It’s a well-known fact that men and women think differently. This is because of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. While women tend to rely on the more creative, right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for verbal skills and abstract thoughts, men favor the more technical left side of the brain, which is mainly reserved for thoughts of sports and beer.
The difference between how men and women think has never been more evident than it was last week, during a road trip to California. From the start, my wife insisted on being the navigator, even though, technically, navigation is a left-brain activity. I brought this to her attention, and, using her superior right-brain communication skills, my wife explained that, technically, I have the directional sense of a wind sock and would therefore remain behind the wheel and away from the Road Atlas at all times.
Admittedly, my wife was right about this point. When it comes to finding my way on the open road — or even on roads closed to through traffic — nothing short of a full escort by compass-wielding Boy Scouts can keep me from getting lost. Several years ago while under hypnosis, I discovered that I was a Canada Goose in another life — a life that was tragically cut short after flying north my very first winter.
Because of this revelation, I didn’t argue about the driving arrangements.
At least not until we got to San Francisco.
You see, it was at that point that my left-brain processing skills discovered an interesting mathematical equation that goes as follows:
The time that is required for my wife to chart a course through heavy traffic is directly proportional to the number of lanes I have to cross in order to reach the appropriate exit.
Positioned in the far left lane within eight lanes of heavy traffic, it takes my wife approximately six minutes to deduce that we should’ve taken the exit we passed five minutes ago.
That’s because, in most cases, my wife is too busy shoving her feet through the floorboards and repeating the Rosary to worry about reading a stupid map that, in her words, “Was probably drawn-up by some left-brained, beer-swilling, sports-crazed male WITH NO SENSE OF DIRECTION ANYWAY!”
Even though this announcement was made at the peak of rush hour traffic in the heart of San Francisco, it still illustrates the difference between how men and women think; In that same instant, MY thoughts were focused solely on traffic flow, and how, based on speed fluctuations and random lane changes, we could catch the exit for a brewery.
In spite of these differences, we did find common ground once we left the interstate and went on foot into downtown. That’s because, as man and wife, our bond of love and respect won’t allow us to admit when both of us are completely lost.
But hey, if nothing else, at least we were in the right hemisphere.
Then again, maybe it was the left...?
(Write to Ned Hickson at [email protected] or c/o Siuslaw News, 148 Maple St., Florence, Ore. 97439)