So I'm sitting in the office this morning, having a little chit-chat with my friend Bob about the differences between men and women. His theory is that a man's brain is full of “boxes” - a box for his buddies, a box for the car, a box for his job, a box for his wife or girlfriend, a box for the kids. He says the key is, these boxes must never be allowed to touch one another. Everything is compartmentalized. And, he tells me, they have one other box, a secret box that the women in their lives know not of. This box, he says, contains nothing. Nothing at all. Pure nothing. It's their favorite box, he says.
I told him my theory about men and women's brains. Sitting at the computer, I used my screen as a little visual aid (men do well with visuals, right?). “Look, Bob,” I said, “See my screen here? See how I have about eight different windows open at once? I am working on all of these things. One is my online bank account. One is an unfinished query letter to a literary agency. One is an email to a friend. One is a chapter to the book I am working on. One is a follow-up letter to all the people I had through my open house on Sunday. One is the Allstate website because I am looking up their phone number so I can bug them about my reimbursement check. One is the MLS database, because I'm searching for properties. And one is google, because I need to find the perfect chocolate dessert to make for some friends next weekend.”
Bob laughed. “You're doing all those things at once? What, do you have ADD or something?”
“Nope,” I said. “I'm just multitasking. It's what women do.”
“Don't you ever want to just think about nothing?” Bob asked, in awe.
“We can't,” I said, shaking my head. “It's not possible.”
“You know,” Bob said, “I read one time that they did a study at some research hospital somewhere to see if people really could think about nothing. Honest to Pete, they discovered that a man's brain is capable of showing such little activity that he would appear to be dead.”
“See what I mean?” I countered. “My brain will probably still show activity after I really am dead. I'll be thinking of all the things I meant to get done before I died!”
“Okay,” Bob said, clearly intrigued. “So if you say your brain is like that computer screen, with all those windows open at once, what's going on in my brain right now?”
I smiled. “Screen saver.”