I was at a party the other weekend, and the women were gathered in the kitchen, as we tend to do, sharing everything from the crab dip recipe, to concerns about our children's education, to hopes and desires for the future.
During a slight pause in the conversation, we looked out at the patio where the men folk were gathered around the fire.
"I wonder what they are talking about?" one of the ladies asked.
You can bet it was none of the above. Now, am I saying that men don't talk about their hopes, their dreams and their concerns about the future? No, but they certainly don't talk about them with each other. In fact, it's sometimes hard to determine exactly what men do talk about when they are together. I secretly think it's why sports was invented.
Women, on the other hand, are far different creatures. Within a matter of minutes, we know intimate details of each other's lives.
Ironically, though men say less, they seem to remain friends longer. Don't believe me, ladies? Quit talking to your girlfriend for a week and see what happens.
You can bet she'll be at home going, "I don't know what's wrong with so and so. I think she's mad at me. She hasn't called me in a week. How dare she be mad at me after all I've done for her? Just wait until the next time she calls me to babysit ..."
You get the idea.
Men, however, can go decades without speaking to each other and then pick up the phone and go back to insulting each other and talking about sports like they never missed a beat. I've hung around waiting for my husband to get off such a phone call before. As soon as he hangs up, I ask, "Well, what did he say?"
"Not much. He's doing good."
"But what about his wife? How is she? Did he say anything about her?"
"No, didn't mention her."
"Well, what about the kids? Has their son graduated? Did their daughter get married?"
"He didn't mention it."
And, then comes the question all men dread hearing.
"Well, what DID you talk about?"
We had dinner with some friends - Jerry and Barbara - the other night, and they told the story of how they had received a Christmas card from a co-worker and his family. The card showed the couple posed with their 5-year-old son and a newborn baby.
"Jerry, you didn't tell me that they had a baby!"
"That can't be their baby. I've talked to Kurt almost every day, and he never mentioned anything about a baby," Jerry protested. "That must be the neighbor's baby."
"Jerry, why would they send out a Christmas card with the neighbor's baby?"
"Then they must have adopted a baby."
Barbara scrutinized the photo and said, "This baby looks just like everybody in the photo!"
Then she asked yet another dreaded question, "Did you FORGET to tell me they had a baby?"
"No, Kurt didn't tell me. I think they must be trying to hide the baby!" Jerry said in desperation.
Wasn't long before the conversation got back to the couple with the baby.
The wife's reaction?
"Kurt, you mean you never mentioned to them that I was pregnant? What DID you talk about?"