Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: communication

Communication Through the Ages

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I usually work on my desktop in my upstairs office. Sophia works on her laptop in the downstairs living room in front of the TV. How do we communicate from such a distance? The medium keeps changing, but the message stays the same.

2003 —

Sophia (screaming at the top of her lungs, as if she was Alice on the Honeymooners): “Neil, did you throw out the garbage yet?!”

2005 —

Sophia (typing on Yahoo Internet Messenger, interrupting my blog reading): “Neil, did you throw out the garbage yet?!”

2007 —

Sophia (ringing me on Skype, interrupting my blog reading): “Neil, did you throw out the garbage yet?!”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Tis the Season for More Male Insecurity

Newsflash: Men Don’t Understand Women

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My Valentine’s day was great.  Sophia and I went out to dinner and then saw a comedy show.   After many years of experience, I was smart enough to hold my tongue when I saw that this overpriced "Valentine’s Day Romantic Dinner" was fifty dollars a person (and ten dollars for a glass of wine!)  

Ah, the high cost of romance.  

I even let Sophia eat most of the overpriced cheesecake herself.  So, yes, I was a real Prince Charming. 

Our only small bit of conflict was over whether or not we should pay the five dollar valet parking fee or keep on driving around Hollywood.  Let’s just say, we ended up paying the fee.

One of the comics we saw was particularly bad, telling unfunny jokes about venereal disease (a Valentine’s Day favorite!) — so I zoned out and just gazed at Sophia, this beautiful woman across from me. 

"For all the years I know her," I thought, " I still don’t feel I really KNOW her.  Isn’t that weird?  Why is it so difficult to know a woman?  Is it just Sophia or do I understand women at all?  Do women make themselves intentionally mysterious or is that their true character?"

When I sat down to think about this subject today, my first thought was about men themselves.  Men have a simplicity and comaraderie that women frequently lack.  Women can be sweet, but they’re also more complicated — and way more catty and backstabbing than any man can ever be.

Recently, I played Texas Hold-em poker twice — once with a group of guys and once with a group of women.  With the women’s group, I was the only male player.  The guys played poker — period.  At some point, we ordered a pizza from Domino’s, but we hardly talked about anything but poker. 

Things were different with the women.  The women brought pot luck dishes.  One woman brought a catalog showing the future locale of her wedding ceremony.  She kept on repeating, "My fiance… my fiance… my fiance," like I once saw in a Seinfeld episode.  One single woman looked like she was going to bust a vein.  At the other game, not one male ever brought up his wife or girlfriend.   OK, maybe I did — but now I’ve learned better not to.  We were there to play poker — and to get away from the women — not to talk about them.  On the other hand, the women wouldn’t shut up about their boyfriends and husbands.

At the women’s game, the poker was merely a backdrop for more important issues.  Two women got into a nasty fight because one of them took too long deciding if she was going "all in."  They started arguing about some weekend in Lake Tahoe from THREE years ago when they both liked this guy from Israel, but only one got lucky with him. 

This is poker?  I had prepared for this game by watching poker TV shows, hoping to learn how to "tell" when a player was bluffing.  But not one of these shows gave me any advice on how to play with women who were more interested in fighting over some hunky Israeli than what cards they had.

Will men ever understand women? 

One of best thing about the blogosphere is that we can turn to female bloggers for advice and information on the opposite sex.

Some bloggers are already doing a public service.  For instance, Trixie of Bated Breath, just wrote a post titled "Trixie’s Guide to Woman-Speak."   That’s perfect!  Just what we need:

Let’s face it. For men, understanding the inner-workings of the female mind is nearly impossible. At times, we can be incredibly vague, often leaving men searching for the appropriate answer so as not to find their nuts in a vise. On other occasions, we pepper our statements or questions with innuendo, leaving everything open to the males’ interpretation.

What a useful post!  I wish more women would help us clueless men.

Immediately, hundreds of questions come to my mind that I would love answered by some woman.  For instance:

1)  How can you be so neat and put-together, but your purse be such a mess?

2)  Why will you kiss me, but not use my toothbrush?

3)  Do women really talk like they do in "Sex and the City?"

4)  Are you really bullshitting about that PMS thing just to get some extra attention?

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