Don’t worry, my brothers; this post may feel or seem like male-bashing, but I promise you that’s not where I’m going with this. I’m not here to bash all men, nor am I here to bash men, nor am I a man-hater. I also don’t describe myself as a feminist; hell, I’m “lucky” (which is a debatable term) if I actually feel feminine. I have girl parts, but I don’t call myself a woman. And don’t worry–I’ve got a post in defense of men brewing, too. I’m an equal opportunity critic and supporter. For me, it’s all about merit and conduct; physical attributes and, to an extent, gender-based identity are less important to me.
OK, with that out of the way, I’ll launch in. I’ve noticed Various Quirks in certain males, whether it’s my dad, male friends, various significant others in the past, my longtime life partner, or even strangers. Some of these Various Quirks are funny, some are annoying, and some are merely interesting or even baffling.
Quirk 1 – The Wall of Silence:
I’ve noticed that some guys fail to communicate. It’s like they think I’m psychic or something. I swear I’m not high-maintenance. I’m pretty tolerant and open-minded, and most of the time, I’m content being myself, by myself.
But I do have my moments–the moments when I really do want to connect, to converse, to interact. And yet, there’ll be cricket-flavored (ew!) silence, the kind that leaves me wondering what I might have said, the dreaded reality being that it was probably wrong. But I don’t have the chance to correct, clarify, or explain. No chance to set the record straight. Not even the opportunity to get any feedback about what I said, even just a “yeah, I agree” or a “that’s a good idea”. And even if they don’t agree, which is fine, there is no response, so I don’t know what might be going on in their head. Maybe they have a more sensical opinion than I do. But I’ll never know.
Sometimes, if I prod enough, I can elicit a response. But it’s often the bare minimum, a vague, one-word answer that doesn’t narrow it down, clarify or satisfy anything, or contribute anything meaningful. Lol.
Quirk 2 – Only Smitten With The Kitten:
I’ve noticed that many guys only touch you when they’re feeling, erm, frisky. Aren’t gestures like hugging and holding hands fairly universal? Don’t they pretty much convey sentiments of affection worldwide? I often wonder why, despite the (higher) level of affection shown during courtship, this all but disappears once the relationship settles into Everyday Long-Term Mode.
Did I suddenly grow a second head? A third arm? What gives? I’m not one to hint, either. I come out and ask, verbally. This has morphed into begging and pleading. Eighteen years of it. I guess that says something about me, too, that I’m willing to stay. Sometimes I wish I had more leverage.
Quirk 3 – The Kitchen Sink As a Trash Can:
Holy hell, what’s up with this? Three guys in my life have done this, that I know of: my dad, an ex, and my partner.
I finally told my partner that the kitchen sink is not a trash can, and that the real trash can is a mere few feet away. I admit, it does involve using a few more muscles; I mean, there is a cupboard door to open, after all. And an object may not yet be trash-can-ready; it may have to be rinsed out first, hence the sink-y destination. But the sink is merely an intermediate step in the process, not a final resting place.
Quirk 4 – Let’s Talk About That Trash Can…
On the other hand, it is indeed important to rinse off certain items in the aforementioned sink before putting them into the trash can. A cupboard door does not, unfortunately, lessen or deodorize the unpleasant scent that ensues if you don’t.
I’m trying to figure out if there’s an X-linked (or would that be a y-linked?) gene passed down to some males that cuts their sense of smell in half or something. Either that, or I must have the nose of a dog. I’m not sure which. When the research gets published (or, when I stumble on any existing research), I’ll let you know. 😉
Quirk 5 – The Kitchen Counter As a Trash Can:
Guys, the kitchen counter is not a trash can, any more than the sink is. My partner still leaves empty oatmeal packets, organic soda cans, and Any Other Wrapper Things on the kitchen counter, despite the fact that the trash can is–still–a mere few feet away. I’m not sure it’s too much to ask that any discarded items actually end up there, right? I could be wrong. I’m usually not, but I am human, so meh.
Quirk 6 – The Bathroom Vanity As a Trash Can:
I’m starting to sense a theme here. I think that some guys are secretly hoarders. And yet, the show “Hoarders” actually features mostly women. Maybe it’s because when women do this, they do it big. Something breaks in their brains or something. That’s not to criticize or make fun of the mentally ill or anything, it’s just an observation.
Guys do their Hoarding Thing on a more subtle, micro scale. Just enough to be written off as “it’s a guy thing” by their wives and girlfriends, and their wives’ girlfriends. After a few “oh, I know, right?!”s, they shake their heads, chuckle, and move onto the next topic. No problem.
I say “they” in reference to the women, because I’m not one of those women. My style is to stay home and simply throw the wrapper away. I do mention to my partner that I did so, lest he think he did it, while I bummed around all weekend, but I don’t make a big production out of it.
So what ends up on the bathroom vanity? Whiskers! From shaving. Omg. Every-freaking-where.
And Q-tips. For some reason, I tend not to need Q-tips. Or maybe it’s just that I use a Kleenex instead (sorry for the TMI). Q-tips just don’t seem to do the trick for me, in the rare instance when I would have a use for such a thing.
Quirk 7 – The Container That Would Be in the Trash, If Not For Leaving the Last Bit of the Substance Inside:
OK now I’m starting to get a vibe of Trash Can Avoidance. My partner will use a certain amount of something but will then leave a few drops/crumbs of whatever it was in the carton or container, in order to shirk the obligation to throw it away.
Seriously, there will be not even half a swallow of almond milk left in the carton, less than half a bowl’s worth of coconut ice cream in the container, and less than half a handful of potato chip crumbs at the bottom of a very-rolled-up bag.
