As men, we are told often that we don’t listen.
Whereas women, bless them, have an uncanny knack of remembering the favourite music, colour and coffee blend of every person they have ever met, we men can’t seem to successfully regurgitate the same information. Women will say that this is because they listen and we don’t. This is, of course, ridiculous. Of course we listen, we just don’t always hear what we listen to.
There is of course a reason that men don’t listen. In fact there are two reasons. Evolution and anatomy, and while the general concept of evolution is one which most people understand, what a lot of people don’t understand is that a man’s ear is anatomically different than a woman’s. To put it simply, we hear differently, so it’s not our fault because as we all know, a man has no control over the use, size and effectiveness of any working or non-working part of his anatomy.
This probably sounds a little far-fetched but it’s true and I encourage those who may be a little sceptical to Google this exact theory. You won’t find any supporting evidence of course because there isn’t any, even though it’s quite obvious that there should be. So basically, what you need to do is just believe that it’s true and it will be. This is, after all, is the very same logic used to believe in astrology, palmistry, fortune telling and faith healing. Believe it and it will be true. What could be more simple than that.
evolution is the real reason that men don’t listen
If we consider evolution as humankind’s ability to adapt, then it should follow that men and women have, over the course of centuries, adapted (or evolved) differently. And the way men and women hear things is as good an example as any. The lack of hearing ability that women often perceive as a defect in men is, in fact, a survival mechanism. And it is a survival mechanism perfected over countless generations, beginning, most probably with Adam.
When Eve tossed Adam the apple and encouraged him to take a bite he listened carefully and did exactly what he was told. Unfortunately, this subsequently condemned us all to a life which is very f*****g far from perfect, all things being equal of course. However Adam, who like all men, was an extremely fast learner, did not make the same mistake twice. He still loved Eve and only blamed her a little bit for being evicted from Paradise on Earth, however he never listened to another word that she said. He heard her of course, he just didn’t listen, even though he pretended he did.
This trait was subsequently honed through trial and error over countless generations until reaching its current stage, with us, where it is now in its perfect form. In fact so perfect is it now that we don’t even have to practice. It just happens. So, when mothers the world over tell their sons that they are just like their fathers and never listen, men as a collective gender should rejoice and pay homage to evolution as it demonstrates that the survival mechanism protecting us from apples and women named Eve is in proper and perfect working order.
then there is the alternative
Now, if for some strange reason this seems a little unbelievable, I am prepared to offer an alternative, but still supporting view, to this theory.
I offer this alternative because not everyone believes in a biblical representation of the world. It stands to reason that if you don’t believe in Adam in the first place then you are even less likely to believe that he was the founding father of modern male deafness. The alternative to creation is of course, the theory of Mr Darwin. Evolution.
If you don’t fancy one theory, then pick the other and if you are on the fence, pick both. And to be honest, even though creation theory is based around a very busy week for the Almighty, it still contains some of the elements of evolution. I am only guessing but I don’t think Adam had the benefits of WiFi during his relatively short stay in the Garden of Eden. We have WiFi now. Therefore we have evolved. If this seems logical it is because it is.
s.a.m and his place in evolution
So, back to Mr Darwin. This alternative representation takes us back to the rugged individualists of the Stone Age. Stone age man, hereby known as S.A.M because stone age man takes too long to type and the acronym seems to fit pretty well.
S.A.M was, first and foremost, a hunter and whilst in undoubted possession of appropriate gathering skills, these were not his primary area of expertise. This is most probably because a man cannot successfully do two things at once, so he chose the hardest and hoped the other would happen by magic. Men continue to do this to this day. And it works so why change it.
S.A.M hunted many things, sabre tooth tigers, very large flightless birds and animals with strange and frightening names like Glyptodon. Mostly though he hunted mammoth. And contrary to popular belief, mammoths were actually built for stealth. Although one would think a huge shaggy Mammuthus twice the size of an elephant would be noisy it was, in fact, not.
Which is why S.A.M needed exceptionally good hearing. So he could hear a mammoth coming. Because in stealth mode, a mammoth was almost impossible to hear, especially if stone age woman was beside S.A.M, chattering away about grubs, roots and the fact that she never had anything new to wear. Subsequently, S.A.M learned very quickly to tune stone age woman out so he could assure himself of a fairly decent feed. He heard stone age woman but never actually listened to her as all his resources were attuned to the gentle footfall of the 2000lb mammoth heading in his general direction.
The skill S.A.M developed was two-fold and one which is used to great effect today. S.A.M, instead of listening to stone age woman’s words, learnt instead to listen to stone age woman’s pitch. The ongoing development of this skill allowed him to grunt his mono syllable replies whenever stone age woman’s pitch demanded, giving her the impression that he was listening whilst in reality he was focusing all his attention to the hunt.
evolution in the here and now
Fast forward to the present day and mammoth are universally thought of to be extinct, which attest to S.A.M.’s considerable hunting skills and his ability to tune stone age woman out during important, life preserving tasks.
So now, instead of mammoth, current day man has sport in its place and sport, as we know, requires every ounce of attention a man can muster, lest he miss out out on important statistical information or miss the sideways reverse angle offered by the 18th replay of a significant event. So, when women choose, as they do, to engage present day man in conversation while sport is on, he reverts to the skill honed to perfection by S.A.M, his prehistoric forefather.
And these grunts, even though they appear to be non-sensical and illiterate mumblings actually appease modern day woman. That is until modern day man is asked to recall such conversations at an unknown point down the track. So, when modern day woman reminds modern day man that he did, in fact, agree that her sister could visit for a week, modern day man will look bemused and offer weak ineffectual arguments to the contrary. And this is the exact time that modern day man will be accused of not listening.
the evolution of technique…fine tuning perfection
Yet such is the cutting edge power of evolution, modern day man is able to use this accusation to his advantage. This technique is called pleading ignorance and is highly effective on modern day woman when used with the added element of surprise.
Naturally, surprise does not mean scaring modern day woman half to death by wearing a hockey mask at the dinner table, although this is what men named Jason sometimes do. The element of surprise is effected by telling modern day woman that he forgot what she said because he was busy planning a surprise for her. Consider the following:
MDW: ” I told you my sister was coming to stay. You never listen to anything I say.”
MDM: “Of course I was listening, I just forgot. I was planning a surprise trip away just for us.”
MDW: “Really??!! That’s so sweet. Where are we going?”
MDM: “Well it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told, would it now.”
And this, if done correctly, will stop modern day woman in her tracks, taking the focus off modern day man’s hearing and turning it instead on to what wonderful thing that they might be doing together. All it takes after this is for modern day man to do find something really good that he wants to do and then drag modern day woman along for the ride.
evolution in closing
Evolution, in whatever way you view it, is the reason humankind has survived. Actually, it is the only reason mankind has survived. When we consider, if we believe such things, that the first person to make a bit of a hash of things was in fact a woman, then it is obvious that to coexist, men have had to evolve at a faster rate than our feminine opposites.
Men have a lot of responsibilities, responsibilities that only another man would understand. This is why men don’t eat apples or eat them only sometimes, though never in the company of a woman named Eve. Or Eva. Or Evette. And probably Evelyn.
We want to, but we just can’t. After all, look what happened the first time.