I’m the voracious reader in my family. My youngest son reads but only if he REALLY likes a certain subject and if he finds one that interests him, I’ll buy him EVERY freaken book in order to feed his ever active mind. My husband and oldest son, on the other hand, would much rather watch the History or Discovery channels—my youngest does too, but will forgo them if he has to finish a book!
One book that I’m forever preaching they NEED to read is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It explains the innate differences between men and women and how we’ll never be able to change either because we are made differently for a reason therefore if we LEARN how to communicate with one another our relationships with the opposite sex can be a lot less complex.
My efforts, however, have been in vain. My husband read about the first eighty pages before the book began to collect dust on the kitchen counter and I’ve said before that I don’t like anything on my kitchen counter, so I give my husband an E for effort. My oldest son asked me for the book, but never opened it—his girlfriend asked to borrow it, so maybe there’s hope!
And it gets more hopeful! The other day, I printed off three pages of bullet points about the book off this web-site. I then proceeded to read them to my husband and oldest son. I’m sure neither heard ALL fifty-one items as men tend to hear women speaking like a radio that has bad reception—staticky, or they hear us like an ocean tide, highs and lows, which means much of what we say is muffled. Some would say it’s selective hearing, but truthfully, it’s not. They aren’t designed to listen as intently as women. Whereas women hear EVERYTHING, even information that ISN’T spoken! Some would say we have ESP! Aren't women wonderful!
Later that night, I went into my youngest son’s room to tell him goodnight and I could sense he wasn’t in a good mood, so, of course, I asked what was bothering him, and of course he told me nothing. Of course I persisted in asking what was wrong and of course he insisted that nothing was wrong. This is a normal male-female dance and it happens often in my household. I should’ve just left him alone because he only wanted to be in his man-cave, but as I explained to him, I’m his mom and could sense there WAS something wrong and I really felt like I could help.
“Mom, I read those three pages you were talking with Dad and Dalan about. You’re not supposed to interrogate me.”
I had to smile to myself. My son seemed to have better hearing than me! Where the heck was he that he heard us talking about it? Not that I minded. I’d rather get him accustomed to the differences between the sexes as a teenager rather than a full-blown adult; it would save him a lot of problems! “I know I shouldn’t, but I worry about you. So what’s wrong?”
“Women are bitches. Sorry, Mom, not you.”
He wanted to express his true feelings yet still show his respect for me, but I’m a believer in truth above all else. I ruffled his dishwater blonde hair and said, “Oh, I can be a bitch too, you know that, no need to apologize. Are you having girlfriend problems?”
“Yeah. She’s ignoring me and I don’t know why.”
“Did you ask her?” Hearing the confusion and pain in his voice constricted my heart. I wanted to erase those emotions but knew that I couldn’t. All I could do was help with my words.
“Yeah and she said nothing’s wrong,” he said, sounding so defeated.
“Well, you asked and if she doesn’t tell you then your job is done. You can’t be held responsible if she doesn’t tell you.”
“I’m not going to beg her.” I could hear his frustration growing.
“No you don’t ever beg. That’s not respectful to yourself. Do you have any idea why she could be upset?” As much as I wanted to be angry at this girl for causing my son to feel so uncomfortable, I held MY feelings at bay; I HAD to remain as neutral as possible.
“Well, sometimes we can do things and not realize it hurts someone. It’s up to them to let us know because we can’t read minds. Once they tell us though, if we’re responsible, we apologize and if we can change it, we do.”
“She’s so confusing.”
I chuckled. “Yes she is. And men are confusing to women. That’s why I suggest that book. You said you read those pages, maybe those will help you out. If not today, then in the future.” I told him then kissed his forehead.
“Okay. Thanks, Mom. I love you.”
“I love you too. Good night.”
I felt grief and relief. My son is at that odd age—fourteen, where he has a girlfriend but isn’t really dating. He doesn’t fully understand himself yet but he’s trying to comprehend the opposite sex which also doesn’t understand itself yet. How could they? They aren’t full-grown adults, and heck, there are full-grown adults that don’t even know or understand themselves! With that said, I truly believe if we can educate ourselves, and our youth, then we should. And what better way than a book that helps us to understand one another!
If you haven’t read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, I really think you should. It’s a heck of a lot easier than having NASA send all the men back to Mars!