I read a devotional not too long ago that must have been inspired by a book called Men Are Waffles, Women Are Spaghetti. And, it really got me thinking.
I am interested in how people are wired…a sort of, why do we do what we do? I’m also highly visual. This short devotional provided me with both a descriptive and visual look at the differences between men and women. Basically Bill and Pam Farrel (authors of the book) describe that men have compartments. “Men process life in boxes.” Each box is separate and holds a particular thought, interest, or part of who they are. Men seemingly have one thing on their “plate” at a time. Women on the other hand are like spaghetti. Each noodle in the bowl runs alongside or is intertwined with another. It seems that women are able to multitask easier than men; and many parts of what women think, feel, and process intersects with another. If something emotional happens to a man he is able to compartmentalize it and then deal with it at a later time—it may not affect his mood or daily routine. Women on the other hand run through various thought processes at the same time. Women may find themselves affected by a rough morning for the rest of their day.
Now, the devotional I read was not written by the book authors. The devotional author has a different thought to this subject and one that I find myself understanding. The point of the devotional is that she had this “ah-ha!” moment because she doesn’t consider herself spaghetti. She spent a lot of her adult life wondering why she didn’t fit in and didn’t relate as well to other women. She was made more like a waffle. As I read her words, I could feel my eyes growing narrower as I processed her words. My conclusion is that I too am more like a waffle. Well, sort of.
Multitasking is something I do well. I am one of those women that can fold laundry, watch TV and break up an argument between my kids all at the same time. The other morning I was cleaning up breakfast while the kids were playing in the backyard. I overheard Elliot tell Sydney how he was going to jump off the top of the wooden playhouse while holding a large stick. I was outside on the deck reminding him of the dangerous choice he was about to make before he had even gotten to the top of the playhouse. His response? “I thought you were cleaning up the kitchen!” Maybe he sees the waffle in me too, but that was a spaghetti moment.
I find myself engaged more when I get to focus on one thing at a time. I don’t choose to multitask, but sometimes it’s what life calls for. I certainly can switch subjects in conversation like the spaghetti woman, but I feel more fulfilled when I get to be in one compartment at a time. Oddly enough is that I am married to a man that is more like spaghetti. Many of John’s thoughts are connected to each other. The happenings of life can affect him at a deep level. He doesn’t compartmentalize as well as some men (I see this as a positive). Taking this spaghettiness into consideration helps me to understand a bit of why he does what he does. John is so good at linking together the logical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of issues (something that the book authors claim spaghetti does well). I am not as good at connections. For me, things are more separate, more boxy.
What happens to waffles is that those little boxes can fill up with syrup. The syrup of life sometimes gets poured on us even when we say we’ve had enough. My compartments become full and then the syrup runs over into the next box. This can create a bit of a mess, which I think is why some days I may feel overwhelmed. I need a little extra time to soak up some of the syrup. This is when I lean on my husband (and especially on God). John helps me process the extra and quickly I feel less sticky. God must really like syrup because when I go to Him in prayer, the syrup practically evaporates like water.
Most importantly is not to try to be something we aren’t. What food are you? Do you tend to fall more in the category that the authors place you in? Women are spaghetti, men are waffles. Do you find yourself, like John and me, in the other category? Or, are you like a waffle topped with spaghetti? No matter, I just want to be true to who God created me to be.
Thanks for reading and I hope you aren’t too hungry.