COLUMN: Long phone calls bring out worst in a man
According to popular myths, the average woman has the natural ability to stay on the phone for anywhere from four to six hours.
An insufferable amount of time. Longer than the typical NASCAR race, the average UN meeting, even a standard Bill Clinton speech.
Being the perfect image of masculinity that I am, the longest I have ever stayed on the phone was 15 minutes. Long enough for us to divulge necessary information, then hang up before we happen to talk about something important and share an emotional moment or something equivalently awful.
In an attempt to better understand the other gender, I attempted to stay on the phone for at least two hours.
Five minutes in: My friend, who is in the Navy, doesn’t even take three minutes to remind me how much more money he makes than me. It always comes up before we hit the 10-minute mark, but the fact that it didn’t even take him three minutes signifies that he just got his paycheck. We also talked about our schedules, how busy we are, and just to keep things appropriately cliché, I also brought up the weather.
Ten minutes in: We are dangerously approaching the period where small talk just won’t cut it. One can’t just talk about nothing for longer than 15 minutes, unless you’re two middle-aged women who just ran into each other in the market. Then you can talk about nothing for hours. Unfortunately, we were not two middle-aged women in the market.
Fifteen minutes in: What do women talk about past the small talk period? Granted, I’m at the 15-minute mark, this is all uncharted territory for me. Probably relationships. Problem is that men generally have a very limited scope when it comes to talking about attractive females. We start with a short description of how hot they are, generally composed of just “she’s really hot,” and then we jump straight into wanting to have sex. Repeat that process eight to 10 times, and you have a typical male conversation about females.
Twenty minutes in: How do women do this? They probably go into specifics, like smell. Apparently it’s really crucial that you smell good. I sat next to a pretty girl with really nice perfume on the bus. I didn’t enjoy it. It made the whole bus smell like chemicals. Gasoline and chemicals. Which I guess is just chemicals and chemicals.
Thirty minutes in: Or at least I wished we talked about scents. Instead, I’m being interrogated about every detail of my sex life. Only an hour and half left to go. This is terrible.
Forty minutes in: Now that my friend knows who I’ve done it with, and what positions, it’s time for a new topic. Thank God. I retreat to my typical rant about politics, economical realities and fiscal cliffs.
Forty-five minutes in: But wait, women don’t talk about economics, they talk about other important things. Like the latest episode of Gilmore Girls. What exactly is a Gilmore?
One hour in: Unfortunately, the fact that we don’t watch any of the same TV shows brings that topic to a quick end. Now all our conversation consists of is long pauses dictated by stretched out pronunciations of the word “so.”
One hour and 20 minutes in: He attempts to finish the conversation, saying he’s got some place to go. A classic excuse to leave a conversation. I have no choice but to blurt out “but I have something really important to tell you.” I have nothing even slightly important to tell him.
One hour and 25 minutes in: He’s quickly figuring out I have nothing at all important to tell him. Neither am I creative enough to think of something legitimately pressing on the spot. I am committed to the cause, though. I am not against breaking into tears and dramatically exclaiming “but I’m so lonely without you!”
One hour and 26 minutes in: Thankfully, I was able to employ a stratagem slightly less drastic. Even though I was unaware of it five minutes before, I now have a new crush. I met her in the…um…coffee shop. She has blondish-reddish-brunnetish hair. She might be bi. I’m sophisticated like that.
An hour and 30 minutes: And predictably, we’re now talking about my future sex life.
An hour and something minutes: Somewhere in his long diatribe on the modern woman and sexual ethics, I completely lost track of time. It could have been because the conversation was so fascinating that I couldn’t help but be completely engrossed. In reality, I found myself completely jealous of primordial soup. Four billion years ago, we weren’t humans or even primates. We were primordial soup. We got to float around and do nothing. Most importantly, we didn’t have to take phone calls.
Two hours: In the 11th century, St. Thomas Aquinas presented the cosmological argument to prove the existence of God. Very compelling argument. Equally compelling is the fact my alarm clock has just dictated that my two-hour phone call is finally over. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. I wonder if it would be rude to just hang up?
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