Chapter 128: On not understanding women

(names have been changed to protect the irrelevant)

This story takes place around my junior year of high school. Anna and I met while working at Wal-Mart, and through several awkward exchanges had been out to eat a handful of times. She was cute, if a little reserved, and was generally excited to see me. I was somewhat tired of being single, and was curious to see where all it would lead.

Doing some homework up in my room, I heard my mom yell that someone was on the phone for me. We had talked on the phone a number of times before, mostly to make plans, but any longer conversation was invariably cut off when she ‘had to go’. I’m a pretty forgiving person, so I didn’t read much into it.

“Hi Sam, this is Becca, Anna’s friend.” I had met Becca before. A little spastic, but fun.

“Oh hey, Becca. What’s up?”

“Not much, I’m just hanging out with Anna at her boyfriends house.”

Reality came crashing to a halt. Somewhere, a thousand records were unceremoniously halted mid break, and a thousand speakers mimicked the sound that came squeaking out of my throat. Upon further inquiry, Becca revealed that yes, Anna did have a boyfriend, and that she had had one for a while. Shockingly, Becca didn’t understand why I was annoyed. After a small bout of self-righteousness, I called it quits and hung up.

I thought to myself, “I don’t understand women.”

The conclusion that women are inscrutable or are somehow off limits to the fields of reason and rationality is comforting. The presumed insanity of the opposite gender is the safety blanket of singledom. It lets us cease discussion and chalk it all up to forces outside of our control.

It’s also invariably wrong.

Women aren’t inscrutable. Men aren’t impossible to understand. We’re all actually fairly simple creatures if you allow yourself to fully consider what could possibly be going on. When we say “I just don’t understand {other gender}”, we’re occasionally just hiding from an obvious, yet uncomfortable truth.

I was led on, and mostly by myself. Simple as that. At best Anna was probably fairly ambivalent about her boyfriend, and played off any meals we had as just being among friends. I created the entire ‘relationship’ out of thin air, because that’s how I wanted to see it. She might have been casually looking around, but eventually decided “Nah”.

Certain things are unknowable under our present levels of knowledge. What caused the Big Bang? Does P = NP? Is every finite presented periodic group finite? Understanding why she dumped you is not unknowable, and isn’t confusing merely because there isn’t a rigorous set of research institutes set up to deal with the problem. Even if you’re willing to forgo any in depth analysis of “Why?”, keeping track of observable phenomena and the eventual consequences is a fairly handy habit. Science lets you understand the world through analysis of observable evidence, and there’s no excuse for ignoring women just because they’re ‘hard’.

I don’t have it all figured out, and there are certainly things I don’t understand. However, when she says “No, we don’t need to do anything special for our anniversary”, she isn’t lying; the universe will not end if you don’t. But make it happen, or she’ll be pissed. This isn’t shocking, you’re just dumb.

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