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July 25, 1996

Why Men Don't Listen
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

When I was in grade school, every kid learned Pig-latin. It wasn't hard to speak it, but it wasn't all that secret either. But since we boys just grunted most of the time anyway, we really didn't need codes. The girls on the other hand...

The feminine mystique started at a young age with a bunch of methods of secret communication. The primary one in the early years was Ovin. A variant on pig-latin, Ovin placed the sound, "ovin," in every word, if not every syllable. I remember Julie Carson cursed at me in it one day. Or at least I think she did. I don't know what the heck she said. The girls spoke it fluently and the boys merely struggled to keep up.

After a valiant effort, the boys cracked "ovin." But this merely prompted an escalation in the secrecy wars. While we boys were learning how to make paper footballs, noisemakers, and the all-important ninja throwing star, the girls were attending the CIA school of Origami note folding.

This didn't so much make them unreadable, but created a helpful pause while any male who intercepted one tried to figure out how to open the dang thing. As he puzzled over it, deep in contemplation, a girl could snatch it away. Of course when the boys' growth spurts finally kicked in, we were once again bigger than the girls and able to hold them at bay while we struggled with the notes. And thus the note folding came to an end.

After that, they came up with the ultimate defense. Private gab sessions. Any guy came close and he was warned away with two words "girl talk." If he didn't go away immediately, he could expect to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse, physical abuse, or a really evil silence. Quite quickly we were conditioned. When they gathered off to the side and said "girl talk," we suddenly had an urge to be anywhere but there.

But now that I'm older, I'm told by women that we men can't communicate with them, we just don't listen. I've got news for you, ladies. After all those years of training, well, we just sort of thought that was the point.

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