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FROM MY CORNER: American Woman as Barracuda

Howell Hurst American News, People, Women's Issues

In my relentless quest for a congenial mature woman as a potential travel mate in this late-in-life phase of my earthly existence, I had coffee this morning with what I anticipated might be a charming candidate.

Rather, I experienced a woman who had supremely adapted the habitual habit of so many domineering men: that of forcefully domineering our conversation with a relentless waterfall of words.

I would estimate that for every word I spoke, she brought forth one hundred. We met only one hour; however, in that hour she spent at least 45 minutes repeating a piece of advise she could have presented in three minutes.

Our talk had quickly evolved to the subject of social internet self-promotion: how to “tweet” one’s occupation of writing (one of my addictions) into public financial success.

In this, her strategy was to repeat in similar, if slightly differently ordered, words exactly what she had just said even though I repeatedly agreed with what she had just told me.

I’d previously noticed this in other women, but none was as proficient in the practice as this lady. Punchy (her knick name) had mastered the practice. I sat quietly during each variation of her repetition: then I openly accepted her viewpoint. – 0nly to have her again reword it into several new paragraphs.

The eventual conclusion I reached was that we men have over so many centuries used the same strategy with women, that they have now adapted it as punishment to us for our thoughtless male predecessors’ behavior.

What was unfortunate about this instance was that physically and mentally this woman was quite attractive and potentially as charming as a butterfly or a swan. Now and then she would spontaneously crack an actual smile as appealing as a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Which smile she would then, apparently consciously, immediately dispatch, returning to her previous face of stern seriousness. Her rather delicate features would scrunch back into a grimace and she would forge on.

It is truly a sad development the female and male of our species have brought things to the point that a mutually enjoyable conversation has gone the way of gooney birds and horse carriages: into the unforgiving but persistent and long-lost past.

I can only hope that if ever I meet this woman again over coffee and popovers, we may conceivably find she has regained the feminine charm of pleasant verbal give and take that used to characterize the genuinely human communication between women and men.

In the meantime, like a helpless bunny, who has happened into the sea of a predatory barracuda, if I ever meet her again I shall surely guard myself against her wordy retaliation for my historical male ancestors’ brutal behavior.

Perhaps, who knows? She may eventually make the next step in her female evolution to once more recover the fine female arts of patience and charm that women have traditionally used to openly respect us weak men while masterfully dominating us.

In which case, her presence over coffee and sweets will still be a pleasure.

Until next time,


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