Reply to "Got Jokes?"

*The Difference Between Men and Women* - Author Unknown

Let's say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He
asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A
few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy
themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a
while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to
Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you
realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly
six months?"

And then, there is silence in the car.

To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I
wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling
confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him
into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of
relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd
have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way
we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we
just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we
heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together?
Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this
person?

And Fred is thinking: ...so that means it was...let's see...February
when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the
dealer's, which means...lemme check the odometer...Whoa! I am way
overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm
reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our
relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed -
even before I sensed it - that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I
bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his
own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission
again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting
right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this
time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is
shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves
$600.

And Martha is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be
angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help
the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90-day
warranty...scumballs.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a
knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right
next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person
I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A
person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic
fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a
warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their...

"Fred," Martha says aloud.

"What?" says Fred, startled.

"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning
to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have...oh dear, I feel
so..."(She breaks down, sobbing.)

"What?" says Fred.

"I'm such a fool," Martha sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I
really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."

"There's no horse?" says Fred.

"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Martha says.

"No!" says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

"It's just that...it's that I...I need some time," Martha says. (There
is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to
come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he
thinks might work.)

"Yes," he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

"Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?" she says.

"What way?" says Fred.

"That way about time," says Martha.

"Oh," says Fred. "Yes." (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into
his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say
next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

"Thank you, Fred," she says. "Thank you," says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured
soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place,
he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes
deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two
South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice
in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was
going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way
he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he
doesn't think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of
them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours.
In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and
everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every
word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every
possible ramification.

They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks,
maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never
getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend
of his and Martha's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:
"Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?"

And that's the difference between men and women.

Author unknown ...

The wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy, the wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim. -Maya Angelou
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