“‘Cancel the holiday party,’ said Mr. Cunningham, 37, adding that he means just until it has been figured out how men and women should interact.”
— The New York Times
I sympathize with Mr. Cunningham. There is always that feeling right before a party that you have forgotten to do something important. Sometimes it is “bring the dip.” Other times it is “figure out how men and women should interact.”
I have been worrying all weekend about poor Mr. Cunningham, and I would hate for his holiday party to be canceled over such a small and pesky concern. And he raises a good question. What, after all, is a woman, and what is it doing in the office? Is it some sort of new and very inefficient copy machine whose function your supervisor has not yet explained? A member of a secret sorority of sorcerers whose services are occasionally necessary to control the tides? A bonus for high-performing employees that is inexplicably being allowed to wander the office at will? A potential friend and fellow worker? An Alexa or a Siri who has escaped from her case and must be returned to it at once? An object of undetermined properties that definitely wants to see your genitalia? No one knows! Science has not yet managed to plumb the depths of this mystery.
There are so many ways to approach females, and so many minefields. One female loves it when you climb up onto a promontory and toss your horns in a devil-may-care fashion. Another female prefers if you open your brood pouch for a 6-second interval so that the eggs may be deposited. Still another doesn’t want any brood pouches to open but would like you to warm an egg on your feet while she goes off to traverse the ice floe.
Should you collect a series of bright beads and feathers and form them into a nest, then perform a choreographed dance in front of the nest with your plumage on full display? Should you tell the female to hunt a gazelle for you while you lie in the sun grooming your mane? What do the females desire? One wants one thing, another wants another, and they expect you to know without ever using words! Squirt ink and run away? Writhe rhythmically in a semicircle, contorting your torso and shaking your slimy tail? Thump your chest and ROAR? As a display of dominance, eat someone else’s young, anyone else’s, doesn’t matter whose? Ram other males in the area repeatedly with your horns? Scream aloud and release your genetic material?
Look, it’s very confusing and there is, indeed, a lot of guesswork involved. Does your female love it when you pursue her on your spindly green legs, or would she prefer if you left small bits of glass in a decorative pile? Would rolling a large ball of dung toward her delight her beyond measure, or would it leave her permanently displeased?
I guess I should have asked earlier: What species are you?
Human? Oh. No. Just treat women as you would any other co-worker you did not expect to mate with. Have a good party.