Boys Giving Advice To Girls

When girls and women ask a specific question ~ about pretty much anything ~ a funny thing happens. More often than not, someone will take it upon themselves to expand a simple answer into a very long and convoluted explanation about the entire subject.

That "someone" is often any nearby male who hears the question.

Here's the thing though: it can also be a WOMAN. Women often do this as well, especially to women and girls.

"Do you know which headlight bulb goes in the Ford Taurus?"

.... instead of:  "No, I don't remember." or, "Yes, pretty sure it's 9005, at least for the 2012." get:  "Well, there's all different kinds of headlights, sometimes you have to replace the whole headlamp. Sometimes there's a dual bulb that does both high beams and low beams in one bulb, you have to make sure you get the right one. Here, we can look this up, see it's all listed in the catalog, by make and model, and by the year. Is someone going to do it for you? You might want someone to do it for you, it can be really hard in some cars, you won't want to do it yourself. Are you SURE it's a FORD TAURUS?"

And... here's the OTHER thing: MEN often do this to OTHER MEN, and boys, too!

Sometimes a person will do it, and sometimes they won't, depending on a few factors.

 MAIN factors include:
Whether the answer-expander assumes themselves to be superior in experience, knowledge, and/or intelligence to the question-asker or not, and whether the answer-expander sees future consequences for condescending and pontificating in this way to this particular person.

Also, how needy for ego inflation the answer-expander is.

People, both male and female people, who dramatize their answers to simple questions may actually know what they're talking about, but it's just as likely that they HAVE NO CLUE about what they're talking about.

The B.S. factor is one of the important reasons that they only do it with SOME people, but not with OTHERS. If they're afraid they're going to get caught making things up and giving false information in order to embellish and make themselves sound smart (or try to make the questioner SOUND STUPID), then they might not do it in the first place.

For example, if I go into a certain hardware store alone, the way most of the clerks speak to me (or us) is with almost comical condescension.  And that's from both the male and female clerks. I'm small, blondish, child-like facial features, and female. So when they see me, they see a cartoon image, not ME, and they treat me according to their cartoon image in their heads of a small blond girlish woman.

The stereotypes come marching out, arm in arm with their ego issues:
"Here's an opportunity for me to feel like I'm BIGGER and SMARTER than another person!"

So I don't get the same civil, courteous greeting from the clerks and cashiers that the three taller people behind me get, two of whom are older men. I get maybe a little nod if I'm lucky, and a glare from one of the female cashiers.

Then, I go looking for the kind of nails I need for the project I'm working on, and I'll probably get some screws too, and I'm also in the market for a Japanese hand saw. So already I'm less happy about shopping in this store due to the lack of courtesy and downright snottiness, I'm thinking of going elsewhere, but hey I'm already here, so whatever.

I go looking for the specific nails I need, but I can't find them. Now there are two clerks nearby, a man and a woman. The man sees me looking through the bins and comes over, and asks "Can I help you?" which is nice, so I tell him I need some sinker nails and roofing nails. His response is not to simply point to the row of roofing nail bins, or the sinker nails, he asks me what I NEED THEM FOR,  and when I don't really answer him, he launches into a lengthy soliloquy about the difference between galvanized and non-galvanized nails, the reason some are longer than others, and how they are each made for different kinds of use, indoor and outdoor. And, half of his very long, very annoying speech was WRONG, he was either making it up or someone told him wrong. So I stood there, nodding my head, going "mmhmmm", pretending to believe in his expertise so he wouldn't feel challenged or embarrassed and retaliate somehow, and just STOP talking.

In the meantime, the female clerk is standing nearby, nodding her head in agreement with him, staring at me with her eyebrows raised, as if she knows everything about nails too and is helping him to educate me and my silly little blondie head.
Except that... she was agreeing with his complete and utter nonsense...

So I just kept nodding and agreeing until they ran out of steam. Then I found what I was  looking for on my own, without their help, since they didn't actually help me find the nails I needed. I didn't even bother to get the screws or the Japanese saw, I went to a Big Box store because I knew where they were without having to ask anyone.

THEN, my taller, average-build male friend went to that same hardware store with me because he needed a measuring tape and some paint. All the same characters were there. They all nodded and gave him a "Welcome" when he walked in ahead of me, but they didn't make eye contact with me, which I found funny. The cashier who had glared at me the last time looked down at her register.

We walked around the store for a minute, and those same two clerks were milling in the aisles, putting various things in their place.
"Can I help you?" said the female clerk to my friend (not to me), and my friend said "Sure! I need a measuring tape!"
"Right over here!" the clerk smiled, and happily bustled two aisles over, making a flourish toward the rather large array of measuring tapes.
The male clerk, who was nearby, said nothing at all.
The female clerk walked away.

No one tried to "HELP" my male friend pick out his own measuring tape, no one lectured him on the history of measuring tapes, no one pontificated on the proper use and care of measuring tapes, no one asked him "What do you want it for?" and no one told him what they were FOR, or how they're MADE.

He looked them over, picked a few up, tested them out, felt their weight in his hand, asked me which one I liked the best, I told him, and he decided on a similar but not identical measuring tape.

Then we walked to the paint section, picked up a quart of the right color, paid, and left.