Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Difference Between Men and Women

I was watching "What Would You Do?" tonight, which is a reality program of Candid Camera-style ethical dilemmas where they watch to see what bystanders to ethical situations do. Tonight one of the situations was a "rich guy" (actor) getting out of his limo in front of a coffee truck, loudly saying he was in a hurry, had to get to a meeting, don't you take credit cards? No.

So there is a "homeless guy"(actor) sitting nearby with a box of his panhandled money and the "rich guy" goes over to the "homeless guy's" money and grabs a dollar bill, mumbling he'll pay him back later.

To a man, the male bystanders all spoke up, got aggressive with the rich guy. To a woman, the female bystanders said nothing, did not confront, but all replenished the homeless guy's money and gave the homeless guy a dollar. They showed three of each gender, but said they were all like that.

This reminded me of a time where I was meeting three married couples for a business dinnner. I had gotten directions to the restaurant from Mapquest, and got within 2 or 3 minutes of the place and got lost. At a light, I rolled down my window to ask this man directions and I said, "Mapquest let me down."

He replied with a cool smile, "I won't let you down." It was flirty and I liked it.

When I got to the restaurant, I related my story. To a man, the men all groaned like "oh geez, that's a pitiful line" while all the women simultaneously said, "Awwwww" impressed with the line. Don't know what to make of that.


Fran said...

Another woman weighing in here - I loved both your line and his line. The actual words exchanged were but "code" for centuries-old man-woman dialog.
She: "Oh big strong sir, please help me for I am lost"
He: "Fear not, my damsel in distress, I shall slay all dragons in your path, ensure your safe passage and protect your honor."

What's sweet is that you were both
aware the flirty exchange was but a play on the ancient man-woman attraction theme and not a serious come-on.

Barbara said...

As I read it, I was really not sure what I would have done in the rich guy/homeless guy situation. But I did respond favorably to the mapquest guy. I like Fran's analysis of the echo back to ancient chivalry - but I'm not sure why there was an automatic response among the men, to put this nice fellow down?

Pat said...

About the men reaction in the Mapquest situation, I thought at the time that it was jealousy -- not a dark jealousy but more a "why didn't I think of that?" -- I would equate it to how you might tease a coworker for being a brown noser.

Like Barbara, I wondered what I would do in the homeless guy scenario. I don't normally give to homeless people sitting there with a box of change so I don't know if I would replace the money. I might, but I can also see myself saying to the rich guy, "that was a lousy thing to do."

Once when I was trying to get a cab to go to work, there was one coming and this man saw me with my hand out and walked out 30 feet in front of me and got the cab. I have to say that's unusual as typically New Yorkers do NOT do that as a point of honor, and I have frequently been asked while waiting for a light to change if I'm trying to get a cab so they wait for me.

Anyway, the guy gets in the cab, and I walked over to it. He saw me coming and I know he didn't know what to expect. So I leaned my head in the cab and said to him calmly, "My wish is that everyone today treats you exactly the way you treated me just now."

He started sputtering how he is in a hurry blah blah blah, but it gave me pleasure to know I'd put a curse on him, or so he might think when his day went badly.