I wonder sometimes if there’s an Eleventh Commandment out there that I’m unaware of: Thou Shalt Not Acknowledge the Existence of the Trash Can.
Quirk 8 – What You Have There is a Failure To Apologize:
Some guys are really awesome at saying they’re sorry. Others…must be prompted, and often, even that doesn’t work. A blatant request must be made, causing the other party to question just how sincere that apology actually was.
I can talk to my partner. I can tell him how I feel. These are pluses. I even stick to “I” Statements; “I feel [x] when you do [y]”. Yep, I’m direct like that, and I do be sure to pick my battles. I don’t get upset or butthurt over every little imperfection.
But then, I hear crickets. Surely there were two people involved in this conversation. I don’t suddenly find myself talking to walls on a regular basis. The walls don’t do anything wrong anyway.
Nope, he’s still there. He sits there. I check in with my usual “do you know what I mean?” which is his cue to Say Something Already. Preferably something that assuages my feelings (I may be rational and semi-detached, but I am human, after all. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have feelings).
Sometimes it has to get obvious. Sometimes I have to hit him over the head with it. “Does it bother you that I feel like this? You care, right?”
I usually get a response then, but cue the Bare Minimum Quirk.
Quirk 9 – What You Have There is a Failure To Think Things Through:
It never fails. I’ll pipe up with a gentle reminder that seems like a no-brainer to me. I feel like I’m saying it merely for the record, or perhaps as an out-loud reminder to myself.
Nine times out of ten, my partner will be right there with me. He’s already nodding before I finish the sentence. “Yep, yep, got it”, he’ll say amiably.
Cool, no problem there.
But then there’s that one time. Funny enough, it’ll be the time that I feel is the no-brainiest. The time when I’m going back and forth at lightning speed between should I even say this? He probably already thought of it and nah, he’s got this. Don’t bother.
And believe me, it will be something basic, something so rudimentary that it almost seems ridiculous to say anything at all about it. So elementary and so mundane that I can’t even think of any examples at the moment.
And he’ll be all, “oh–yeah.” And he’ll do this about-face with this dazed expression. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, really?? Omg.
The semi-grating part of this Quirk is, the nine times out of ten that my reminder isn’t a revelation to him, his responses are mildly irritated, like “I know, I know” or something similar. As if he’s mildly resentful that I’m talking to him like a little kid or something. But the problem is, there’s that one time out of the ten, that I feel funny for even saying anything, that it does make a difference.
So I respond with a don’t-get-mad-at-me vibe and remind him of that one time out of every ten in which my annoying reminders save his day.
Quirk 10 – Couch Commando:
Maybe it’s our culture. Maybe it’s our upbringings. Maybe it’s…who the hell knows. But up until a couple years ago, my partner (and I witnessed this with my dad, too) will assume custody of the remote control in the evening.
We almost always end up watching something we mutually agree upon (i.e., we each have Veto Power), but if we were to take TV Inventory with some kind of imaginary scorecard, it would show that he gets to watch the shows that he likes (and I don’t) more often than I get to watch those I like (but he doesn’t) a little more often.
It’s not like I’m keeping score. It’s just a slight imbalance is all.
Quirk 11 – “It’s a Stupid Show, But I’ve Chosen To Watch It Anyway.”
So, it’s not even like he’ll make good use of his exclusivity of the remote control. I’ll finish doing something in another room and wander into the living room, and there he’ll be, watching something ridiculous on TV. (No, really–it’s ridiculous. And it’s out-of-character for him, or so I’d thought.)
I’ll ask him, neutrally, “what are you watching?” and his answer will be, “oh, just something stupid I found on TV.”
OK, wait a minute–one of the sole splurges we partake in is a top-tier cable package. That means that there are a lot of channels, a smorgasbord of options to choose from. And he has to pick the most laughable one, which even he himself admits.
For real?? Out of everything on TV on all of these channels, including the elite ones, he’s got to pick some dumb comedy or cheesy sci-fi show? If even he thinks it’s stupid, then why would he settle on it and continue to watch it? He’s not even really enjoying it! (Is he??)
Quirk 12 – Oh Hell No. You Did Not Just Do That:
Probably the worst thing some guys (my partner included) will do is–get this–freaking Leave The Room while someone is actively talking to them! Yes, for real. No, I can’t believe it, either.
I know his hearing is really good, so maybe he can indeed hear me from the next room or from down the hall or something, but…
Really?? That’s the one thing not to do to a female, whether they’re a girly-girl or not. Hell, that’s the one thing not to do to anyone who’s talking. On what planet is that the social/cultural default? Under what Sun is that OK? In what situation could that ever be considered anything other than rude?
People get all up in arms over eye contact; they think that just because someone isn’t looking at them, that they’re disregarding them, ignoring them, or flat-out disrespecting them. Or maybe they’re hiding something, being less-than-honest, or what-have-you. It’s almost like they take it personally if they’re talking to someone and the listener isn’t staring back at them the whole time. In fact, they often get downright butthurt about it.
I find it hard to make eye contact myself. So when we don’t gaze into each others’ eyes while engaged in conversation, I’m perfectly cool with that. (Remember, I’m pretty low-maintenance.) Hell, I don’t care if you look away, look at something else, etc. Because I know that eye contact and even facing each other directly isn’t always necessary for effective communication and stimulating conversation. I totally get that.
But to actively walk the f**k away from someone–and leave the room, no less–while they’re talking to them?? Ummm, no. Ain’t gonna fly. That dog won’t hunt.
It’s like The Wall of Silence (Quirk 1) on steroids.
I know that most guys don’t do that. But some do. And Holy Mother of God(dess) is that…just wrong lol.