Friday, January 2, 2009

Little Pink Spoons

If you've been following my blog from the start, you know that I plan to discuss things that need discussing. Even the ones that might make us uncomfortable. Your mother knows but won't tell you. It's not that she won't tell, it's just that it makes her uncomfortable to talk about. Things like sex. We might as well start 2009 off with a bang!

The whole sex topic requires several entries; there's just no way to cover it in one sitting. If you're a male reader, I'd like you to express your point of view. It's a helpful thing when a man shares insight from your corner of the world. If you're a female reader, get ready for me to yell, "Wake up!!!" Sex is vitally important. I'm saddened that so many women think it isn't and wonder why men think about it all the time. Don't sigh at me....keep reading!

We know that men and women look at the world differently. Nothing makes that more clear than our vastly differing views on sex and its importance as a quality of life issue. Most women see it as an occasional high point, but mostly it's a chore that takes too long. Or, I'll do it to make him happy. Or, I picked him because he has so many great qaulities that are more important than sex. Or, I'm living the rest of my life with a headache. So not tonight, dear, or for any night the rest of your life, dear, if I have anything to say about it. Unless we get tipsy one night, then I'll probably reconsider my stand on this. Any of this sound familiar? Thought so.

I often use the following analogy when discussing how a savvy marketing person understands the difference in male/female shopping techniques. If you're one of my former students, I hope hearing this again brings a laugh. My analogy also illustrates how we view sex.

Let's pretend that we're out on the town and one of us gets the idea, "Hey, I'd really like some ice cream! Who wants to go to Baskin & Robbins with me?" For those who aren't familiar with B&R, fill in with Cold Stone Creamery, or whatever. Who doesn't like ice cream, so we head on over to surround ourselves with 31 Flavors! Yum.

Now, this isn't just a girls' night out- we have guys in our group, too. If Michael's there, he's at the head of the line because I've never met a guy who likes ice cream like he does. We stroll in and the people behind the counter ask to help us. They do their impression of crack dealers by hooking us up with little pink spoons. And, this is the point where the group's homogeny falls apart because, while we all grab spoons, the sampling process is radically different for the men vs. the women.

People working there know exactly how it'll go since they've seen it a zillion times. I can't say absolutely, but I'm betting they'd much prefer to wait on a woman instead of a man. Why? Because, it's less work with a female customer. Don't go feeling all superior, it's not a good thing that you're easier to work with here...

When a woman stands in front of the frosty counters with her pink spoon, she clutches it tightly while she strolls up and down, and up and down- repeatedly. She'll sweep the entire store considering all 31 options. She'll pause in front of some really interesting candidates. She'll circle back to the lead contenders. She'll look like the needle on a compass searching out true north. Examination complete, she settles on her sample.

She hands her spoon to the waiting server, who double checks which flavor has made the cut. Tasting her choice, if satisfied, she'll tuck her little spoon away saying, "Yes, please, that's the one I want." Most likely, though she may have considered a couple of options, she'll stand by her decision. If the crack dealer tries to up-sell her by offering for her consideration, one or more of her other choices, most females will say with conviction, "No thanks, this one is great!"

Even after all of her careful consideration, sometimes, the choice turns out to be not-quite-right. But, she'd be reluctant to ask for something else. Only to a friend, if asked, might she confess, "It's not really what I thought it would be, but I picked it and didn't want to say anything. It's no big deal..."

If she really likes her choice, on return trips to the Land of 31 Flavors, she'll make the same selection rather than drift to another possibility. Oh, she might consider a sherbet once in awhile to switch it up! But, if her original choice continues to meet her satisfaction, she'll remain true. It becomes her favorite; the bench mark by which all future ice cream flavors will be measured!

Now, the guys? Whoa! They walk in like gun-slingers, with a full complement of ammo at the ready. They grab a pink spoon, maybe several. They sweep the perimeter to get a general idea. They halt in the middle of the counter looking left and right, maybe a second time. Walk up to the kid behind the counter and say, "Let's start over there."

With that, the kid knows that he'll be dipping repeatedly into the 31 options. Whatever appears to be remotely interesting to the guy, that's what he'll want to sample. And, he doesn't care how many samples he tries. Hey, that's why they let you, isn't it? Eventually, he makes a decision. Unlike many of the females who were purists in their choice, the male will say, "Oh, mix 'em up! Give me both flavors in a cup!"

When a male goes back for ice cream, even if he adored what he had the first time, he'll probably experiment with the other flavors. After all, there are 31 of them, and it's ice cream so how bad can any of them be? The man never worries that he's become an Ice Cream Ho' because he enjoys sampling all the options.

A man walks out happy with his ice cream, but even more happy with the time he spent sampling all the flavors that caught his attention. While women mostly leave happy with their selection, they sure don't have as much fun with the whole ice cream shopping experience.

We gals watch a guy sampling everything and shake our heads in wonder. Or, we think with a slight disdain, "God, he's such a hog! He doesn't really need to sample so many flavors! I found exactly what I was looking for without doing all of that!" The guy, on the other end of the spectrum, is happily thinking, "Is this a great country or what!? I could have sampled them all! I love this store!"

31 Flavors exist for both males and females. But, generally, it's only men who are happy to sample many or most of them. Instead of sampling what piques our interest, women stay limited to the one we picked, even if we're awfully curious how Rocky Road might taste. Women do the same when it comes to partnering and their sexual relations. And, that has a direct impact on how much we do or don't like sex. That, and what your mother did or didn't tell you about sex. But, more about that tomorrow. For now, just think, 'little pink spoons.'

Namaste' Till Next Time,


melissa said...


And if I knew you could sample more than one flavor at the ice cream shop, I'd SO DO IT! I don't even care that MY mother always told me "don't be greedy".


I've sampled my share of "ice cream" in that other aspect...for now I'm delighted with the USN/USMC combo cone. :) It's got a little more flavor than the IrishWhiskey cone and is WAY tastier than that old high school cup with cherries...

I LOVE ICE CREAM. (Especially when it puts on a uniform.)

(And chocolate marshmallow with caramel is still my favorite.)

Anonymous said...

So true Holly, so true.

Samantha said...

Oh no, I'm an Ice Cream Ho'! I'm definitely not your typical woman, much more like a man .... that's true in many things in life. I was a tomboy and preferred male best friends at school, when all the other girls were doing pink and fluffy.

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