If you could have seen me 10 minutes ago, you'd fall off your bar stool laughing, guaranteed. I just finished playing Kinect, wearing sweatpants, fleece socks, a long sleeved tshirt, fleece sweatshirt, giant abominable snowman jacket, and mittens. The good news is, I obviously look AMAZING. The bad news? It's all because our heater went out AGAIN. I grabbed the bull by the horns and called our maintenance man posthaste this morning. Good news? He came out right away. Bad news? He couldn't fix it. A "specialist" is coming...TOMORROW MORNING. So, it's a brisk 55 degrees in my stupid, old, drafty house. Sometimes I hate this place so much I would consider moving back in with my parents. But I'm not leaving tonight out of pure stubbornness.
The heater was a, uh, point of contention between Geo and me this morning. He was home when the maintenance man came, and was the unfortunate messenger of the bad news via text to me. "Heater's broken. Specialist coming tomorrow tomorrow to fix it."
Being the calm, cool, collected woman I am, I shot back "That is NOT OKAY. We can't NOT HAVE HEAT FOR A WHOLE NIGHT!" (Yes, the all caps was necessary because I was screaming inside my calm, cool, collected head.) Here's the thing: Geo is very laid back and believes there's not point in complaining about something you can't fix. I, on the other hand, believe that COMPLAINING has historically FIXED a number of problems.
Then here's where the fighting came in. Geo says "If it's too cold and you can't handle it, go to your parents house." Well, I never! I'm sorry. I must have missed the Biology class when it was explained that men's skin is made of steel and Snuggies, and women's skin is made of tissue paper and butterfly wings. (Hence, the reason I'm determined to tough it out at my house all night tonight.) Okay, so I respond to him: "Yeah, thanks for the advice." He replied with a (seemingly) patronizing explanation of how a heater works, to which I replied, "Thanks for the explanation." He told me to stop being a jerk, and I told him to stop talking to me like I was four years-old.
We had reached a stalemate. His insistence that he was just trying to make me calm down fell on deaf ears. I told him that all he needed to say was "I feel your pain" and let the whole "Hey, Crazy, you're sooooooooooo freaking out right now!" fall by the wayside. Men! I immediately dialed up Kim to vent, and SHE got it! She was all "OMG, I'd be so mad at the heater guy if I were you! I said "All I wanted was for him to just side with me and say it sucks and then act like he's upset too." She laughed and said "This whole idea was JUST on Modern Family the other night. Men just can't even PRETEND to empathize when a woman complains. A guy just launches into ways he'd fix it, or reasons why the problem wouldn't bother him like that."
I get that Geo doesn't understand the point of venting about something I can't do anything about. But what he (and the entire male population, apparently) doesn't get, is that SOMETIMES IT FEELS GOOD. I do it to express my disappointment and frustration. I like to commiserate with other people. It's fun and it makes me feel better. So I have one, teeny little outburst over a totally sucky situation, and he goes all "Operation: Immediately Point Out the Futility of Complaining".
Why, Men? WHY must you do this? Here's a hint to you: You don't sound smarter or more practical or more effective when you try to rationalize with a woman who is ranting. Sometimes, you sound like a jerk. Sometimes, it's OKAY to not have an answer/solution/response to everything I complain about. Sometimes? It's okay to just say "Ugh, that is so lame. I feel bad you have to deal with it." Or even, "I know..." paired with a sympathetic nod and maybe then like a pair of diamond earrings or something. I dunno, I'm just brainstorming here. The point is: I'm not trying to start a fight WITH you, I'm trying to get you on my side so WE can fight whatever abstract thing is ruining my day. Get on my side, would ya?
Well, Geo came home and started a fire (in the fireplace - which is, arguably, a better idea than the one I had of setting our couches on fire and breakin' out my shorts), and it's helping a great deal. I've been able to unzip my giant coat a couple inches (although he's still struttin' around in a pair of jeans and a thin hoodie, insisting it's "just not that cold"). I guess, given the great temperature gap, it only makes sense that men are indeed from Mars and women from Venus.