As women we are accustomed to running interference with spills and damages. We clean up, repair and set things straight – ask questions later.
Men however, seem to operate from the standpoint of analyzing the situation and how it occurred before taking the immediate actions necessary to move ahead and prevent further damage.
Take for instance this morning. I was on my way to work, barreling down our long driveway and up the other side, when I hit something that sounded like metal. Looking back, I could see a two foot slightly angled grey thing that could have possibly come off of my husband’s large truck. Concerned that another vehicle running over it would only cause more damage and mostly – to be quite honest – concerned that it might have damaged one of my tires, I turned around and headed back to the house. My husband is self-employed.
He began to inspect the metal piece and ask questions about it. I wanted him to inspect my tires. He wanted to know the exact location of its position in our driveway. I wanted him to check my tires. He wanted to decipher if it was at the end of the drive where it meets the road or further down – say halfway or three quarter of the way down. I wanted him to check my tires. After repeating my request numerous times – and telling him in my early morning I-don’t-have-time-for-this-right-now voice, I finally exclaimed that I didn’t return to the house to do forensics on the metal. I just wanted to have my tires checked. By now, I’m assuming that a slashed tire would already be flat and proceed with my day, leaving him holding the strange piece of metal and looking after me as if to say – ‘what’s wrong with her’!
By the way, he never did as much as look at my tires, but kept holding the metal piece up to the Dodge truck as if it were a jigsaw puzzle piece and he was looking for the v-shaped hole.
I’ve had reports from friends who say their husbands refuse to read assembly instructions. Apparently they want to figure it out by themselves. I can commiserate as we have had pieces left over after a bout of ‘some assembly required’.
There’s a reason the directions say to soap a piece of pipe before trying to insert it in another piece of pipe. After my husband spent an hour trying to make the two ends meet, I picked up the directions, applied soap, and slipped one end into the other without resistance. Again, female vs. male brain. I believe that the company who made the product, probably has the best idea of how to assemble it. I’m just saying ….
I could share the story of how we decided to save money on a radiator hose installation, but if word got back to him that I had divulged this incident, it could mean divorce. Suffice it to say, a new radiator was required.
Perhaps this is due to some cave man leftover, a mind set that allowed the men to stay on a trail of a wildebeast, mastadon, or saber tooth tiger. Neanderthal man could compartmentalize in order to focus on bringing home the – literal – bacon.
Women have always had to do many things at once and keeping the small fires put out has taught us through our very DNA that it prevents larger ones from spreading.
Perhaps that is why we oooh and aaah over the grilled steak a man prepared, crediting him for a delicious meal, while totally ignoring his wife who gathered, shucked and cooked the corn, made yeast rolls from scratch, prepared the green beans and the potatoes au gratin with cheese she grated herself from a wheel of fresh swiss, and added a flourless chocolate cake with freshly whipped cream. Yet all people comment on is how great the steak is.
But we don’t care about praise. Empty bowls tell us our effort was appreciated. And we know there are dishes to be done and floors to sweep, so sitting around outside with a relaxing cigar isn’t on our list of things to do before we give the kids a bath and put them to bed.
And tonight I’ll have to check the tires again, just to be sure they weren’t damaged this morning.
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