Forget about the Virgin Birth. There are enough mysteries in this world to fully occupy all our waking hours without having to deal with the parentage of someone who may or may not have been who Dan Brown says he was. Like how telephone marketers just seem to know to call at exactly the most exciting bit of Desperate Housewives. Or why some people still think it’s acceptable behaviour to clip their fingernails on the bus.
But the greatest mystery is The Female Problem. This is not to be confused with The Male Problem. Because this is what The Female Problem looks like:
Amanda: I’m so angry with Jason.
Saffy: Oh my God, why? What happened? Tell me everything!
Amanda: Well, I’m having a hard time at work as you know. The case is [Blah, blah, blah. You don’t need to know what the case is about. She’ll spend the next 10 minutes talking about how difficult the case is. That’s all you need to know.]
Saffy: That’s terrible. How do you balance all this with your social committees and gym classes?
Amanda: That’s the thing! Men think we just get out of bed looking the way we do and that children just grow up by themselves, and the food magically appears on the kitchen. And [Blah, blah, blah. The next ten minutes are about how without women, men would just fall over and die.]
Saffy: Then what happened at work?
Amanda: Well, you know my colleague, Anna? She’s the one who went to SCGS and thinks she’s superior to the rest of us just because we went to JC, and [Blah, blah, blah. The next ten minutes are about what a first class bitch Anna is with long detailed examples.] And the worst thing is, she’s been trying to sabo me from the moment she joined my team.
Saffy: But why?
Amanda: Well, on her second day at work, she showed up in this Prada dress. You know how last year Prada was really big on lace and [Blah, blah, blah. Ten minutes on Prada’s 2008 Fall collection]. So, I said, “Wow, they must have given you a big starting salary!” I was just saying it like a joke, and she gives me this dirty look and ever since then, she’s been very snippy.
Saffy: Wow, so sensitive.
Amanda: I know, right? So, today, this is what happens [Blah, blah, blah. You know the drill by now.] I was so angry. I came home and told Jason about what happened at work and the first thing he does is say, “Oh, why don’t you just report her to your boss!” And I was, like, what is wrong with guys?
Saffy: Don’t you just love how they go charging in and try to save the world?
Amanda: Every single freaking time! It’s so annoying!
Meanwhile, this is how The Male Problem unfolds:
Karl: Hey, buddy. How’s it going?
Jason: Alright. Amanda’s in a bit of a mood with me.
Karl: Oh. That time of the month?
Jason: No. She had some problem at work. One of her colleagues is being mean to her. Said some things about her and is making her life difficult. I told her to report the bitch to the boss. And then she got mad at me.
Karl: Oh. Man, that sucks.
Jason: Tell me about it.
Karl:Want a beer?
So, here’s the thing. It’s a mystery how women are able to make a 24-hour period stretch into a week. It’s the only way to explain how they get so much done in a day. My mother always said that if you want a job done, give it to a busy woman. It’s true. No one knows why this is so. It just is.
And the other thing is that as busy as they are, they will always, always, always have time to talk about the problems in their lives. They love to talk about problems. Not just theirs. Anyone’s. Including their 567 closest girlfriends’. Talking soothes them. It makes them happy, secure, fulfilled and connected. To get the same feeling, a man would need to discover the cure for cancer.
What a woman does not need is for a guy to tell her the solution to her problem. She already knows what the solution is. She knows what to do. She doesn’t need you to tell her. She’s probably already done it. You’re just meant to nod and look sympathetic. Remember that the next time you open your big mouth and try to be helpful.