Vive La Différance! Except Not! Not Really!

I just got back from the gym. I try to go early, before the kids get up, but I don't always make it. This morning I did.

Now, normally I make sure my ears are good and plugged with the music or audiobooks on my iPod in order to drown out my muscles screaming: "GAAAAAHHH!!! You're too old for this! We want to lay prone in a feather bed with a copy of InStyle magazing and a box of See's Chocolates (neither of whose makers have sent me a free anything to mention them here. But if they knew I'd mentioned them I'm pretty sure they would), plus a picture of Chris Hemsworth! And a shot of your husband! For sure him too!"

This time, however, I did not plug in. I just let my ears go au naturel. And I learned a thing or two. I mean, we're all used to women yammering like little hyper Rosie Perezes  when they're out doing things, right? (Which, by the way, where is she? I miss her most excellent dulcet-toned voice.) It's what we do: "So then HE said I was getting hysterical. Really? HYSTERICAL? If he wants to see HYSTERICAL I'll show him HYSTERICAL!" "That's right, girl. Sounds like he needs a little couch-time." "MmmHMMM."

Apparently guys talk too. You just have to be in the right place at the right time to hear them. And the gym before work? Definitely the right place. This is what I learned:

"Dude. I am totally losing it on the back of my head."

"What? No way!"

"No seriously. Look. See?"

"Oh, man!'

"Yeah, there go my dreams of growing my hair long."

"Dude, you could always do a comb-over."

"Yeah, or just grow out the sides."


And then I heard this:

"I don't mind if girls get those eyelash lengthening things. I mean, they just don't want to mess with mascara, right? It's cool by me. But botox? And that lip stuff? Resti . . . something. Naw, man. That's just nasty."

And another:

"Yeah, she's flirting with me."

"No she isn't, man."

"No, listen, listen. I go running, right? And I'm in the middle of the zone, and suddenly she's right in front of me, and she's all–" (opens his eyes wide and bats his eyelashes) "Hiiiii! (sing-song-y) What are you doing? You out running? Heeheehee!' Whatever, man. I was right in the middle of my workout! And she looked like she had those eyelash things on. They were hitting me in the face!"

"Dude, yeah. She's flirting with you."

Well. I was stunned. And amused. And when I weighed-in on the comb-over idea to the hair guys? (Don't do it!) They just stared at me like the 15 lb weight I was holding had sprouted lips and started yodeling. Then they went back to their workout. With their backs to me. Like I was intruding on their tea-party.

I felt like such a part of the human race right then, I can't even tell you. Seriously. Yay us! People who Need People! And Yay Men, For Not Being As Different From Women As You Like To Think!

Now I'm going to go eat lunch at a sports bar and see what I overhear. If nothing else I'll bet I can pass along a few tips to my boys.

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. I laughed about this all day yesterday. I would totally have weighed in on the comb over thing, too. Or at least done some Troi telepathic messaging. Or something. Heh.

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