When I worked as an academic advisor at Liberty University, I remember an eager young man trying to explain to a young lady why she was like spaghetti. I think she responded with something profound like, “I don’t even like spaghetti.” It appeared as though he had either read Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti or he was at least familiar with the concept. His young lady friend, on the other hand, didn’t see any resemblance between herself and a pasta dish – and, in fact, sounded a bit offended by such a comparison.
Breakfast or Dinner?
At first, the idea that men are like a tasty breakfast food and women are like a scrumptious (if topped with the right sauce) dinner dish may sound like nonsense to you too, but after understanding the premise of Bill and Pam Farrel’s book, waffles and spaghetti may teach you more about the differences in men and woman than any other book you’ve ever read or class you’ve ever taken to date.
How frustrated do we get when trying to explain ourselves to the opposite sex?! Some days trying to bridge the gender communication gap seems like a losing battle; but, when we understand, even just a little more, how our waffle or bowl of spaghetti thinks, we can slowly and surely build a bridge.
Have you ever studied a waffle? Perhaps you haven’t. I’ve never thoroughly observed my breakfast, but even with just one quick glance, I can tell you that waffles have little compartments. These little boxes make it possible to enjoy blueberry sauce, strawberry sauce, blackberry sauce, and butter pecan sauce all on one single waffle without any flavors overlapping (if one is careful in the pouring of the syrup ~smile~). It’s an amazingly delicious culinary delight (in fact, I had waffles this past Saturday), and the compartments allow for focus. In one bite, I can focus on blueberries, and in another bite I can concentrate on strawberries. You get the picture. ~smile~
Men are like waffles. You don’t have to study them long to realize that they compartmentalize their life into boxes. This fact can be exceedingly frustrating to a woman, but their ability to compartmentalize helps them accomplish their tasks and solve problems. When a man goes to work, he’s at work. Regardless of what happened at home that morning, he goes into his work box and centers his attention on the task at hand. When he leaves work, he can step back into his home box and direct his attention to his home duties without simultaneously dwelling on what happened at work earlier that day. It amazes me how Eric can come home after a rough day and be all smiles within a half hour – and ready to tackle something new! My rough days at work would last well into the night. And if someone had hurt my feelings at work, it bothered me until waking up the next morning (… sometimes longer).
I’m writing this blog late at night, hours after my dinner, and I could really go for some spaghetti right now. Preferably with about five or six giant meatballs mixed amidst the soft, saucy noodles. What were we talking about again? Oh yes, how women are like spaghetti.
If you were to spend a lot of time staring at your plate of spaghetti, you might consider it to be a bit chaotic. Try following one strand of spaghetti from start to finish. Each strand wraps around other strands, and it’s hard to see where one ends and another begins. In a plate of spaghetti everything touches everything else.
Eric can sit at the computer for hours focused on one task. In that same amount of time, I can start seven projects and not finish any of them. Emptying the dishwasher reminds me that I need a new dish towel, so I go to the hall closet to get one. On the way there, I’m reminded that I must also clean my bathroom. So I spray cleaner on the tub, toilet, and sink with the intentions of letting it soak a few minutes while I finish up in the kitchen. But what to my wondering eyes should appear but a dirty bathroom mat, so I gather it with a few towels and take it downstairs to be washed. On the way back upstairs, I notice the thick layer of dust on our television… and entertainment center… and ceiling fan blades. So I head back to the hall closet to get my Swiffer duster only to stub my toe on a box of Swiffer wet cloths. The Swiffer wet cloths reminded me that I needed to mop the kitchen and bathroom floor. And on and on it goes.
This is a mere example of how my spaghetti-ness can keep me running in multiple directions. But, I can also cook and talk on the phone. I can read and play frisbee with the dog. I may not have the extreme powers of focus Eric has (even now, his phone conversation is distracting me ~smile~), but I can work on more than one task at a time if I need to, and I can certainly think about more than one subject at a time (it’s not so much that I can think about more than one subject at a time, but that I am compelled to think about more than one subject at a time ~smile~).
Waffles and Spaghetti Together Forever
God wasn’t playing a huge cosmic joke on us when he made men and women so differently. Perhaps he created us with such dissimilar makeups so we would have to work to understand each other, thereby growing together. There is something so fulfilling about being understood. Men will never fully understand women and women will never fully understand men. Maybe we will “get” each other once we’re in Heaven, but on Earth we will always have questions. However, we can strive to connect with each other. We can try to learn as much as we can about our male or female counterparts.
When Eric steps outside of his male mind and genuinely attempts to understand me (I Peter 3:7), it warms my heart. Nothing makes me feel more adored than his determination to connect with me. If men and women were exactly alike, we wouldn’t need to spend so much time studying each other. Chances are, we wouldn’t spend as much time connecting either!
Bill and Pam Farrel
Bill and Pam have a way of using humor to draw their readers. I loved their real life stories and I came away from this book with a better understanding of Eric… and probably myself too. It’s a fun book. I can’t say that about all informative books I read, but I can surely say it about this one.
We’ll continue discussing the concept of waffles and spaghetti in our next two posts! Start learning about the fundamental differences in men and women now so you’ll have a head start once you get married!
Men, how are you like waffles? Ladies, how are you like spaghetti? Comment below!