And it's his fault.

A Calculus textbook will not help you now, Edgar. Mashed potatoes will ruin the thin, papery, useless pages.

casey--I usually just offer someone a drink with my "That sucks" comment. I can't talk. I've had plenty of spam hit the fan just recently, and people have been forced to listen to me gripe about it.

Good point, gjd.

Edgar - YOU are soooo dead.

Judi, you are a pundit indeed. I never bothered to make the actual observation, but you're right. My fiance does that all the time. "it's not your fault"...to which I always say, "I'm still sorry it happened to you".

You would think after 8 years of talking to me, on a fairly regular basis he would get what I mean by now.

So, AAl, when a man says, "It's not your fault", should we reply, "No, it's yours."?

I don't get why a guy would tell me something's not my fault. It's NEVER my fault. Duh.

Well we are usually guilty until proven innocent. Even then we still get blamed.

I read about this years ago -- a female academic who wrote about communication differences between, for instance, New Yorkers and Mid-Westerns (New Yorkers spend less time pausing when they talk) but she had also written about male-female communication and mentioned this phenomena. Apparently none of the men were British.

I guess the guys had other things on their minds back when they were learning how the language works and missed out on that little nuance -- that "I'm sorry" can mean an apology, or it can mean "I'm so sorry to hear that".

So, listen up guys! Sometimes words or even phrases can...get ready for the hard part here...have more than one meaning. Woooahh!

You may now go back to drinking beer or whatever.

And if I've sounded grumpy the last couple of days it's because I'm tired, what with trying to get to work, checking RATP schedules to see which metro line might actually be running, getting to work very late, working, checking the RATP schedules again, spending a couple of hours getting home very late, then having my cat rush me at the door, urgently demanding food and snuggles, then being so keyed up that I can't sleep...

I'm with casey on this one. When somebody approaches me with that, "I need a sympathetic ear," look, I fall to the ground and flop about. Then, when they rush off to get help I sneak out to grab a beer.

oh good lord! according to this observation, i'm a guy.

I blame global warming.

also in the middle of the night if a woman gets up and stubs her toe on a chair she cries and when asked about it says, "I stubbed my toe" a guy on the other hand says "F%*&@# chair"

its all nuance.

CJ, that wouldn't work with me. I carry a CPR mask with me, and I know the Heimlich maneuver. You might end up worse than you started! Just invite the person for a drink, and watch the t.v. while making the occasional sympathetic noise.

Men vs Women,...

For men, there's red, blue, yellow, black, etc. Women have a larger color spectrum. There's mauve, cherry, taupe, mahoganny, god knows what else.

Also, one cookie left, what will people do? If a woman, she'll divide it in half, and eat half. If a man, he'll think, "Lucky me, one left" and eat the cookie."

There must be more.

So, Dave, does that mean that Al Gore is the one to call? His magical Nobel Prize can solve the man/woman dilemma? Cool.

CJ - I do that every time I attempt to read one of your dissertations posts.

Actually, orcel, upon toe-stubbing, my hubby and I are both likely to claim that the chair attacked us. My husband also blames the long-dead cat for his farts.

AuntieM, some gripes (such as yours) are VERY legit and need much talking, sometimes someone just needs to vent and that can be good, too. Then there's the whiiiiiiiiners that go on and on about everything and do nothing about it. I gladly lend my ears to the first 2 types. The 3rd is more likely to get my rear.

We've always said that you think like a guy, cg.

Brad, there were, but as a woman, I felt compelled to eat them.

Annie--send pictures. Then we can post them whenever CJ gets too technical. Some of you folks are WAY too smart.

AmericaineaParis : Je suis navre, ce n’est pas votre faute . . .

I'd wager that the observation was made by a woman
because it demonstrates how the man is not in touch
with his feelings ... or he is confused about his
feelings ... or some stupid "touchie-feelie" crap
like that.

Now, if the man were gay, then he would see things
more like a woman and respond more correctly
with, "Thanks. Yeah, I suck."

As told to me by a woman:

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to hear it, is the man still wrong?

As told to me by a guy:

Huh? What is this topic about, anyway? Duuuude!

gjd--Right now my "gripes" trump anyone else's. Not that I'd recommend it as an escape, but people are much less likely to whine to me. I can out-whine them with both hands tied behind my back and pirate eye-patches on both eyes. I've not been bothered much with whiners over the last few months.

I hate that, judi! To me it's like a slap in the face when I was just trying to be nice and sympathetic.

Where do you go from there? Nowhere good, is my guess.

Oh, and guys? Quit claiming that you're "not thinking about anything" when we ask. We know you're thinking about:
1. alcohol
2. naked women
3. how to avoid answering our "girl" questions.

The smart answer involves telling us that you're thinking about how much you love us. Even if it's a lie, it will make us happy to hear it.

*trying to stifle a giggle* I'm very sorry, Auntie, but you provided an image of you with your hands tied behind your back while blindfolded w/ pirate patches. You shouldn't do that when I need to be serious. ;-)

And, girl, you know where my inbox is. You're more than welcome to show up there any time you need to let it out.

I'm sorry that sucks. It's not your fault that sucks.

Just saying.

I must have missed that lecture in Guy 101. Mainly because I never say "It's not your fault" to my wife when she says "I'm sorry".

I may have to recertify my mancard.

Also, one cookie left, what will people do? If a woman, she'll divide it in half, and eat half. If a man, he'll think, "Lucky me, one left" and eat the cookie."

There must be more.

Posted by: Brad | 03:36 PM on November 21, 2007

yup. still a guy.

I do confess to one potentially annoying trait that is more often associated with guys...when someone does come to me with a problem, I tend to want to fix it rather than just listen.

gjd--Thanks. Bad Friday (blogged it) but all is sorta-well now. I'll e-mail you sometime, though!

