Sexes view free time differently
You don't have to be married for 44 years, nine months and 17 days - like I have - to know that men and women are very, very different creatures.
It really is like we are from different planets. The other person who lives at our house and I used to go to the same hair stylist until I realized that I could buy a week's groceries with the money I was spending - even though I had almost no hair to cut.
It was that stylist, by the way, who first theorized that 'men used to have their own planet, but they blew theirs up.'
Speaking of haircuts, oddly enough, it was another hair-cutting enterprise that waded into men-versus-women territory last week with the release of a national survey that I found thoroughly delightful.
Maybe you heard about it - it was all about the different ways men and women would use 15 more minutes of free time if it were given to them, and this hot news came from Great Clips, 'the world's largest hair salon brand,' according to the notice I received last week.
It was a pretty good press release because it had a lead.
A 'lead,' for those of you who are not trained news gathering and writing professionals (like those of us in the liberal media), is that punchy little paragraph at the very beginning of the story that grabs you around the throat and refuses to let you go.
Here's the Great Clips lead:
'The bedroom is the first place both men and women would go if they had more free time in a day. The catch - men go there for sex, women for sleep.'
See? Tight and punchy. It even mentions sex - always good if you can do that in a lead.
Of course, being from Great Clips and all, the release couldn't go two graphs without mentioning their company and its global significance.
'In a survey, Great Clips, the first-ever hair salon brand to introduce time-saving online check-in, asked 316 Americans how they would spend 15 minutes of more time in a day (15 minutes is important to Great Clips because online check-in has trimmed average haircut wait times by 15 minutes to five minutes or less, giving customers 15 more minutes of time in a day.'
See what they did there? They got in a quick explanation of this whole thing - along with a two- or three-part plug for the company. Outstanding marketing, in this reporter's opinion.
Then we get into the details of the survey, which is what I really wanted to talk about today.
The top five responses of women, when asked what they would do with 15 more minutes, were these: (1) sleep; (2) clean (organize closets, dust baseboards, mop floors, etc.; (3) read; (4) watch TV; and (5) exercise.
The top responses of men were these: (1) have sex; (2) sleep; (3) listen to music; (4) exercise; and (5) my personal favorite, 'sit there and do nothing with no disturbances.'
Pretty hilarious, huh? It gets better.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this survey, to me, was what men and women found to be the most annoying time wasters of their spouses or significant others. Apparently, Great Clips ('the world's largest hair salon brand') asked them about this, and I for one am glad they did.
Here's what women said they found to be their partners' most annoying time wasters: 'Play video games,' 'work too much' and 'do nothing (those two tied), and 'zone in front of the TV.'
The men, on the other hand, appear to be annoyed by quite different things. What bugs them is when women: 'primp and get ready,' 'complain/whine/stress,' and (this one is so great it gives me goosebumps) 'stare at a closet full of clothes and whine, 'I have nothing to wear.''
The one other survey result I found way more interesting than any old candidate favorability rating was when they asked both men and women to rate 'the most annoying time waster in your own life.'
The results for that were: (1) being placed on hold; (2) waiting in line; and (3) traffic.
There was one other finding reported in the Great Clips release. 'When both men and women were asked 'What do you want more of?' and asked to pick one from time, money, sleep, exercise and sex,' the results were money (70 percent), time (13 percent), sleep (9 percent), exercise (8 percent) and sex (0 percent).
'None chose sex,' that section concluded - which is probably fortunate, because Great Clips' ability to address that need would almost certainly cross the line into shady areas, legally and morally speaking.
'In all our research, in focus group after focus group, we heard that today's busy families are stressed out, exhausted and short on time - and today time is money,' said Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips. 'We had to figure out a way to cut wait times and give our customers more free time to have fun and do the things they love to do. Online check-in allows people to check in from their desks or from their smart phones so when they get to the salon they have little or no wait and have more time.'
All right, after a good, lively, mixed-company discussion of all this, I say let's go out and get a haircut!
Oh, wait - one more thing. This note was at the bottom of the press release:
'Editor's Note: Please cite Great Clips Online Check-in as the source for this survey.' And this last bit should be read out loud, really fast, like they do in the car commercials. 'This online survey was done by a third party, commissioned by Great Clips Online Check- In. The survey included 316 respondents, 172 female and 144 male (ages 30 to 55). Full survey data available upon request.'
Former editor of the Lake Oswego Review and former managing editor of the Beaverton Valley Times and The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, Mikel Kelly handles special sections for Community Newspapers and contributes a regular column.