Gungor’s Boxes and Wires

I am reminded of Mark Gungor. Mark Gungor is the pastor of the Celebration Church in Madison, Wisconsin. He has (or had) a series of seminars designed to assist married couples in a program he called, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”

Whether or not you identify with this as a means, or adhere to its philosophy, I strongly identified with a gross over simplification of the psychological distinction between the American sexes. I believe I was introduced to Mark Gungor by way of a casual internet link one of my friends had forwarded to me. No matter.

This recollection is brought to you courtesy of an extremely minor incident occurring between my wife and myself a mere two days ago.

I was sent to the grocery store. See? My wife sent me to the grocery to select, purchase and return with an item. This was identified by classification, brand, price and purpose. There was no mistaking the intent behind the eventual acquisition. For the life of me, I cannot even recall what this was. Regardless, the hunter returned to the gatherer with item in hand, only to be confronted as to why I did not acquire a related item, in addition. My response was simple, “It wasn’t on the list.” Her response was an ever so subtle Mona Lisa like grin with an even subtler nuanced downcast eye, the combination of which clearly said to me, “You are a complete and utter testosterone driven, chromosome impaired knuckle-dragging moron, and I have no idea why I even consider bothering to trust you with even the simplest of errands and/or tasks.”

I said nothing and quietly left the scene in order that I might practice my guitar more. It was at that moment, I recalled the lesson of Pastor Mark Gungor where an explanation was put forth.

The following is a summary, the lion’s share of which resonates wholly within me. He submits the following:

Here you have a man; an average, reasonably intelligent, reasonably wholesome American family man. Consider his higher functioning brain beyond the mere reflexive parts of the brain controlling basic motor function. This so-called higher functioning brain of your average American male consists of a number of uniquely identifiable boxes. Each virtual box contains a merit worthy subject matter contained within it and is solely unique to that box and is, thusly, named. Some examples of these boxes are: Wife, Kids, House, Mortgage, Chores, Job, Schedules, Friend, Money, Car, Driving, Music, Vacation, Sports and so forth. It is essential to recognize these boxes are perfectly aligned, horizontally and vertically and under no circumstances whatsoever do these boxes ever, ever touch. When a subject appears, the box caretaker carefully retrieves said box, carefully opens said box and intently examines the contents contained therein and removes one article at a time in order to study it. On occasion he may place one other new item within it. Once having satisfied the single issue at hand, the contents are organized within the box, the box is closed and returned to its original station, again making absolutely certain the returned box does not desecrate the sacred space of any neighboring boxes.

Let us now turn our attention to the average, reasonably intelligent, reasonably wholesome woman. Consider her higher functioning brain beyond the mere reflexive parts of the brain controlling basic motor function. This so-called higher functioning brain of your average American female consists of a single unshielded lengthy wire. This wire has labels randomly interspersed along its extensive span. These labels consist of The Relationship, Kids, House, Recipes, Money, The Relationship, Friends, Money, The Relationship, Car, Job, The Relationship, Movie Stars, Money, Music, Decorating, Clothes, Friends, Schedules, Groceries, Magazines, Sales and so forth. Note well: this single unshielded wire touches all items and all areas at all times simultaneously.

This, as the theory exhorts, means that the average American woman’s brain considers all things all the time and all subjects are intertwined and logically inter-related.

Oh. And one more thing, perhaps the most important of all, with respect to the man’s brain. There is another box, perhaps his favorite. It is a box labeled and containing Nothing. This is, of course, why the average American woman waxes nearly apoplectic when confronted with the average American male posed in a comfortable position eyes affixed within a book or a visual display of one sort or another. The concept of a male of the species in comfortable repose is beyond anomaly to the female. There is no gap in her wire.

When I was sent to the grocery store, I first opened my Driving box. After having arived at my destination, the Driving box was carefully closed and returned to its place. The Chores box was then examined. After having completed Chores, the box was carefully closed and returned to its place. I then opened my Driving box, again and returned home, closing the Driving box and returning it to its place.

Upon my wife’s observation of the day’s collection, her Recipes, Friends, Schedule, Home and Money contacts were triggered on my wife’s wire, resulting in her delicate, but plainly, couched body English.

My first reaction was that of a combination of mostly disappointment peppered with a dash of anger. However I recalled Pastor Gungor’s discussion of gender distinctions which, in turn, forced me into yet another philosophical retreat.

I opted towards the opening of the Nothing box, therefore allowing me the indulgence of a Law & Order SVU re-run and assuring the clenched teethed ire of my beloved.