Men Are From Viking, Women Are From St Hilaire

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” was a popular book first published in 1992. I’ve always joked with Lisa that if a guy from Viking and a girl from St Hilaire can peacefully communicate, then the whole world should be able to do the same.

Lisa speaks in a very detailed way while I try to place every fact of a conversation in the space of one overly-punctuated sentence and no more than two breaths. It takes Lisa a bit longer to make a story as she lays out the details first and then gets to the point. I have asked her in the past that if there is ever a fire or death in the family that she simply tell me instead of giving me a detailed story which eventually leads us to the main point. I have also accused her responding to my questions with an answer to a question I never asked. I guess her goal of communication is different than mine.
I get simple facts and general emotion from any social interaction but that is where it ends. If my wife is present at the same interaction, she gets more from it. It’s like I am looking through a peephole while she opens the door and looks at everything. Lisa tells a story based on a very different experience than mine.

Lisa has a group of friends and family that she either sees or speaks with on a regular basis. She sometimes shares these conversations with me. I also have a similar group and there is some crossover between the two. When we both participate in a conversation with a mutual friend, we both walk away with a different experience. Lisa remembers so much and in much greater detail. I think she is building a visual story of what she is being told while I am just making post-it notes.

It is similar in how I view the pantry. I cannot find anything unless it is organized. Lisa can look at a collage of cans, bags, bowls and bottles and pull out exactly the needed item. It is the same when she sits on the porch in the summer; I cannot see her. I will be mowing the grass or walking around and look at the porch to see if she is sitting there. It is rare that I can find her on the porch. Lisa has laid out a lot of camouflage in the form of potted plants and other such porch garnish to the point she blends in with her surroundings. I find it confusing.

Here is the most odd result of all of these differences in communication. I know the people in Lisa’s life better than I know mine. Lisa and I have a wedding coming up in May to which I am looking forward. Weddings are cool but I think the greater reason for my enthusiasm is the people who will attend this event. I know so much about them. I have followed some of their lives from the time they were little and have seen others through great events and very tragic death. It will be so nice to see these people and talk to them. The only thing odd about this whole situation is that I have never met most of these people. I have never looked them in the eye or shook their hand. They are all people who have become my friends through Lisa’s stories. Her stories are so good and detailed that I feel like I know these people yet I don’t know what most of them look like. I hope they’re real.

Much like the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” Lisa and I have differences in how we view life and tell our own story; so that is the difference isn’t it? Lisa takes small facts and makes them into a story while I do the opposite.

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