I've been told that, when it comes to relationships, there are several areas where I'm probably more "male" than "female." This usually applies to anything connected to the kitchen, or any homemaking activities at all actually. But what is probably my most marked male characteristic is my absolute need - almost a compulsion really - to know where the remote control is at all times while watching television.
I'm a lot better than I used to be. Before, I had to have it in my possession and be in full and total channel control. I was happiest with the remote resting gingerly on my stomach, my protective hand gently draped over it. I've aways likened the feeling of calm security I get from this to what I imagine men feel like when they absentmindedly shove their hand under their waistband and sort of cup their penises while lounging on the couch. Sort of like, "Hey, I know I don't need it right now, but at least I know where it is for when I do."
After a few boyfriends who felt equally strong about possession of the remote control, I learned to lower my demands. No longer do I absolutely have to have it in my possession, but I at least need to know where it is. When girlfriends come over, this usually allows me full control. I've never seen another woman come into someone else's home and commando the remote (except maybe me:-). But when a man walks through my threshold, forget about it. I've learned to just roll over and let them have it. Gotta pick your battles, right?
When it comes to how the remote is actually used...well, that's where I lean toward the female side, and proudly I might add. Actually, the more I think about it, the different genders seem to approach channel surfing the same way we search for a mate. Tell me if you agree.
When women channel surf, we are genuinely looking for something to actually (gasp) watch. Meaning, if we see something interesting, we will actually STOP on the channel and WATCH it. Shocker here...we are willing to pick something and COMMIT to it - at least until it disappoints us or says it needs to "take a break."
Men, on the other hand, generally have no intention of actually watching anything. Their purpose when they pick up the remote is simply the act of searching itself. It's almost as if they are trying to see how much variety they can stumble upon with each push of the button.
OK, it's not their fault if they are just not interested in the same content as me (I understand Antiques Roadshow and endless Law & Order reruns aren't for everyone), but it seems like even when they find something they like, they keep going. Are they hoping to find something better up the dial, even if it means missing out on the thing they like that's right in front of them? Is it because of the male short attention span? Or their genetic need to "spread their seed?" What is it? I'm willing to admit that I am reading way too much into this and would very much welcome any input from the male population out there.
If you recall from my previous entry, this was all sparked by Wine Guy's fascination with America's Funniest Home Videos. But what made me rush to my computer to put the question to the world was yesterday afternoon's channel surfing session. Of course, I forfeited my remote control rights and watched with incredulity as he surfed through the most inane crap I have ever seen. F-List celebrity dating shows, teen tramp reality programs, weather disasters (OK, this I like). But the kicker was some show on CMT (yes, Country Music Television) that showed redneck, bikini-clad women with crooked teeth shooting AK-47 rifles while the announcer critiqued their form and lack of protective eye and ear wear. Apparently, their obviously protruding nipples, clearly in danger of getting accidentally nicked by an errant shell, are not in violation of CMT's rigid safety standards.
I watched with disgusted horror while Wine Guy, an enlightened supposed feminist, was laughing his ass off. I understand staying on the show for a few seconds merely to take it in and get a giggle. But he kept it there for many, many minutes. Loving every second of it.
With this blog entry in mind, I took the opportunity to ask him WHY? His answer made me feel better -- briefly, "Because of the sheer absurdity of it."
True. It was absurd. I replied, "Thank God. As long as you aren't watching because you actually think these women shooting guns are sexy."
As I walked into the kitchen he stopped me in my tracks with this reply, "Well, they are kind of sexy too."
Ugh. If only I had an AK-47 handy.