Beginners guides

Who knew?

WAAMIf you look up from this and look around you, you will notice quite quickly that the world about you is not a barren dusty wasteland with self-replicating Amoebas as the only life form. If you are able to see out of a window, you will most likely spot some shrubbery in various shapes and sizes. Possibly one or two members of the local wildlife community and perhaps even some people other than yourself and your own reflection.

All this life and biology is because of a successful interaction in a reproductory manner, by a male and a female of a species, any species, all species, except for Amoebae (which is the correct plural) who sort themselves out. From a blade of grass to the top of the food chain there has been some male on female and vice versa jiggery-pokery going on in a basic or sophisticated manner. This interaction is what is required to keep planets such as ours from being barren dusty wastelands populated only by Amoebae. So the male and the female of the species, whichever species, have to figure out how each other’s bits work to make little members of the same species. They have to understand each other a little bit at the very least and most basic level. Which is fine and good but that’s not really what this is about if you are growing concerned at where this story is heading, it’s just background, relax.

Let’s park the participants in Biology further down the food chain than humans though and have a look at us and how we interact. The purpose of this post is to draw your attention to a little discussed and largely secret issue about the way men and woman understand each other that only really occurred to me this week. Well when I say men and women, I mean men, not all men, men like me. Men who grew up without a Sister.

You would be amazed, maybe, at what sisterless chaps don’t know about girls. No-one knows what we don’t or didn’t know, because we never mention it as we assume it’s a reality because we don’t know any better and there is no-one to tell us as they aren’t mind readers. So the stuff we don’t know, or incorrectly think, goes unchallenged and uncorrected until discovered purely by chance! You wait until you find out what I thought, and apparently it’s not just me. So here goes. Are we sitting comfortably?

Firstly though, as a young chap without a sister, when you first mingle with girl’s socially outside school and you wish to impress them. You have absolutely no idea how to go about that. You have very limited understanding of what goes on inside a girls head in their spare time. You don’t see them interacting with their friends outside school. You have no idea what they might actually like or not on their own terms when they are not acting up for their friends at school You don’t see the emotional fall out from a conversation gone wrong or otherwise.

Woman-Whispering-Into-Mans-Ear1-300x170The chap with sisters knows all this stuff. When you go to the school dance the chap with sisters will know some of the girls socially as they might be friends or otherwise of his sister. They will have been to his house. He can blithely say hello to the girls. If you have no sister, you have none of that. You have to trudge the floor in front of everyone to engage the female of the species that you have no understanding of firstly in a conversation and ideally in a dance without a clue how to go about it. Your first few attempts will result in dismal failure and ridicule by your peers. It is a nightmare for a young chap to endure. But that’s fine as in the long term you figure it out or you become a social recluse.

It’s the other stuff we sisterless blokes don’t know that seems to cause a great deal of amusement when we reveal it later in life in an unguarded moment. Are we ready? Some of this information is a little, base, so apologies for that. I shall be as careful as I can in my descriptions to avoid ones blushes.

Girls, or women if you prefer, have a couple of things as a part of their life that we blokes do not. We sisterless blokes it seems have been labouring under a bit of a misconception about them which may come as a surprise to the women in our lives.

The ‘monthly cycle’ for example.  Like all blokes I was aware of its existence. I also was very familiar with the accompanying complaints and related products available in retail outlets as the standard method of dealing with the ‘monthly cycle’. They are called tampons and there are varying brands available. They come in a range of sizes, mini, regular, super, maxi, etc. However, only very recently did I discover that the size description was in relation to ‘flow and absorbency’ rather than, ahem, size.

SuddenOh yes, I used to watch girls buying tampons in shops, in the queue with their super-sized tampons and draw some rather unfortunate conclusions. I often wondered why they weren’t more secretive about it. I’m not making that up. I admitted it in an embarrassed manner for comedy purposes on a social media outlet recently assuming it was just me being an ignorant bumpkin and another chap around my age admitted. “Well I’ve just learned something new”. Not just me then.

l-3So there you go girls. A whole bunch of chaps are making assumptions about you based upon what you carry to the checkout! There will be girls all over the world not being asked out on dates by the man of their dreams because he didn’t have a sister and he spotted them shopping one day!

Moving on to the smear test. It wasn’t until I actually asked a woman, not all that long ago, that I found out a smear test is a rather inaccurate description. I always assumed and why would I think otherwise, that a smear test was like a bit of litmus paper being applied to the area. I had no idea it was actually more like a pair of steel salad spoons on a ratchet. It’s called a smear test!! Imagine my surprise. Imagine her surprise when she saw my surprise.

If you are a lady reading this are you surprised I didn’t know? How would I know? I don’t have smear tests! Are we supposed to say to our female partners, ‘so how was the smear test then?’’ What did he actually do?’ No of course that conversation never takes place. So we think it’s a bit of a swipe with some medical paper or something and a cheery wave.  Our other halves think we are being dismissive and unsympathetic, not a bit of it; we are being very ignorant instead. That’s sort of better when you think about it.

You women are going to look at us chaps a bit differently now aren’t you? It’s good to learn stuff.

So sisters, educate your brothers for their own sakes.  Tell them to tell their friends what they know. We could all get on so much better, sooner.  The world will continue to be a wonderful diverse place full of colour and new life. Rather than at risk of being a dusty barren wasteland populated only by Amoebae, which is less good. It kind of brings a whole new dimension to ‘show and tell’.

Want an audio link of me reading this out, Click on the phone!


8 replies »

  1. Haha this is such a good post! I married a man who grew up with all boys! I realised early on in the relationship he had no idea, when he looked at me like I had just stabbed him when he heard me fart! He said woman dont fart lol, he was mortified! His mother (a true lady I assume) had never farted in front of her boys or if she had, blamed the smell on them. So this made me giggle as soon as I read your first line, totally knew where you were coming from, even now with a daughter, my husband still struggles with the whole female thing and hence she has grown up very tomboyish.

    • Cheers Chandy! I was always a fan of the old line. “I say sir, did you just fart in front of my wife?” I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t realise it was her turn!”

  2. Sandy, you really should do more of these educational posts. I’ve got 2 sisters and have been married for 25 years. Didn’t have a clue what a smear test really is, until you enlightened me. What’s more I will have a totally different perspective at the checkout queue at Sainsburys this morning.

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