There is a basic, inherent flaw in men — well, there are many, but let’s focus on this one for now — I’d happily share it, but the trouble is, it won’t stick. It is that we, men, don’t listen. We mostly hear things — a creaking door, the noisy fan, and no, not the telephone or the doorbell — and maybe listen a bit too; we know when we are beckoned like when they call our order at a café or make the final boarding announcements. But, since we hold such information for no longer than a few seconds, this listening is more akin to hearing that what the dictionary defines the word to be. And when I say dictionary, I mean women really.
It’s not like we don’t try. We do, but sometimes, we draw a blank canvass, especially when the lady brings up a matter of pressing urgency which she says she specifically told us about earlier. It is hard to believe whether she is speaking the truth or bluffing it. And since precedence points at how at various occasions we have heard but not listened, the burden of proof rests not just upon us, but is rudely wedged against us.
We can try and listen and we may even feel that we have resoundingly memorised whatever it is that was said to us and we may even have it recur as a thought through the day, but when the time comes that we need that information, we’ll skim over it and continue like Marie Antoinette. And, it is impossible to carry a dictaphone all the time just to make sure we catch everything that is said to us mostly because it would involve playing it back to us and it’s not like we men don’t feel nagged enough already to start replaying admonitions to ourselves.
So is there a way out really? I can only proffer this little piece of advice: when important information is being read out to you, try and work it into a rhyme, preferably with a popular pop song, the kind that you hate; they have a way of sticking. Maybe that will serve as some sort of modified mnemonic to remember vital bits of data. Others have suggested writing it down but that would be more tedious than using a recorder and which man ever reads again what he has written? This may also partly explain the randomness that my columns are.
The best, albeit last ditch, resort is to admit to the flaw and ask everyone to use you not like a supercomputer but more like a weighing machine: get instant answers, do not stash away information for processing later. And if they don’t do that, blame them for not listening.
The writer is a lover of wine, song and everything fine...