A Thoughtful Look at Men and Women
SHE DRIVES FOR A RELATIONSHIP. HE’S LOST IN THE TRANSMISSION
By DAVE BARRY
CONTRARY to what many women believe, it’s fairly easy to develop a
Long-term, stable, intimate, and mutually fulfilling relationship with a
Guy. Of course this guy has to be a Labrador retriever. With human guys,
It’s extremely difficult. This is because guys don’t really grasp what
Women mean by the term relationship.
Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks
Her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights
Later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They
Continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them
Is seeing anybody else.
And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to
Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize
That, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”
And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud
Silence. She thinks to herself, “Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I
Said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he
Thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t
Want, or isn’t sure of.” And Roger is thinking, “Gosh. Six months.”
And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of
Relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d
Have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we
Are, moving steadily toward… I mean, where are we going? Are we just
Going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading
Toward marriage? Toward
children? Toward a lifetime together? 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 started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s,
Which means… lemme check the odometer… Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil
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 intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed
It – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why
He’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of
And Roger is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission
Again. I don’t care what those morons 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 out, and this thing is shifting like a
Goddamn garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.
And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry,
Too. God, 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.
That’s exactly what they’re gonna say, the scumballs.
And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight
To come riding up on his white horse, 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. A person who is in
Pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.