by Jay Johansen | May 1, 2003
I don't understand women very well at all, but I did get smart once.
I was chatting with the lady I was dating at the time. I started to mention a magazine article I had just read about some recent discovery in astronomy. But then I paused, knowing that I sometimes go into long technical discussions that bore people out of their minds, and said, "Well, I don't know if you're interested in astronomy".
She took this to mean, "I don't know if you're smart enough to understand astronomy", and was insulted. I tried to explain that I meant exactly what I said, that I didn't know if she was interested in the subject. But she just wouldn't let go. She went on and on about how she wasn't stupid, why did I think she was stupid, etc etc. She took all my explanations as excuses, my efforts to weasel out of having let slip that I thought she was stupid.
But finally I got an inspiration. "Okay," I said, "I'm sorry. It's just that there's this stereotype that all incredibly beautiful and sexy women must be dumb, and sometimes it's hard to get past that."
That explanation satisfied her.
© 2003 by Jay Johansen