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February 8, 2011

Boys and girls watch movies differently.

In my house, the closest we’ve gotten to a chick flick lately is The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. My husband actually enjoys the movie. Well, I think he does. Usually, while it’s on, he and our five-year-old son are roughhousing so loudly that my eleven-year-old daughter and I can’t even hear the movie; so mostly I’ve watched how hubba hubba gorgeous Ryan Reynolds is, lip-read the dialogue, and drooled over Bullock’s fab clothing, shoes, and handbags.

It seems really good, though.

I’ve certainly enjoyed Reynold’s abs quite a lot.

When the boys watch their B sci-fi movies, like The Blob or the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still, the volume is turned up so loudly, surely our neighbors can hear every word.

I know my guys haven’t suddenly lost their hearing. I wonder–why do they have to have it up so loud? Especially since they’ve seen these movies at least fifty times already. Asking my husband to turn it down is apparently a travesty and against unsaid marriage vows (who knew?).

Thank goodness for iTunes and industrial strength earbuds.

Are men and women simply wired to watch movies differently from a young age?

Having observed a husband, son, and daughter, I’d say that’s an unqualified YES.

I was raised around women. I have two sisters, a niece, my mom, and (had) two grandmas. In my experience, chicks sit quietly when watching our preferred dramas or chick flicks, perhaps with popcorn, munching neatly, rarely speaking, wanting to hear every word of dialogue.

Men, on the other hand, will spread their snacks everywhere, chewing loudly (causing us to turn up the movie louder than we prefer until they’re done with their noisy mastication, followed naturally by bellowing burps), making comments and asking questions throughout.

Honestly. It’s why women have perfected The Shush.

Ask any man. They are familiar with The Shush.

Initially, The Shush is unisex. As children, we all grew up being shushed by our parents. “Why do… (insert annoying question here)…?” “Shush!” they admonished–and so it went. As young women, we were determined NOT to be a shusher. We vowed not to nag our men. Not to whine. Not to become our mothers.

But put us in front of our girlie shows with a chatty husband in the room and it’s all over, baby. We can’t help ourselves. We might as well let our hair go gray and start wearing the stretchy pants now.

What did women do before the pause button? Or rewind? DVRs? I shudder to think.

On the rare occasion you do get to enjoy your program, it is mandatory (See Mancode, page 102) that your fella whine about the girlieness of your show. Not that you give him a hard time about the manliness of HIS show—no, no. We’re not allowed.

My husband of course disagrees with my perception. He says he’s not a sloppy Carl’s Jr. ad. I think he just doesn’t notice because he’s so engrossed in his show. How can he not be? It’s so freakin loud.

Even if he wanted to think an actual coherent thought he can’t. He’s gone into The Zone. It’s part boy-selective-hearing, but it’s also that the synapses have failed to make the chick connection. Put a man in front of a television – no matter the screen size – and even Angelina Jolie might have a hard time getting his attention.

Especially if he can watch her in 3D.

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  1. You forgot just one teensy eensy example. If by some miracle of chance the remote ends up in my hands and I'm watching something I really want to watch, that's the time my husband bounces into the room wanting to have a major conversation about the various types of tread available on new tires he's buying for his truck. How he'd really like to get tread B because blah blah blah but he's probably going to buy tread A because it's $16 dollars per tire cheaper. Can we talk about this later please? Sure hon. (silence)(heavy inhaling and exhaling)(bouncing leg)(tapping the arm of the chair). Please Babe, just buy the set you WANT to buy. Huh? oh okay. I'm just going to go get them now so you can watch your show. (This was his plan all along.)

  2. Rachel, I find it hard to be a guy commenting on anything that has a photo of a semi-nude Ryan Reynolds. Not homophobia or anything…just intimidating. …

    I digress. I actually love the Proposal. But you know what makes it better? When our wives say, “Ryan Reynolds..hubba hubba..”

    Okay, I made my peace with it and figured, “Eh, it's okay.” So when Sandra gets cornered in the master bathroom with the dog blocking the way to her clothes, I said, “Oohh, Sandra, baby…” Know what my wife said? “PIG!”

    Where's the consistency? 🙂

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