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The brute mentality

Posted: February 16, 2012 10:13 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2012 5:00 a.m.

I’ve come to the conclusion that women's friendships might be tighter than men's.

I don’t mean they like each other more. I don’t mean they’re more loyal. I don’t mean they have a better time when they’re hanging out together.

It’s just that they’re more, well, sensitive to each other’s needs and feelings than men.

If a woman makes some sort of embarrassing mistake in public -- if she falls down in a parking lot, or she gets toilet paper caught on her shoe and trails it across a restaurant behind her, or happens to loudly pass gas at a charity luncheon -- other women tend to sympathize with her. Most of them wouldn’t think of giving each other a big horse laugh under such circumstances.

But let a guy do something wrong and his buddies will wale him unmercifully.

Take clothes, for instance.

If a woman shows up at a party in some sort of hideous outfit, something that makes her rear end look like a blimp, her friends would never give her even a hint that she might need a “Wide Load” sign pinned to her derriere.

 (They might gossip a little bit when she was out of earshot, but they’d never let her know they thought her outfit was terrible.)

Even if she asked -- even if she said “What do you think of this new outfit, girls?” -- her friends would say something tactful like, “Oh, you must have shopped a long time to find that” or “isn’t it a peaceful color?”

Not men. They’re hard as nails.

A member of my golf group showed up on the first tee one day in a pair of new pants -- cream colored, with a little vertical light blue stripe that ran up and down the legs. He was proud of those pants. They were a real fashion statement.

Before he could even take one swing, another member of the group said, “You forgot to take your pajamas off before you came out here.”

All the men had a big belly laugh out of that. Women never would have done that.

Another time, back in the days when men wore golf shoes with metal spikes in them, the same guy appeared on the tee with a brand-new pair of saddle oxford golf shoes, with the newfangled soft spikes.

 “Look,” he said to his buddies, showing them the soft rubber bottom, “you can wear these anywhere.”

 “Why would you want to?” one of his friends retorted, whereupon the rest of them fell down laughing.

Can you imagine a woman telling one of her friends that her new high heels were awful. Never would happen.

On a long-ago weekend golf trip with these same guys, two of them walked into a restaurant and sat down. The waitress asked one, who was graying but probably not yet 50,  “Would you like the senior’s menu?”

You think we ever let him forget that?

Of course not, but if a server had said something like that to a woman, her friends would have consoled her: “Well, she obviously knows nothing about judging age” or some other sympathetic comment.         

      Women are better just hanging out with their friends, too. Lots of times, they don’t really care that much what they’re doing as long as they’re doing it together.

If Wife Nancy wants to go to that Metrolina place they have up in Charlotte -- it’s a giant flea market -- all she has to do is make a couple of telephone calls and she’ll have a carful of friends to accompany her.

Even if the day turns out miserably and they don't find a single bargain, they'll have a good time.

When men go somewhere and things turn out badly, they generally just want to get home and go to bed.

All this makes one thing clear to me: if I ever buy a pair of pants that look like pajamas, I’m going to join a women’s golf league. That way, I won’t get my feelings hurt.


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