Male Call: Playing Catch…Up


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 By James Roberts

It’s time to put on our urban anthropologist hats and examine that peculiar American institution – the Female Catch Up.

By all accounts these meetings involve bonding, gossip, photo exchange and the intimate process of generally finding out what the bestie has been up to in the past 48 to, oh, 4,800 hours.

The actual inner workings seem to be as closely guarded a secret as an Arab wedding where there’s an impenetrable Maginot line separating the genders. (Of course the ladies have no interest in visiting the men’s side where socializing mainly consists of smoking, drinking strong coffee, eating kapsa and paying respects to the tribal leader. But on the women’s side…well…the women are sworn to confidentiality greater than the Bohemian Grove, but with better security.)

In the course of our field work we have both observed from afar and interviewed subjects, but figuring what actually goes on during a femme-a-femme is like guessing what fish are thinking when you tap on the glass.

Field note: When two ladies are tête-à-tête, it doesn’t matter how much testosterone is in the room. Whether it’s a Sunday breakfast at Wildflower or Friday dinners at Chili’s, any men in the area become invisible as the ladies do their business.

Informant note: We are advised that the women are not even slyly checking out the surrounding menfolk. When two women are in “catch up mode,” no male presence but that of a waiter comes into their ken.

So what goes on? From breadcrumbs of clues dropped by some lady friends, we can identify:

  1. Admiration of the other’s shoes
  2. Admiration of children’s/grandchildren’s pictures
  3. Complaints about work
  4. Admiration of latest self-help/motivational authors
  5. Discussion of diets and excellent salads
  6. Complaints about husband’s/boyfriend’s family and, almost incidentally
  7. Discussion of an S.O.’s nasty habits and dawglike ways

What does not go on?

  1. Complaints about how terrible Windows 8 is
  2. Admiration of their S.O.
  3. Admiration of the other’s S.O.
  4. Need to get more gluten in their diet
  5. Cool magic tricks and pranks recently played

Obviously more field research needs to be done. We welcome insights, insider info and whistle-blower exposés – just call yourself “citizenfive” to protect your identity.

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  1. In answer to what fish think when I tap on the glass, my fighting fish named PEACE thinks, “Oh great! She’s here to feed me!b And heads right to the top of the tank. My angel fish in the bigger tank thinks, “I’ll bob my head side-to-side like she does so she’ll feed me more.” Obviously, there is too much testosterone in these tanks. Neither fish seems to care about the amount of algae on the walls–leaving that topic to me and my BFF who was eternally glad that her father didn’t leave her all his fish tanks when he died. He left them to me. It’s time to get back on my bike, cycling for AIDS Ride South Africa 6.0 coming July 2015.

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