The following is not based on scientific research or accredited study, but rather, it is based on mere observation. Generally, when reading or discussing the basic differences between men and women, the topic tends to lean towards our communication patterns or our innate desire to nurture or protect. I am prone to notice the smaller details, the less significant differences. I will be speaking in generalities, noting little quirks I’ve noticed between my male and female friends, co-workers, and family.
First, men are commonly known to be visual creatures. Knowing this, one would believe men would have a broad variance of favorite colors. Oddly enough, most men select one of three colors as their favorite: blue, green, or red. In that order. To test this theory, I asked several male co-workers to define their favorite color. Predictably, nine times out of ten, the answer received was “blue.” Interestingly, more than half would respond with, “Blue. But I also like green.” Ask your husband, boyfriend, father, brother, friend, or co-worker and you’ll be amazed of how often you receive this common response. On the other hand, women are more likely to spout out a billion different colors, “Lavender, yellow, or aqua.” And even more interesting, when women select blue or green as their favorite color, a more descriptive term proceeds the “blue” or “green.” For example, women like “sky
blue,” or “kelly
green.” Personally, my favorite colors are red, aqua, and electric
Another difference can be found in how we dream. Often times, men do not recall their dreams. When they do, they relay of dreaming in black and white, in third person. Women are more likely to dream in vivid color, first person. Women are also more apt to recall extensive detail. It is common for me to recall dreams. I am a rare breed as I often have lucid dreams. As a lucid dreamer, I am able to manipulate the outcome of my dreams. I also dream in Technicolor, and 99.9% of the time, I dream “through my own eyes.” In fact, I can only recall one instance of dreaming in third person, a foreign and bizarre concept. Another item to ponder, is the way in which we dream genetic? My mother and I share similar dreaming patterns. I’ve asked my father of his dreams and he responded with, “I don’t dream much, but when I do, they are strange, detailed, vivid.” Me too, on both accounts. I’ve heard most dreams are quite short. I struggle with this concept as mine are often long, detailed, movies inside my head. Then again, I typically enter another world when sleeping. I’ve been told I appear to be dead when I am asleep. My pulse has been checked, my breathing questioned. I slip into coma-like state and it is difficult to rouse me from slumber. I sleep through alarms (yes, plural,) tornado sirens, phone calls, and thunderstorms. Sleep (and dreams) are precious to me.
Ask the following silly question to a man in your life: “What kind of shampoo do you use?” Prepare yourself for one of the following six answers: “Suave,” “Pert Plus,” “Head & Shoulders,” “Pantene,” “I have no idea,” or “whatever my wife/girlfriend/mother/roommate buys.” Really? You don’t know what you use, assumedly every day, to wash your hair? Right. Sure you don’t. I’m going to challenge you because I am willing to bet money on the fact you don’t want us to know you wash your hair with Tropical Paradise Suave. Now, ask a handful of women to answer this same silly question, and expect to receive a different answer from each woman. Ask the same set of women this precise question two months from now, and expect each woman to give an different answer from their original answer. Furthermore, men have few shower items while women have a shower packed full of shampoos, conditioners, body washes, scrubs, shaving gels, face washes, bubble baths, razors, etc. The shampoo aisle at Drug Emporium sucks me in. I have to smell a million different brands before settling on one overpriced bottle of shampoo. Men will pick the $.99 bottom of Suave. My shower is a shampoo haven. Currently, it houses Joico, Paul Mitchell, and Samy. My shower is a rotating door for shampoo and body wash. It is uncommon for me to purchase the same brand twice. I do stay true to my face wash and makeup remover. Some consistency is good.
I’ll also spend a wad of cash on shoes. My mother harasses me, encouraging me to quit buying shoes because “I don’t need them.” Instruction I find comical as her closet is crammed full of beautiful, expensive shoes neatly housed in their original boxes. I don’t mind spending a fortune on jeans, a habit largely influenced by my friend Wes. You can tell a difference. Expensive shoes and jeans fit better. I recently heckled Steven, my neighbor, for wearing what appeared to be basic jeans. He shrugged and assured me he didn’t give a damn about jeans. He didn’t even know the brand. Upon further review, I discovered they were actually a rather expensive pair of jeans and I retracted my heckling. Wes is the minority. Men usually buy cheap jeans and own three pairs of shoes. I cannot think of one woman who owns less than 20 pairs of shoes. Even the women who “don’t care” about shoes have a vast collection. I will sport a $3 Old Navy t-shirt with a pair of $200 jeans. It all comes out in the wash.
Take note of candles purchased by men versus candles purchased by women. Most men buy vanilla scented candles. Yuck. Every woman will purchase something different. The candles in my house currently? In my bedroom, I have a floral lily scented candle. In my living room, I have a “blue bamboo” scented candle. Blue bamboo? What the hell does blue bamboo smell like anyway? This particular candle smells like a memory. It reminds me of my August 2007 vacation in Chicago. I have a “Hollywood” scented candle in my dining area. It smells of eucalyptus which reminds me of my mother. Walk through the home of a man you know. If candles exist, take note of the scent and then smile and nod as you discover the abundance of vanilla candles.
While you’re on a field trip through a man’s home, also glance at the walls, which is quite often all you will see. What is it with men and the absence of pictures on their walls? A naked wall is a man’s décor. Or, occasionally a man will hang a picture of a hunting dog, deer, or duck. This is unacceptable and cringe-worthy. A woman will decorate every inch of bare space. My walls are covered with art, clocks, mirrors, quotes, and a gong. Yes, a gong. I prefer simplistic artwork, though I prefer a lot of it. I am not a fan of hanging portraits of people on the wall, though I love framed pictures of friends and family, which I proudly display on my table tops. Portraits are rarely seen (in a frame or otherwise) in a man’s home. My friend Jim is an exception. He has several framed photographs of family and friends, neatly matted, and displayed throughout his house. I am always delighted to see pictures and portraits in a single man’s home. It is a sign of sentiment and regard that I consider lovely.
I could go on and on and on, but I will spare you. Again, I am aware of the exceptions. I’m sure there are plenty of men who love the color eggplant, who dream in color, use Rusk, own 100 pairs of shoes and expensive denim. But these men are just that, the exception, the minority, the stray in the pack. Take a poll among the women and men. Note the responses and share your results. These “yin” and “yang” elements are far more interesting than the standard “men like math, women like words, men like sports, women like makeup.” So please, enlighten me.