Thursday, February 17, 2005

Men and Sandwiches

Generally speaking, I don't complain about men, especially on this site. Guys normally make more sense to me than girls do, even though I happen to be one (a girl, that is). The other night I had a conversation on this topic with a newly made acquaintance, in which he confessed that though he knew a lot about women, he didn't understand them. I feel exactly the same way. That puts us both in the same boat, but it does make me feel like the fish out of water, even though I am the one supposedly made for swimming (and I realize that was a completely absurd simile, but it's the end of a long day).

Yet I digress. This post was not intended to be about girls at all. It was about men, or guys, or anything in between. Perhaps I shall not complain, but rather be amused at their idiosyncrasies. To illustrate my point, I will use the chefs I work with as examples. They have all had a sudden craving for my sandwiches, and have let me know this in so many words. Strangely enough, their requests are typical of the way guys seem to approach things.

The Imperialist Approach
This comes in the form of knowing what they want, but instead of asking, they tell you what they are going to take and wait for your response. "I'm going to take one of your sandwiches." They know that you will either concede, stand and argue with them, kick their tail, or offer to give it to them. And they're willing to take all of those risks. Somehow it's safer to just tell you what is going to theoretically happen rather than to actually ask.

The Dimplomatically Vague Approach
Vague diplomats will never come out and directly ask for what they want. That runs the risk of either being rejected or thought stupid. Instead, they hint around at what they want, using entirely impersonal pronouns and non-existant identities. "If someone did happen to be nice, they might make someone a sandwich. And if they were feeling especially kind, they would make it with ham, turkey, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise. But that's only if they just happened to be nice." That way, if 'someone' doesn't happen to feel like being nice, the other 'someone' won't have actually been refused. After all, nothing personal can happen to theoretical personalities.

The Hestitantly Inquiring Approach
This man knows what he wants, but is rather timid about it. He doesn't want to be an imposition, but is equally undesirous of being refused. He seems to expect it, however, and perhaps this is why it takes him so long to get up the courage to ask. It's the "Oh, are you done with everything? Are you still making sandwiches? Oh, that's okay, I was just going to ask you if it wouldn't be a bother to make me one. But if you're done don't worry about it. Actually, forget it, I'm fine." Then you have to convince him that you really want to do it.

The Uncommited Admiring Approach
This man likes what he sees and appreciates it, but isn't sure if that's what he wants at the moment. He stands around, observing, asking questions, making jokes, giving compliments, but when offered the chance to have some of his own, he is suddenly not sure if that is what he wants. He initially refuses, but keeps coming back to check on the status of the product. Then, when it's all gone, he comes back and says "Hey, are you still making sandwiches? I finally decided on what I wanted." Sadly, more often than not he's too late, and then he has to watch everyone else who has sandwiches. The best advice for him is to make up his mind quicker the next time.

I realize that the above descriptions are generalizations, and do not apply to every guy or man in every situation. It still amuses me, though. Perhaps I come to greater understanding of the male world through sandwiches. Wasn't there something about the way to a man's heart being connected to his stomach? Maybe there's something to that.

As an after-thought, if any guys or men read this and are convinced of either my error or accuracy concerning them, please feel free to comment.

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