When Talk is Cheap — Sex, Wine, and the Gender Gap!

by Debra Chappell

View from the front porch:


 (Decided to post this photo instead of the big, fat, juicy Rattlesnake that slithered within 3’ of me on the front porch this morning while I was out watering my flower pots!  Still skittish!)

Mood Reading: ZZZZ’s (but wide awake now!)

Okay, I was wrong!!  I stand certifiably corrected and owe anyone with a Y chromosome a complete apology. So without further a dui…I’m sorry, I humbly offer my sincerest apologies for under estimating the male gender.

In a recent blog, I’d written about the special bonds between girlfriends – more specifically – the way in which women communicate with one another.  I’d said something to the effect that it was your girlfriends who were more apt to pull out the wine glasses and willingly dissect all of life’s mysteries well into the wee hours without the need for “facts, figures, or god forbid, logistical reasoning.” Men, on the other hand (I said) seem to prefer a more succinct, pragmatic and with any luck, abbreviated form of communication — emotional Cliff Notes if you will. They just don’t “get” the need to hash everything out to the inth degree.

This prompted a surprisingly strong reaction from a couple guys I consider friends who not only set the record straight, but clearly demonstrated that perhaps I – the one with supposedly heightened emotional awareness – was the one lacking not only practical information, but empathy as well!

The first was from a friend who lives in Brazil and is a coach.  The athlete he coaches happens to be his wife.  When we were dining recently after a track meet, I asked him what was their favorite thing to do in Sao Paulo where they live.  He said “Honestly, on a Saturday night we like to prepare some food at home – something simple, some good cheese, some meats perhaps – and I open a really good bottle of wine, and we talk all evening.  Sometimes we talk…” he shrugged his shoulders and gestered with his hands, “well into the late evening, into the night…for a long, long time.”  At which point his wife started giggling and said, “sometimes he talks so long and so much I fall asleep while he’s talking!”  We all laughed.  I told him about the blog post I’d just written, about how I suggested women were the talkers.  He said seriously, “Oh no, with us…it’s the opposite.  I talk and talk.  Her? Not so much.” She nodded in agreement.

And then there was our good friend Brian, who was recently visiting from Philidelphia.  We have been friends with Brian’s family for years.  His father, who passed away recently, was a dear friend and also our family doctor.  Brian was out here settling some estate matters when we all had the occasion to go to dinner.  Into our second glass of a hearty Italian Red, Brian good naturedly brought up my recent blog post.  He said he disagreed about the reasons men and women communicate differently – that it wasn’t as simple or cut and dried as I had put forth.

Now Brian and his wife have an active family – make that, very active.  They have two high spirited 10 year old twin boys and a knock-out daughter just entering high school.  All are bright, energetic and into a variety of physically demanding activities not the least of which is La Crosse, baseball, and host of other extra curricular past times. Let’s just say they have their hands abundantly full.  Brian explained that after running the kids around to all their activities, making and eating dinner, homework, preparation for their volunteer functions and work the next day, he and his wife Leigh are just plain beat.  He said that if he got out the wine glasses then and suggested meaningful, soulful, conversation into the wee hours, Leigh would either be laughing her socks off or already fast asleep. Furthermore, he said he was well aware of the “particular window of opportunity” for “closeness” – that had to happen between certain hours if it was going to “happen” at all, and the wee ones were entirely out of the question.

Which all led into another long philosophical discussion over a third glass of wine about the differences between the sexes and the gender gap, which in and of itself shot my original theory all to hell.  Brian went on to tell us about a physical he’d had recently from his new doctor. Being the son of a physician, he had never had a physical from another physician before.  Now though, with his father’s passing, he had gone to a new MD locally and said it was more thorough than he expected.  At the end of it, the new doctor asked him about his sex life – if it was ‘normal’.  Since he’d always had his father conduct these exams previously, he’d never been asked that question before.  He replied, “Of course!” Hanging on the edge of my seat and not wanting to leave it there , I asked the question we were all wanting to know, “so what IS normal?”  A glint of mischief flickered in his eyes and a wide grin crept over his face as he said, “I’ll tell you what I told my wife when she asked me the same thing…I told her it was 8 times a week!”  That had me laughing my socks off hysterically too.

When we got home late that evening my husband asked, “so why did you find that all so funny?”

I replied, “better get out the wine glasses and get comfy, I’ll try and explain it all to you.”