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Mrs. Griz sometimes makes fun of me for being a "onetracker." It seems I like to do one thing at a time and finish it before moving on to something else - even to the point of sometimes finishing one food on my plate before moving on to the next. And if I have too much to do and am pulled in too many directions at once, I feellike settling the contest for my time by doing nothing at all.

Mrs. Griz, on the other hand, is a good multi-tasker and is always working on several things at once. As a multi-tasker, she'll be working on bunches of projects and listening to the radio or TV as well. She can even sleep with the television on.

If I'm trying to work on a project, I can't stand to have the TV on to distract me - even in another room. I either watch TV or I turn it off and go do something else - there's no in between. And trying to sleep with it on is sure to cause me some sleep deprivation because it either keeps me awake or wakes me up again after I've fallen asleep.

Mrs. Griz tried to explain our differences with a theory she's heard on the radio - something else I seldom listen to. Men's brains, she said, are like a chest of drawers, and men can only have one drawer open at a time.

She even said that, unlikewomen, men have an empty drawer where they can go to just think about absolutely nothing.

Women's brains, she said, work differently. Women can have all the drawers open at once and be doing something in each of them at the same time.

In fact, she said, they often do.

And women, don't have an empty drawer - there's always stuff to think about and do in every one of them, she said.

Perhaps that's why Mrs. Griz likes to sleep with the TV on to occupy her brain and help keep her from being busy sorting out all the stuff in the rest of her brain's drawers. It also might explain why, even when she's snoring - very lightly, of course - and most certainly asleep and I turn off the television so that I can sleep, she'll tell me she was listening.

Maybe I snore too loud - I don't know - but I can't snore and pay heed to the TV set, too!

Mrs. Griz may be at least partly right - don't tell her Isaid so because she loves to hear me tell her she's right or even that she might be right - a hint is all it takes for her to assume she is!

Anyway, I've read that men and women think differently - and I can't argue with that. Men think compartmentally and women think globally. I've also heard and read that one of the differences between a man's and a woman's brain is that men do not have as much communication between the right and left lobes - a communication gap which takes place in the very early stages of development in the womb.

As a result, so I'm told, women love details and are patient enough to endure hours of conversation to find out what happened. Men, on the other hand, want the basic facts first and are frustrated if they have to listen to a 20 minute story to find out what could have been summed up in 20 seconds.

That could be why Mrs. Grizgets frustrated with me when she asks me what happened at a meeting or event, or what a friend or relative told me over the telephone, and I sum it up in three words. I just look for the shortest and most direct route from point A to point B - I don't have to meander through a thousand other points to get there.

It could also be why our shopping habits aren't the same. I go to the store with a purpose in mind, find what I need, check out and leave. Mrs. Griz, on the other hand, will go to the store for one item and need to look over everything else in the store and buy a little more than I would before leaving. It's that global thinking instead of the compartmentalized that must cause it.

I have learned over the years, though, to place a little faith in Mrs. Griz' perceptions about people. She sees and feels things I don't - a right-brain, left-brain thing, I suppose. Wecan meet and visit with someone new and I notice nothing out of place, but Mrs. Griz will tell me there's something not quite as it should be - that she's got an uneasy feeling. I used to dismiss her remarks as foolishness, but the number of times she's sensed something wrong and was later proven right is a bit hard to dismiss. If she senses something, I usually become a bit more watchful - another thing that guys do more than women. I don't know what it is I'm watching for, but it's my job to watch, just the same, so I do.

What amazes me, if Mrs. Griz is right, is how I ever get a newspaper to the press! It takes a bit of multi-tasking on my part and seems a bit overwhelming to a one-tracker like me, though I usually break it down into working on one thing at a time until it's all done. But I must admit there are days when I'd just like to open that empty drawer in my brain and stay there indefinitely.

Forum, Pages 5 on 08/12/2009

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