Inside the box

Greg At least at this point, there’s very little “point” to this

blog other than a curious pastime. But what little point there is (more of a

rounded nub, actually) comes in the form of an educational tool for defining

and illustrating disparate communication styles. To wit, I want to demonstrate

general male thought processes for the benefit of wives and girlfriends



Basically, I want a woman to be able to read a few posts and

step away from this blog with a clearer understanding of exactly what her

significant other means when he responds, “Um… Nothing,” to the persistent

question: “Honey, what are you thinking?”


The premise – as was so eruditely postulated by Doug Vagle,

the Pastor at our church – is that guys are great at compartmentalizing their

thoughts. Now I’m in my “work box”. Now I’m in my “dad box”. Now I’m in my

“Twins-fan box”. I think that part’s fairly understandable, even to women.


What gets confusing is the ambiguous presence of the

“nothing box.” Pastor Doug proposes, and I’m in full agreement, that the male

mind can be fully and contentedly occupied with absolutely nothing.




And, like the Adam’s apple, I’m just not sure there’s a

female equivalent to this appendage. Briefly summed up… It’s not so much a complete

void of thought. It’s not necessarily an empty blankness. It’s more of a loose,

wispy swirl of casual half-thoughts – most of which seem to pass by the front

of the conscious mind without ever officially checking in. Occasionally, one

will accidentally bump into the consciousness for a fleeting second. But it

rarely sticks around. Just as often, two or three completely unrelated shreds

of thought will be blown by some random cerebral breeze right into the

consciousness at the same time. Again, they rarely hang around. But if you’ve ever

asked your husband, “Honey, what are you thinking?” And gotten an answer like,

“If Julia Child and Fridge Perry had a hot dog eating contest, Fridge would

kick ass. But what if it was a coq au vin eating contest? Julia loved her some

coq au vin. And I’m not sure Fridge would. Could she take him?”


You’ve just knocked on his nothing box. After getting a few

confused or horrified looks early on in life, most guys learn that it’s simpler

to just answer, “nothing.”


NOTE: I don’t know if my

above description adequately described the fleeting nature of these

half-thoughts. They come and go, but certainly not all the time. So, quite

often, if you catch a guy in his nothing box, he is, quite literally, thinking

about nothing. Seriously.


So if some of the posts I end up making to this blog happen

to be coherent and valid, that will be purely coincidental. More often than

not, I’ll be endeavoring to document my journey through the nothing box so that

those who’ve never been there can gain a sense of its contents. Sort of like

Lewis and Clark, only without the government backing.