They were at it anew! Michael heaved a silent sigh. His two dearest friends prepared to do battle once again.
“I’m sure you could have done better for yourself Dearest/’ she said, “if only you had been a little more selective in your choice of wives.”
Adam hesitated under Eve’s watchful gaze. He looked across at Michael and raised his eyes towards the ceiling before smiling ruefully. His shrug said it all _ WOMEN! — invoking the silent brotherhood. Michael smiled noncommittally and held his wine glass to the light, gazing through the deep red of the cabernet. It became obvious that the glass was nearly empty. Adam seized on the cue.
“Let me top that up for you,” he said gratefully, acknowledging that Michael had bought him time.
Eve was not to be put off, seeming determined on confrontation. Michael’s presence empowered her, an insurance against the screaming match that would usually ensue if such a conversation were to be attempted when they were alone. Her eyes never left Adam. She waited until he had refilled their glasses and resumed his seat. “Well?”
“I’m sure I did the best I could, Darling, given the available selection!” Adam still tried to save the situation. ”I admit that my first attempt was a bit of a disaster, but I hoped that my second showed better judgment. Are you saying that I was wrong?”
Neatly volleyed, thought Michael, and as Eve failed to respond immediately, Game Adam!
“You know,” said Adam, turning to Michael, “It is hard for us New Age guys to know what sort of answers are expected of us in this type of discussion. Do you think that there is anything in the theory that men and women speak entirely different languages?” He adopted an earnest expression and looked expectantly at his friend.
Michael suppressed a smile. The old Intellectualisation trick! Switch the conversation to Abstracts and dodge the quagmire of Touchy-Feely emotions. We men take refuge in science, we slip into computer mode, we turn on the Left Brain. That’s only logical isn’t it? Well Isn’t it? The two men smiled at each other.
A small frown furrowed Eve’s brow and, for a moment, the corners of her mouth drooped and her lip trembled. They were doing it again. Every time she tried to discuss real issues the little boys wanted to play trains instead of dolls; but she would show them! “But how do you really feel about our marriage? What is it that stops you talking about your Feelings? ”
The men appeared shocked that their comfortable digression into logic had been aborted.
Adam attempted an answer. “Because, my dear Girl, Feelings are felt, not talked about.” Fie frowned in concentration, “They can’t be expressed in logical speech, if you try to talk about feelings you end up talking absolute rubbish. Christ! you can’t even begin to define your terms. What is the good of spouting a load of absolute waffle. How can I know what you mean, when i can’t be sure that we are attributing the same meanings to our words? Be sensible, woman.”
Eve gave up. There was no getting through to such obstinate men, so smug in their self- assured superiority. “I think both of you are emotionally impaired, darling, I pity you!”
“Feel free!” said Adam, as Michael smiled in the background. “Pity us, if it makes you feel better.” The men laughed.
Eve was furious. Tomorrow she would phone Julie for a long chat, an hour or so. They would have a full discussion on tonight’s exchanges. No words to express emotions huh! That’s all They knew. Better make it an hour and a half!
(c) Copyright H.St.V.Beechey, 1994 Springvale Writers Circle