Schadeboy--you're probably just smarter than the average bear. Consider your mancard renewed.

This whole "debate" is predicated on some whiny-man crying to a girl. It probably is your fault, for enabling this behavior.

And Steve, the second pair of shoes match better.

I often find that people will just walk away when talking to them. I think it's a Minnesotan thing--they're very passive-agressive up here, which drives this particular straight-talking Southerner nuts.
My apologies for any mistakes in this post; my two Vicod!n have kicked in and I'm feeling pretty good.

cg and Brad--by that definition, my sister is a guy.

AuntM: not so, sometimes we also think about antique bronzes . . .

But the gummy pages will only solidify the book into one hard mass, which is very useful for fending off attacks.

"Also, one cookie left, what will people do? If a woman, she'll divide it in half, and eat half. If a man, he'll think, "Lucky me, one left" and eat the cookie."

that's because she's probably worried about the calories, and everyone knows a broken cookie doesn't have any.

Especially if you eat it standing up.

I also notice that you women think two or ten broken cookies don't have any either.

I guess I'm a guy too, CG.

c'mon! We'll all be guys! *belch, scratch, fart, spits into Grand Canyon from the edge of observation platform*

Ok - maybe not.

And wait wait- I like the first pair better. You don't want them to be too "matchy matchy".

LOL, judi. You are right. They all fall out.

I've also tried convincing folks that potlucks and such at church won't make you fat b/c nothing at church can be bad for you.

judi- just eat the whole cookie and drink a diet soda. That immediately negates any calories.

*snork* @ ddd. Should we go with the matchy matchy purse?

Edgar, are you being obnoxious on purpose so that we keep throwing food at you?

gjd- I prefer something to "pop".

Well, this thread confirms it. I'm a gay man.

I'm obnoxious because the only women that will talk to me know that I am obnoxious. If I was suddenly nice, I might scare them off.

Edgar--the boiling hot cauldron of gravy will negate the hardening powers of mashed potatoes. There is no escape.

Ooh, judi: make sure no one sees you eat the cookie, because then the calories don't count, either.

Casey- One of my nurses turned to me a few months ago and said, "You are the biggest gay man I have ever seen!"

I laughed really hard at that- I never realized it before, but she totally NAILED it! I'm a drag queen trapped in a womans body!

gjd, I was just wondering the same thing about Edgar....

You would think so, but I put the book on an airplane, so the gravy has to stay in a 1 quart Ziplock baggy.

That's OK, MareBear...it's not your fault.

Edgar- so is that your method of birth control? Your personality? ;P

My mother told me once that men are like computers and women are like filing cabinets.

When you tell a man about a problem or something that has upset you, he immediately starts processing the most logical solution to the problem.

Women, however, will just listen, collate and file the topic to bring up later to see if it ever got resolved.

Most times, when I talk to my husband about things that have upset me, I don't want him to solve the problem. I just want to talk it out and have him validate my feelings.

If it wasn't for my Air Supply's Greatest Hits cd, and watching grown men cry over football, I'd swear men wouldn't know an emotion if it danced naked between the lounger and the TV...

Edgar, I have friends in airport security. I get a GALLON sized ziploc. It's in your overhead compartment. Waiting for you.

I'm very empathic. I usually say, "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it's your fault."

It's simple economics. Anyone can actually do the girl a favor, but only I can give 100, increasingly absurd, reasons for not doing it. It is my niche.

*zips in*


*agrees with all the women*

*zips out* back later...and yes, I know you missed me.

I also have friends at the airline. They switch my seat.

BIG *snork* @ ddd

*notes Edgar 'give 100' was 69*

Dead man talkin'....

That's okay, Edgar. We (the women bloggers) will all be waiting for you when you land. Still, no escape. You can't run forever.

Edgar, Now you are next to the sweaty man who takes up 2 seats and the Mom with the crying baby who needs a diaper change and has urped on your shoulder.

But without your mashed potatoes, what hope do you have of defeating me?

Kristie - your mother was wrong. Blame your father for that.

You have forgotten the crescent rolls that got left in the oven for too long and are now as hard as rocks. They make excellent projectiles.

You realize that now we HAVE to respond with "it's not your fault". Otherwise, you're going to be thinking "he didn't say it's not my fault. He must think it IS my fault!"

Duh, Edgar. There are grocery stores everywhere, and any woman would lend us her kitchen for a little while.

I'm a 'the cookie is half-full' kinda guy. Or was. Mmmmm.


Oh, sorry.

(Playing matchy-matchy doesn't seem so hard.)

Edgar, you may be able to run, but you can't hide!

But gjd, I too can cook. Prepare to be smitten with toast and macaroni.

Re: "I'm sorry" - yes you are

Re: Cookies & candy - finders keepers

Re: Strappy shoes - oh, yes!

Re: "Does this make my butt look big?" - No your butt IS big! Get over it!

I'm sorry.

It's not your fault, Al.

Toast And Macaroni. It's What's (Not Watts) For Breakfast™.

You guys keep distractin' Edgar here on the blog while me and Siouxie put the finishing touches on ruling the world.
Oh, and Edgar, your mom said you not allowed to use the toaster until you finish cleaning your room in the basement.

Sucks to be you, Al.

Cookie I'm Sorry™ Booger

^5 Annie. You are awesome.

I have my own toaster, Annie. Nice try.

Shhh, Annie! Don't reveal the world dominance plan! We've got Edgar on the run. Bring back Siouxie's machete.

*flings a 're @ Annie, to distract her*

Do you? Or did I just let you think you had my on the run, because I'm a pretty chivalrous guy after all.

I blame toilets.

Edgar. Snot. Your fault.

Ninja toilets?

Apology accepted, Annie.

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