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The Back Story: Otherwise Known As He Said, She Said

The back story, or the prequel, is always causing problems between men and women. Especially between the men and women of our house. I might have been outnumbered by the MOTH (man of the house) and my son, but fortunately, I have Sugar, my dog. She’s on my side always. Which is why I carry a brick of cheese in my pocket.

the back story, or the prequel, on chezgigi.com
Do you have a cheese slicer?

The other day, the MOTH told me a story he’d heard from a friend at work. The friend told him that he’d had a spat with his wife. (His own wife. Not me. I have enough to do fighting with my own spouse.) When the MOTH came home, he told me the bare bones of the story, as in “Elmer Fudd was in getting his transmission fixed. He said he and his wife had a fight.”

And that’s it. As if that was enough . Then he got impatient with me for asking questions about his friend and his friend’s wife and their kids and their jobs and their friends’ jobs and their house. As if I didn’t have the right to know!

He said to me, and I quote, “I don’t know! He didn’t tell me what his wife said, or what time it was, or who phoned who! Geez.”

Why tell me anything, if you don’t have all the facts? Every time someone tells me a fascinating story, such as about a juicy marital dispute, I want to know the back story. I want to know when the guy came home, and when the fight started. I want to know what was on television, and what was served for dinner. I want to know what she was wearing, and whether her friends were visiting and got an earful.

All of these things have a bearing on whether it will make a good story to discuss with my friends. I do not tell the story to them as idle gossip; it is serious familial and sociological dissemination from which we can all take a lesson, mainly how other people screw up their lives.

Where do they live? What was she wearing? What’s the dog’s name?

I rarely know these people the MOTH tells me about. Their names mean nothing to me, so it’s like a doctor discussing a case with other doctors. Actually, it’s more like a tabloid Walter Winchell fest.  For those who don’t know who that is, look him up on Google. He was big, back in the day.

Women’s need to know the Back Story drives men crazy, assuming it’s a man who’s telling you the story of a friend’s marital woes.

He knows what he knows, he says, not what I want to know. I explain to him that this aspect of wanting to know all the details is because I’m female. We don’t need to rush around and ‘fix’ it, like a man might, but we do need the extra information so we can mull it over and then relate it to someone else the next day.

If I tell a friend about the dispute without knowing the back story, I will be in serious trouble. She doesn’t have to know these people; heck, I don’t even know these people. If we actually knew everybody we talked about, there wouldn’t be time to talk about them.

The back story is also known as the ‘prequel’. The prequel is big stuff. Hollywood uses it all the time to make more money for everybody they know. Just when you think you know the whole story, they’ll make another film detailing events that led up to the one you just paid a fortune to see. The new movie will tell us the story that led to the birth of the butterfly that flapped its wings in a jungle across the world and caused previous money-making movies to be born.

You men can just hang on a minute before you start chortling and talking about ‘women’ and their need to know things.  The MOTH does the same thing to me that I do to him. When I tell him about a book I’m reading, he’ll ask me for details about…the back story!

The first time he did this, I thought he was just trying to get even with me, but he’s sincere. He wants to know why the man in the book said such a hurtful thing to a woman and then left town for three days. “And why does he accuse her of spending too much money,” he asks me, “but then goes boat shopping, or buys tools and never uses them?”

These questions assume I know what the author was thinking when she plotted the story. I can’t call her and ask, whereas the opposite is true for him; he can call that guy who told him about his fight with his wife and get the rest of the story. It will probably cause another fight in their house, because the wife will answer the phone, but that’s their problem.

These question and answer sessions about OPP, Other People’s Problems, invariably lead to a debate in our house about who was right and who was wrong. The MOTH and I don’t automatically take the side of the gender with whom we share biological characteristics. My guy can take the woman’s side, just as I can take the man’s side.

“Why does he object to her calling him so often?” he asks me after I’ve told him a story of my own.

“Because it’s annoying and unnecessary,” I reply with perfect aplomb. “She doesn’t need to check in with him constantly, especially if he doesn’t want her to.”

It’s clear that he does more phoning than I do. He talks on the phone all the time, and has no problem calling me in the middle of the day just to chat!  Whereas, as far as I’m concerned, if phones were to disappear altogether, I’d be okay with that.

This is why I wouldn’t know all the details about anyone’s marital dispute, especially if I’m personally acquainted with them, which I probably am not. I stopped bothering to meet people sometime in 1987. If I did know her, she would have called me to talk about her fight with her husband, but I wouldn’t have picked up.

If I don’t need to pack a bag with supplies and meet you at the viaduct with the dog and kids in order to survive an impending disaster, then it can wait, and I’m not answering the phone. Just let me know why this disaster happened, who it happened to, what they did about it and why, and when it will be over.

And then, tell me why we have to meet at the viaduct, instead of right here at home.



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28 thoughts on “The Back Story: Otherwise Known As He Said, She Said

  • October 16, 2017 at 6:05 am

    I believe only actors change but plot remains same in all homes.
    Maybe the women’s primary need is just listen her .unfortunately men not being given the wisdom to understand she is not looking for a solution.she know not every problem has a solution but before she begins to talk men loves to rush around and fix it ,me too!

    “I just wanted to say I love you ”

    Thanks Gigi!

