37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Vesuvius Has Nothing On Me

I was reading my weekly Dave Barry column this afternoon, which I have emailed to me every Monday. Normally, I absolutely love Mr. Barry, but today's column (which was an old reprint because the Man Himself has taken a year-long sabbatical) got me to thinking about men and why their thinking patterns are so different from the rest of us. Meaning, of course, women.

Interesting factoid: scientifically speaking, females are known as 'the ancestral sex,' while males are known as 'the deviant sex.' In other words, all embryos are female until a renegade genetic switch gets flipped and changes things. I think this explains a lot. For example, women tend to understand the way things are, as opposed to the way they are supposed to be. Men, on the other hand, think that things are supposed to be their way. Women have the weight of history on their side; the phrase, "Same as it ever was" isn't just a beer ad to us.

I think this also explains why most of the women I know are really just a smoldering slagheap of hot lava, ready to explode at the slightest rumbling from a man. Why women are prime candidates for chronic eye trouble from the sheer force of the rolling that goes on in our orbital pits. Why women have honed the art of the sigh to the point where it is practically a second language; we have a sigh, a growl, a snort, or a tut for just about everything. Why we know for a fact that nothing ever changes; life is the same for us now as it was for our mothers. We just have more electrical outlets now.

I suppose I'm a bit irrititable right now because I've been basically home for two days with a sick kid. My only diversions have been a few levels of a video game, reading a disgusting romance novel because it was the only book I had left, and having my cervix scraped with a wire brush. (I had a doctor's appointment.) Now, a man would say, hey, what a great opportunity to catch up on some housework! I say...bite me. Doing housework is about as purposeful as building a sand castle too close to the water's edge; the minute you're done, a wave comes along and wrecks it, and leaves you to clean up the mess.

Why is it that men just don't get it? What is it about our situations that is so difficult to comprehend? Whether you work part-time out of the home and full-time in the home, or you work a full-time job both in and out of the home, or you work solely full-time in the home, you're exhausted. And that's -before- you've even picked up a sponge and wiped your first surface of the day. Women are responsible for nearly everything outside of money; and many women are responsible for that as well. Men go to their jobs, come home, drop trail all over the house, and then complain about anything they don't like. Then they go bowling. Hey, -she's- there to watch the kids, why do I have to be there?

And in the workplace, men are even more clueless. What mental function do men have that makes them think it's perfectly all right to take credit for a project that a woman has done? Why do they think it's acceptable to pay women less than a man for the same job? A man would never do these things to another man, but don't think twice about doing it to a woman. It is almost as if they think they're entitled to a better career, a more exciting social life, and an easier path through life simply -because- they don't bear children and run a household.

I know that I'm being unfair to the many hardworking men who do take the place of the woman in the home as well as hold down a job. Single dads, widowers with children, and men with largely absent spouses. These men are given a taste of what life is like for a woman. Some of them do it their whole lives, and do it well. But I believe that most of them would jump at the chance to have a woman in their lives to take over their household duties. And many of them do.

I suppose we can chalk all of this up to the age-old battle of the sexes. But in today's world, the battle lines have grown murky. Women want a more complete life than their forebears were given. But most of us don't get that. I can tell you for sure that I see the value in 'mistress' seterotype; they get the best of the man and don't have to wash his socks. And no one tells them what to do. But we carry on in this largely fruitless lifestyle for one reason: we're hoping that when all is said and done, someone will say thank you. Someone will be there in our waning days to hold our hands. Someone will finally see our value as human beings and show their appreciation by refraining from trying to control us. That it won't all be a collossal waste of time. That the loneliness will be held at bay by the comfort of another human being. It doesn't always work out that way. But we are, and always have been, cynical optimists. Either that, or we actually -like- hitting our heads up against brick walls. Who can say?


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