Hurry Up and Wait

Have you ever noticed that any time there's some kind of family gathering, it generally takes the women present approximately three hours to say goodbye? 


In the time that elapses between the announcement of the intention to leave and the instant the door actually closes behind said guests, the men involved could have come and gone 20 times over.

Is it really one of those “Venus versus Mars” things? It sure seems to follow that pattern 99.9% of the time. Man and woman arrive together, man and woman socialize together...and then man warms up car in driveway for 45 minutes while woman says her goodbyes.

It must be part of that same gene which causes men to calmly – well, not always calmly - sit and wait while women shop, try on clothes, use the ladies room, put the finishing touches on their hair, make-up, etc. When you think about it, the greater part of a man's life is spent waiting. Waiting for what, exactly, is not always immediately apparent.

I suppose, speaking as a member of the female population, it comes down to the fact that, regardless of the best laid plans and preparations, there is always something else to be done, something else to be said; always some last-minute thing that simply can't be neglected. 

Genetic? Hard to say. Annoying to men? Fairly certain.

Which brings me back to those long goodbyes. They're not limited to in-person encounters. Have you ever overheard a phone conversation between two women? Now there's a never-ending dialogue! It doesn't even matter if the two parties live 3,000 miles apart and haven't spoken in five years, or live next door to one another and communicate 57 times per day. Either way, there's always one last anecdote to be told, one last piece of advice to be offered, one last “remember the time...” trip down memory lane. Just face it, it's a girl thing. Endearing, though, isn't it?

One positive is that it's not like the men can be surprised by it all. Such behavior has been going on for ages. Men have been “warming up the car” since the days of Fred and Wilma Flintstone. They know what they signed on for, and we, as women, are only too happy to live up to the expectation.  

So, men, the next time you're at a function and it's time to go, pull up a chair, have another beverage and wait it out. We should only be another hour or so.

Give or take.


{Published: July 12th, 2006}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment