Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fight & Play Fair!

"One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory," writes Rita Mae Brown.

I think this is absolutely true. And, for most women, absolutely impossible. Men, not so much. For men, when something is done, good or bad, it's done. Filed away. A memory that may or may not be retrievable. But for women? Whew.

Why do women seem to remember and quickly trot out every slight, hurt, dig, mean thing they ever experience? Like a lot of things I write about, I don't have the answer, just the question. I wait for you all to give me your thoughts about things to help expand my awareness. I told you this blog is an act of participation! I throw the seed, but you all are the soil and sunlight that helps me grow in awareness.

I've heard men say it over and over. "We're in an argument about one thing and before I know it, I'm getting hammered about something that I did last week, last year, last lifetime! And, I think, 'whoa, where'd that come from?!' What does it have to do with what we're fighting about now? And, that's when I think we might as well be done here. I can't win this."

We women get so torqued because men won't talk about stuff. They really don't want to argue over things, either; it takes too much energy. Oh sure, if you bait them long and hard enough, you'll get them to argue, but they'd really rather not. For a lot of guys, the unwillingness to participate is a learned survival mechanism. Who wants to walk into a buzz saw? And that's how dealing with a female in a pique can seem.

They won't engage with us because they are attempting to avoid, as I've heard Michael describe it, "The Litany of Woes." He doesn't worry so much about that with me because I refuse to do it. But, he learned to avoid it at all costs in his first marriage. It's hard to keep things straight in an emotionally charged argument. Even harder when you think you're talking about something that just happened, only to learn it's being overlaid with resentment from something that happened years ago!

That tendency is the shadow side of a woman's ability to recall...remember...dredge up. The light side of our ability is being able to tell you what dress we were wearing and what earrings everyone loved at the summer brunch six years ago. And, where you put that important piece of paper three weeks ago, that you've been ripping up the house searching for, for the last three hours.

Michael calls me his, "Desk Top." He doesn't need to remember stuff now...he just asks me. Click. I am one of those who can recall tiny details about crap that really doesn't make a difference to the quality of life. What can I say; it's my gift. I'm a Minutia Miner! I can also effectively listen to two, sometimes more, conversations at one time. My version of speed reading, I can 'drop in on' conversations around me, picking up key words, while completely engaged in the discussion I'm having with someone. Some find that skill amazing...some find it creepy.

Also, if you say it around me, it's like saying it into a tape recorder. I can almost say it back to you verbatim. That's come in very handy at times. That, and the ability to tell you what you were wearing when you said it and to whom...well you get my point.

So, knowing I have that sort of memory, albeit questionable these days when I find I have more occasions when I'm not able to unfailingly locate my keys, glasses, purse, augghhhh, means that I've had to learn one critical thing:

When it comes to people, and the things that have hurt me, I've had to learn to forget. Delete the file. And, I am vigilant to deal with something in the moment and be done with it. It takes courage to resolve something at the time it happens instead of stuffing my feelings about it deep inside to act as a landmine for later. Women need to stop acting like bushwhackers! Deal with it and move on! Learn to fight fair!

I fully believe women have more and better ability to remember everything. That's a skill we come with. What we need to learn, as we mature through life, is to forget even more than we can recall about how people behaved. Here's the thing...even when you delete a file which means that you can't access it anymore, it remains in your computer someplace. Likewise, you'll never forget that a person hurt you in some way; but you sure don't need to use the file against them anymore. Stop accessing the Litany of Woes. Find a way to delete it from you dealings with others.

Now, what was I saying?

Namaste' Till Later,


Opie said...

I'm afraid to comment for fear of starting an argument...lol... I do disagree with the comment about women being able to remember better, only because it is too general. I think more accurately women remember things tied to emotions better, men remember "useless" facts better. How many guys can ramble on about sport stats, or rattle off names, dates, and numbers pertaining to their jobs. I know I can, but I couldn't tell you the last time I hurt anyone's feelings.

Holly said...

That's an excellent bit of insight, Opie. I think you may be onto something pretty big when you say that women remember things tied to emotions/feelings. That's actually quite a new way for me to think of it...THANKS!

Toni said...

Agree with Opie -- women remember better sometimes not because we want to but because we're conditioned to be the radar on how everyone else is doing emotionally, then provide the fix, the applause, the antidote, whatever is required. We're always watching the nuances around people, at least I am.

I guess becuz my own mom was a litany of woes kinda wife, I learned early on to generate a discussion about THE PARTICULAR THING, IN THE PRESENT, that's got me honked off or frustrated or that just requires my, and his, attention.

And I don't hang onto anything. Once it goes in my journal, it's done -- why write it down if I then also feel I have to file it mentally? no no no. clutter. Men do better, I think, at a faster kind of 'clutter purge' than women -- we have to do our fiddling with emotional analysis before we can download and forgettabout it ...

Toni said...

P.S. I think it's kind of an opportunistic LAZINESS, the manner in which men just stop trying to remember where shite is, and so on, because of their desktop wives ... nor do MY fellows make any effort to put the shite BACK in the usual SHITE spot where I'm expecting to find it the next time they ask -- so what it really is? a set up for ME to go searching all over for it. I don't play anymore. You wanna know where something is, find a spot for it and be responsible for a) remembering where that spot is and b) returning the shite to the same spot next time. The guys at work do it all the time, too, with files and 'oh wow where are the staples' and just leaving the empty paper towel roll for the 'vagina' to come along behind and replace the roll ... I don't play that, either.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm getting old, I can't remember anything and that includes where I put the phone bill, the birthday cards I bought just yesterday or, yes, the car keys. St. Anthony is called upon often and I usually find what I'm looking for. As with my memory, I can remember when my boys were babies but I can't remember what I had for dinner a week ago, I'm forgetting birthdays, appointments, etc...age is a witch! I have made myself forget certain things when it comes to feelings - what happen 10 years ago doesn't matter to what happened yesterday.

Mike said...

I know what you mean sometimes. A lot of men, myself included, just don't bother to remember things half the time. I have a good memory sometimes for numbers, statistics and remote events that happened a long time ago. However, some of the simple daily stuff I forget as soon as I know it.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Previous Musings