Men are from DOS



January 18, 2000

Be warned: this entry is one big sweeping generalization. If such things offend, then read no further. But remember, you're in Beth's world here.

So I was driving in my car this afternoon with my husband. We were on our way to the movies. (Cider House Rules--an excellent movie, btw.)

OK, so I'm driving. Chuck is being DJ. He takes out the CD that is currently in the player and puts in a new one. Then he spends some time inspecting the CD I'd been listening to, the soundtrack from Les Miserables.

On this CD is a picture of Cosette, the little girl who is featured in all the promotional material for Les Mis. The thing is, on the CD they'd altered it so that Cosette is holding a mouse (the computer variety) in her hand.

Chuck things this is horrible. I think he thinks it's horrible. I'm actually not quite sure what he was thinking, frankly, because the whole time I'm driving he's telling me to look at the CD. Did I mention that I was driving while this was going on. I didn't say we were stopped at a red light and waiting. No. I was driving.

Sure, a quick glance at something else is doable. Not incredible to expect. But for me to take the time to inspect the CD while negotiating a several ton vehicle down the crowded streets of Los Angeles is a bit much to expect, in my humble opinion.

Or is it?

I tried pointing out to Chuck that this little incident is one of my greatest sources of aggravation. While he himself is incapable of doing more than one thing at a time, he has no trouble asking me to just that very thing. Frankly, he has those expectations of me.

A perfect example: Last Thursday night I was cooking dinner (OK, well sort of dinner, it was pancakes). What was Chuck doing? Setting the broken VCR to record Friends (it didn't). Zoe wanted help putting a dress on Barbie. She went to Chuck. Chuck was pushing some buttons and things. He said, "I'm busy, go ask your mother to help you." OK, was I not busy cooking dinner? Not only that, but pancakes are the kind of thing you have to keep an eye on, not like a roast or something. So I happily put down my spatula, put the dress on Barbie, sent Zoe on her merry way, and slightly charred a griddle full of pancakes.

Now I ask you, could Chuck just as easily stopped what he was doing for two seconds to put on Barbie's dress? Yes. He could have. If he were a woman. But as a man, he was already doing one thing. It could not reasonably be expected that he could so easily shift gears and do another task either separately, or god forbid, simultaneously.

This brings me to my point...and yes, I know it's been a long way getting there.

Men can only perform one application at a time.

Women multitask.

I see it every day in a million different ways. I see it at work. I especially see it at home.

One.Thing.At.A.Time. This boggles my mind. If Chuck is watching TV, he doesn't like to talk. If he is reading, that is all he's doing. If he's talking on the phone he should be left alone, because, after all, he's talking to someone. If he's doing one thing, that's all he's doing.

OK, before I get hate mail and rebuttal journal entries, let me be quick to point out that it is not just Chuck. It is all men. (And remember the above disclaimer, this is my world.)

Then there's me. I will cook dinner. While that is going on, I'm straightening up the kitchen the dishes, utensils, etc. that is needed to make dinner. I may also be talking on the phone and/or reading a magazine. OK, it depends on what is cooking. Pancakes, for example, must be watched. But, other stuff, pasta, for example, does not require constant minding. Therefore other things can be done simultaneously.

Men are DOS.

Women are Windows.

Until next time...

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