What did you guys talk about?

There are many differences between men and women. I'm not so dense that I would say that I know anything about these differences better than anyone else, but I would like to draw attention to one of the finer points that I've been noticing lately.

As the pretext, I am married to a beautiful and intelligent woman. I have been getting to know her for the last three years and she still surprises me every day with further insight into how the female mind works.

One thing that I don't think I will ever understand is why she is always disappointed with the answer to the inevitable question she asks whenever I spend time with one of my friends:

"What did you guys talk about?"

The fact is that, as men, we talked about three things while we were together:

The task at hand, including, but not limited to other times that we did that task, future instances when we plan to do that thing again, and general discussion about how to be better at that task.

What we've been up to since the last time we spent time together, including updates on previous conversations, major milestones and interesting anecdotes.

Taking the other guys to task, including telling stories that either make them out to be heroes or zeroes, arguing about the rules of engagement regarding any of the above and perpetuating any possible running jokes at someone else's expense.

Notice that at no time did I mention talking about each other's feelings, asking about details of each other's families or friends.

I usually get a barrage of questions first before the exasperated "What did you guys talk about?"

  • How is his girlfriend, wife, partner? With the corollary, if applicable, "When is he going to propose?"
  • How is he enjoying work?
  • What does he think of what's happening with so-and-so?
  • How does he feel about _______?
  • How is his mother doing since having her appendix out?
  • Is he thinking about _______?
  •  When is he going to _______?

And my answers to all of these sorts of questions are always disappointingly vague. Usually coming in the form of an "I don't know" that sounds more like "uh mn oh".

I can only imagine what this means conversations between women are like when they're alone together. In my mind, they must talk a lot about how they feel about things, about how everyone they know is doing, about how they think everyone else is feeling, what they think everyone else is thinking, and what events could potentially be happening in the near future.

If that's true ... No wonder my wife is always surprised that guys don't talk about anything.