Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

“I’m Serial, You’re Parallel.”

Reprising and updating a piece I wrote some years ago in an attempt at humorous mansplaining…please take with a grain of salt — preferrably the variety coating the rim of a margarita.

The following is a public service message for men and women seeking mutual understanding.

brain1The title for this post is what I actually said to my wife awhile back. Pinky swear. Once I got this statement out in the open with my spouse, and explained it, many of our chore and/or conversational conflicts dissipated. For the most part — I’m a good husband, I’m not a saint. After decades of living with women, from childhood to marriage, it finally dawned on me…I know, taking that amount time doesn’t really showcase any real analytical prowess…the way we process information is fundamentally different.

Okay… I can hear a chorus of voices say, “Duh”, all the way out here. But, please hear me out. There really is some real science behind all of this.

In computing terms:


Parallel communication is faster, while serial communication is more reliable.

The key difference here is that the first process performs operations in sequence, one right after the other; the second performs its operations side-by-side (or all at once). In my opinion, neither is better than the other. For some jobs or processes, you need serial — for others, parallel is the ideal. Hold that thought. Now on a slightly different tangent, the human brain is made up of two types of tissue: gray and white matter.


Men have over six times the amount of gray matter compared to women. However, women have ten times the amount of white matter compared to men. What’s the difference? Gray matter are the information processing centers of the brain. White matter, on the other hand, is the connective tissue (nerve fiber) inter-connecting the gray matter. Think of it in this manner:

Gray matter ☛ Computer

White matter ☛ Network

A UC Irvine study “…suggests that human evolution has created two different types of brains for equally intelligent behavior.”


Yes, ma’am, what is your question?

“You mentioned, ‘equally intelligent behavior’. Is that right? Well, my husband won’t call AAA when he’s locked his keys in the car. He will continue to fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in.

Sorry, but that’s another behavior entirely to what’s being covered here today. Now…where was I?

serialSo, if I can tie this together: [insert wife, woman, female] floods her processing centers with simultaneous ideas, lists, memories, et cetera, all-at-once. Her networking skills far exceed that of her [insert husband, man, male…dolt] she’s attempting to impart information to. She, in fact, is tying together facts, schedules, inventories (and the like) simultaneously — parallel.

Me? I’ll have a thought…then another.

It’s called localized processing — serial. Great for math problems, perhaps not so for interacting with. Still, no matter (pun) how hard I push those processing centers of mine, even with more gray matter, I won’t tie-in the information, decisions, opinions, etc. near as fast as the interconnected one speaking to me. Did I mention I adore my wife…only referring to her as she-who-must-be-obeyed in the most loving terms 😉.

parallelWhen I first mentioned this, it did not take her long to realize that giving me a whole bunch to either chew on, process, or tasks to complete (as she’d normally do) wouldn’t work in my case. Hence, the couple conflicts that arose from time-to-time. Nevertheless, if she gave them one-at-a-time her spouse would kick them off like they were lined up soccer balls.

For example, I’m not much of cook, but give me a recipe and I will march down those steps and deliver something (notice, I didn’t say it would be edible).

¡No hay problema!

Ignore this and give me a full course meal to prepare by the dinner hour, while changing the oldest’s orthodontic appointment over the phone, and solving the daily sibling disputes, something she does with ease (and without yelling, I might add, as us with less diplomatic skills are apt to do), results in the kids having to call the fire department before she gets home!


See, by realizing our processing differences in computeresque terms and making certain adjustments, we achieve marital bliss…with the added benefit of our insurance premiums not rising. When I relayed this concept to another married man a couple of months ago, he immediately got it. He was so excited, he wanted to call his wife right then and there. Now, how he relayed all of this to his spouse and what happened afterward, I take no responsibility whatsoever.

Disclaimers: Your mileage may vary. Avoid alcoholic beverages while using this advice. Objects may be closer than they appear (especially if they are being thrown at your head).

8 Responses to ““I’m Serial, You’re Parallel.””

Are you talkin’ to me?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: