Sunday, October 17, 2004

542 Reverting to adolescent behavior

Derek, a seminary student with a blog, writes about camping with 3 friends: “We packed up my car, got down there while there was still daylight and put up the tent and got the fire started. It's funny how four grown men can instantly revert to being 14 years old again when in total isolation, with no women around and a fire going.”

I think the opposite must happen with women. They revert to 14 when there is a man around. A few weeks ago at our local pub where we go on Friday night, there was a loud, hilarious table next to us, five women and one man. He had a wan smile, and was nodding politely, as they screeched and roared and told jokes on themselves, all with the hand movements of a drunken choir director, and bouncing the topic like a basketball. The young man got up to go to the rest room, or maybe out to get some fresh air. The noise level dropped immediately. I heard the women in hushed tones start talking about what they really cared about. Gone was the “I’m-out-here-having-a-good-time” façade, and it was down to the nitty-gritty of career stress, teen-age children, and negligent husbands. When the guy came back, so did the game faces and the merriment.

Interesting. I could give other examples, and you could come up with ones to disprove it. But I’ve seen this behavior in committee meetings too, causing some men to wish they’d lower that glass ceiling smack on the heads of their female colleagues.

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