There is something, I’ve noticed, that all women learn to do at some point in their lives. I walked past it happening today immediately identified what was going on. At some point in each woman’s life, a woman’s nod changes from a regular nod of communication and understanding to a slower, more eye-contacty nod that is uniquely empathetic– typically with furrowed brow and frequently followed up with a grasp of affirmation on the shoulder or upper arm.
It can’t be pinpointed when exactly you’ve truly got the knack for it, but most likely, it was birthed during one, or a combination of one, of the following scenarios:
1. The first time one of your close friends goes through a breakup and you’re sitting on their bed with said friend listening to her explain over and over and over again how things went wrong.
2. The first time you were included in a “confidential conversation”around your mom’s friends and someone tells a sad secret.
3. Any time another female is asking for directions in the car next to you at the stoplight and she looks worried.
4. The last scene of Pride and Prejudice. Or when Matthew came back from the war, but we found out he was paralyzed and couldn’t have any kids. Let alone any sex. With Lavinia or Mary. Total empathetic nod moment. (This, of course, was followed up by an even stronger and more rapid empathy nod when it was revealed that his back had magically healed itself and there was plenty of sex to be had.)
For the record, I’m not saying that men aren’t capable of the empathetic nod, although I’ve never seen it with such conviction as a woman. Maybe their eyebrows are too thick to evoke that sort of connection because they weigh down their necks and don’t allow such a nod. Just brainstorming here.
That’s really all I wanted to talk about today. Just a short commentary on the female condition.
Happy Tuesday, fine plebeians.