My wife and I raised three daughters, now adults at 34, 32 and 24. I struggled for years to understand and communicate with them. My wife and youngest daughter recently explained my dilemma to me. It involves the male brain box.

The ladies in my life are of the opinion this lack of understanding on my part is explicable as follows. A man’s brain is made up of boxes. A woman’s brain is more like spaghetti. Allow me to elucidate, or rather report the conclusions of my loved ones. To do so, I need to enter my ‘explanatory box’, if you will.

According to them, a man has a brain made up of many boxes,. Only one box can function at a time. This finally provides an explanation as to why I have difficulty multitasking. According to my lovely ladies, when I am in my TV box, I am totally focused on the TV and incapable of carrying on a conversation or any other useful task at the same time. Same for my sports boxcar boxproviding unwanted advice boxmansplaining box, and so on. And, apparently it takes me an inordinate amount of time to switch from box to box effectively. 

The most disconcerting part of their theory is that my brain also has what they call a nothing box. This is a place where I apparently wander when I choose to be oblivious to my surroundings. Examples include shopping trips for clothing, shopping trips for jewelry, pretty much any shopping trip (with the exceptions of cars, motorcycles, and electronics equipment). It also includes meaningful discussions about home design, the home shopping network, cooking shows…well, you get the idea. According to my female advisors, this also involves attending the theater, art museums, social events and the like. Perhaps I am taking this too personally, but a nothing box kind of sounds to me like an ‘empty head’. But, maybe that’s just my incorrect interpretation from my interpretation box.

According to my loved ones, the female brain is more like spaghetti. This means that there are threads of thought running in many directions at once. My wife and daughter can carry on a discussion that begins with decorating the house, immediately transition to travel to Europe and from there to yoga class, all in the span of three minutes. When I try to follow such a conversation, I get stuck in my house decorating box. I am immediately lost there for the rest of the conversation. This is when I hear those loving words, “Please try to keep up.” Apparently, there is even a connection of the spaghetti between the female brains. Each knows where the other is headed in a conversation ahead of time, making it even more difficult for my box brain to follow.

The female brain is even more superior. When raising the children, my wife could take care of the baby, do the dishes, watch the news, fight with the older daughters and provide me with helpful suggestions as to what I should be doing, all at the same time. Those are the times when I remember escaping to my run away box. I grabbed our male orange tabby cat, and Norbert and I would head for our basement man cave to take a nap.

Come to think of it, now that the kids are all grown up and out of the house and I am retired, my favorite brain box is just that, the nap box. I go there at least twice a day, and it’s even better than the nothing box. In the nap box, I don’t have to waste time or energy thinking at all:)