  • October 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Sounds like a normal husband and wife to me. Now, what’s for dinner?

  • October 16, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Gigi, “Geez” is that the name the MOTH calls you when he’s mad widgu?
    I am the same. Bernie is home all day and only gets bullet points from me when asked how my day was. She, on the other hand, has a photographic memory all her conversations going way way back even to our ‘courting’ days. So all those promises better be honoured. I try!
    Does the MOTH also have the “butterfly effect” lol
    Have a good day or night Gigi

    • October 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you, John! Whatever Bernie remembers is the correct story. Just remember that, and your marriage will be golden. Haha!

  • October 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I hear you, Gigi. You missed your calling in life. You should be a marriage counselor.

  • October 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I have concluded, over my long experience and lifetime, that women are mainly interested in people and their weird and sometimes wonderful doings, while men care mostly about stuff, its workings and acquisition – stuff can also include abstracts (start with power and all that implies and requires and go from there… ). Prequel curiosity is only piqued when guys read about how some female partner managed to get zillions in a divorce settlement. This curiosity is predicated only on his determination to safeguard his own “stuff” should a similar prequel situation arise.

    • October 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Hahaha! That’s true! It’s also why women want to ‘know’ things. We want to know why she was in such a snit. Was he flirting with some hussy? Or is she just PMSing? Does he refuse to help around the house? Does he spend all their money collecting coins or something, but she can’t even buy a new Lexus? Ha.

      • October 19, 2017 at 6:27 am

        Ummm,… everything has to do with evolution and working of men’s and women’s brain here. So it’s the typical Lüvv again – going scientific way!

        Women’s brain are proven to be 5 times more complex than men’s. And that mean they look intricately into the subject. In other words their curiosity about stuff is more than that of men. Didn’t we had a TV series/movie called “gossip girl”. They never came up with a show called “gossip boys (boyz). But I’m not offending women community here. The scientific evidence just make women to be superior to men intellectually. And hence we are “man of few words”.

        So this make quite some sense to why Back Story Saga is so intriguing to men.

        • October 19, 2017 at 4:52 pm

          Yes, that makes perfect sense. However, I proved that men can be just as nosy as women. Ha! Now don’t gossip. Let him drive.

  • October 21, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Oops! I must focus on the road now. The system on the newer cars is quite friendly with the heads-up display. Ain’t it?

      • October 22, 2017 at 12:34 am

        Ahaaaa! that would be a cool technology and would go perfectly with that street sign (Oops!). Hmmm… I’ve gotta do some electrical engineering here with sound and frequency. A gossipmeter should solely rely on sound frequency. Now the sound of every person differs. Thus, the frequency too would vary. Still, i’m sure it would be prone to glitches.

        Gotta work now Gigs. Let me work and don’t gossip 😛

          • October 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

            Ummm…. not very sure about her. I found out Swoosie Kurtz on the Internet. Is that her who you are talking about?

          • October 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm

            No, I made this one up. Tch. Haha!

          • October 24, 2017 at 7:38 pm

            Aah! I’m sure you did. But you know what? I know this Swoosie and her hubby. Did you know what she cooked the last night?

          • October 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm

            No, do you? Whatever it was, does she have leftovers?

          • October 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm

            Yes, I know what it was. She cooks the same thing every night before going to bed.

            She cooks bedtime stories 😛

            Haha… well, I have leftovers from yesterday’s night. But I doubt that leftover bedtime stories are as fresh at afternoon ;))

          • October 24, 2017 at 7:48 pm

            Of course they are! Bedtime stories are good anytime.

  • October 24, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Really? Isn’t that too early? You might need to add some “mayonnaise” and background check before devouring on the leftovers. They might be out of taste !!!

  • October 26, 2017 at 4:09 am

    Haha… Luvses is all fun. And it gets more garnished and “mayonnaised” with Gigs©️ jargon-ous (-ious?) humor.

    Did anybody tell me that how much fun I am? I doubt if anybody hadn’t told me that. Lol.

    I take uber pool most often while in Chicago (for the time being) for a specific reason. And I guess I haven’t more fun with my copassenger. (Well… I saved few bugs as well. Hehe).

    And it’s soooooo chilly from the past couple of days. Don’t you believe that? Read this – ehdifbrjdbdjdkfbbdjs$@&*%#273)shah

    • October 26, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      So, Uber is a good way to meet people. Good to know! We have 87 degrees here today, Luvses. 87. Oh, well. It’s not 97 anyway.

  • October 26, 2017 at 4:17 am

    Oops. Typo!!!

    * And I guess I have more fun with my copassenger.

    I was talking to this lady today who was my copassenger. She had been to India and it got really interesting rapport with her. And it got even exciting when she learnt that I was visiting Chicago for the first time. So I KNEW NOTHING (we say those people as Jon Snow) about this country, festivals, conventions, food, etiquette blaaaaa…bla-bla. Halloween is one great festival round the corner. Right? I’m all set now!!!

    I’m telling you Gigs©️, meeting with new people is so wonderful. And people are really warm, no matter how cold is the city. Hehe!!!

    • October 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Woo hoo! I hope you have a wonderful time. It’s fun seeing things with friends. Have fun, Luvses!

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