Rick's Space: Taking the circuitous route

Girl Talk




Women are talkers.

Be it in person or on the phone, women seem enamored with long, probing conversations, absorbed and engrossed in the intricacies of even the most-minute of happenings.

They also like to watch women that talk: “The View” is the perfect example.

Men are succinct. I, for example, have 42 minutes of talk time on my cell this month, almost all of it with my wife. Men grouse, grumble, and rumble. When I do talk to a male friend, it goes something like this:

Me: You watching the game?

Craig: Yeah.

Me: What d’ya think?

Craig: I think the Giants suck!

That’s it. My texts are the same length: “Where’s the dough u owe me?” etc.

Women, however, natter, blather, and meander: Rather than go from point A to point B, they take the circuitous route.

Karen: Hello, Kathy?

Kathy: Hi.

Karen: I want to tell you about my day.

Kathy: Tell me about your whole week!

Karen: It’s been quite a year!

Kathy: Tell me from the beginning!

Karen: Well, when I was an embryo . . .

Men need a succinct topic to even consider making a phone call. That’s because, as a general rule, I’m too busy paying the bills to chit chat. Karen doesn’t realize that every minute she keeps me on the phone is a minute I’m not working to buy her jewelry.

Karen: Rick, we need to talk, she said with that serious look on her face, like she must have found something sinister I did. She sat down like she does when a marathon Chat-a-Thon is coming, the kind Jerry Lewis could host to cure cancer.

Rick: (Grunt)

Karen: It’s important that we talk . . .

Rick: About what?

Karen: About communicating with each other.

Rick: What about it?

Karen: I think it’s important.

Rick: What is?

Karen: Communicating. We need to talk about it.

Rick: When?

Karen: For the next nine hours.

Rick: We communicate better when there isn’t a game on TV.

Karen: Let’s talk about that.

Rick: What?

Karen: We need to talk about it, because in a mature relationship, that’s what two people do.

Rick: I’m mature?

Karen: Let’s talk about that.

Rick: Get me a beer.

Karen: Two people need to go through life equally, as a team.

Rick: Get me two.

When I was growing up, my father taught us how important it was for a family to eat together and bond as a family unit. We did this by watching Dad read The Racing Form.

Nowadays, I like to honor his memory by reading the sports section. I don’t bother anyone. I don’t annoy anyone. I sit quietly, eat, and read. (OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out I probably do bother people because I chew with my mouth open and burp and belch occasionally.)

The way I figure it, after a hard day’s work, I have the right to mellow out and get a brief respite from the pressures inherent in being the breadwinner and throne-sitter . . . I’ll come home from work and sit down with the paper.

Karen: How was work, darling?

Rick: OK.

Karen: Tell me everything. I want to hear all the details.

Rick: I went, I worked, I came home.

Karen: I had a great day. I woke up at 6:15, and at 6:16 I put up coffee, and at 6:18 . . . and at 6:21 . . . There was an excellent feature on “The View” about a Swahili tribeswoman who learned how to hunt eels with her toes . . . it empowers all women! Let me tell you all about it in minute detail!

Rick: Get me a beer.

Karen: Anyhow, when the tribeswoman was an embryo . . .

Though women will gladly talk to a man for hours, the true genius of their babble is only brought out by another woman. Girls talking about girls — your basic gossip — is elevated to an art form.

Karen: Hi, Mary!

Mary: Hi, what are you up to?

Karen: I just got home from Donna’s house!

Mary: How was it?

Karen: Fine!

Mary: Really?

Karen: Actually, no. You know how she gets.

Mary: Tell me about it!

Karen: She makes that annoying little gesture when she talks . . .

Mary: I know the one. I hate that!

Karen: And it’s always about her!

Mary: That’s all she ever talks about!

Karen: It’s a terrible habit!

Mary: It drives me crazy! Was she wearing that awful lipstick?

Karen: Yes, ugh! Anyhow, let me tell you about my day . . .

Mary: Tell me everything!

Karen: I have a new shade of . . .

Men, you know you’re in for a lot of misery when you hear your wife order the million-minute plan from your cell phone company.

Just as fish evolved over centuries to form gills in order to survive, so will women form a cell phone that will morph where the ear is, thus ensuring an eternity of hands-free chatter.

Oops! She just read this column.

“We need to talk,” she said earnestly.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com