Difference Between Male and Female
A Fictitious 'Funny' of Local Origin...
One evening when Elaine and Roger are driving home from being with some Saints, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been married for exactly five months?”
And then there is silence in the car.
To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling frustrated by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into buying me a gift that he doesn’t want to give me, or isn’t sure of what to get.
And Roger is thinking: Man. Five months.
And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want to start functioning that way, either. I mean, where are we going? Are we going to be able to sustain this pace? Every five months? The math doesn’t work… but in some ways it would be nice. Special. Maybe just dinner out, or doing the dishes. But if he really loved me he would do those things anyway. So, maybe gifts IS a good idea. But where will it lead? And what about the children, when we have children? What will they think? What will they expect? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?
And Roger is thinking: So, that means it was… let’s see… February when we got married, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means… let me check the odometer… Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more commitment; maybe he has sensed, even before I sensed it, that I was feeling some reservations about the gifts. I didn’t mention anything about gifts, but that should be obvious to him. Anyone would know that’s what I was thinking. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.
And Roger is thinking: And I’m going to have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those guys say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those thieves $600.
And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.
And Roger is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty… can you believe those guys?
And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for him to be a knight to come riding up on his white horse. Why do I feel this way, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. He may not be a knight the way I want him to be, but he’s a good person. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.
And Roger is thinking: Warranty? Yeah, right. This is America. There’s always a catch. Always small print or some lawyer’s clause so that all the cost and all the obligation and time and trouble fall back on the little guy. Man oh man oh man.
“Roger,” Elaine says aloud.
“What?” says Roger, startled.
“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have… Oh, I feel so… (She breaks down, sobbing.)
“What?” says Roger.
“I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”
“There’s no horse?” says Roger.
“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Elaine says.
“No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.
“It’s just that… it’s that I… I need some time,” Elaine says.
There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work. “Yes,” he says.
Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand. “Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?” she says.
“What way?” says Roger.
“That way about time,” says Elaine.
“Oh,” says Roger. “Yes.”
Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.
“Thank you, Roger,” she says.
“Thank you,” says Roger.
Then they go home, and she quickly goes to bed while he decides to write emails until she falls asleep. She never does. The conflicted, tortured soul weeps until dawn.
After responding to some Emails, Roger opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.
The next day Elaine will call a dear, trusted friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.
Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with Elaine’s brother, will pause just before serving, frown, and say, “Bill, did Elaine ever own a horse?”
And that’s the difference between men and women.