I credit Oprah, followed closely by author John Gray, with marital enlightenment and harmony. Had Oprah not had the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus on her show so many years ago, I would not be the accepting wife I am today. The premise of Gray’s philosophy, and book title, is that women cannot expect men to think and feel and look at life the same way they do, and vice versa, because we are, in essence from different planets, wired to approach every aspect of life differently.
John Gray taught me, and millions of other people in the years that have followed, that while women define the success of their lives through their relationships (“Let’s talk about us!”), men define life success through their professional lives (“Of course I love you, I earn a paycheck for us!) In another example, men need a “transition time” between the office and home while women, mega-multi-taskers, come home, dig in and do what needs to be done to make dinner/help the kids with homework/clean the house/get another load of laundry in/pack lunches for the next day, etc., joined later by their husbands who are now ready to check in to home-life. To be able to understand where the other was coming from and to let go of the assumption that my husband surely thought about everything the same way I did, was life-changing! What I used to think of as “jerky” things were really just “being wired differently” things.
Why do I bring all of this up? Because in a brilliant way to extend the popularity (and sales) of the book, there is now a travelling comedic, theatrical performance that takes everything that is funny about the differences between men and women and turns it into a show by the same name as the book. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is playing this month at the Garner Galleria Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Actor Amadeo Fusca is in Denver in the one man show that has him moving from one side of the stage to another, slamming himself down on the floor or on the couch and doing a lot of pelvic motion. It’s exhausting to watch him as he goes through his courtship and marriage to his wife, Sarah, illustrating some of the major points of John Gray’s philosophy. A couple of filmed and semi-animated segments with Gray pop up to help explain some of the differences between the sexes (which include chemical things going on in their respective brains – this is science!) that make them approach life differently.
What Fusca and Gray are pointing out are fascinating, enlightening and funny. I observed the audience throughout the show, seeing one partner nudging another like, “See? See?” Others looked at each other and laughed in acknowledgement: “Oh my God, that’s exactly how I feel!” I’d like to think that these couples had a very interesting drive home, full of conversation over their new-found understanding of each other. And I hope that leads to happier, more compassionate relationships like it did for me. Throughout the show, my hubby and I were being reminded to acknowledge and respect our perfectly-valid, wildly-different ways of approaching life and love. The unifying goal, despite those different paths to get there, is a happy relationship. Being able to laugh about it all, thanks to this show, makes the process all the better.