Wednesday, June 10, 2009

vive la différence!

A Commentary on the Wonderful Differences Between Women and Men
Chapter 1

He tried to hide his excitement, but she could smell it woven in amongst the tar and heat. He seemed a leopard, crouched in the cover of the jungle, waiting, controlling the massive power of that which made him so obviously different from her.

His steps quickened in the quiet pensive moments of their approach, as tiny pearls of sweat popped out on his smooth, tan forehead.

Suddenly they were there, perched on the threshold of that strange and dangerous place. A whoosh of cool air virtually sucked them across the boundary from which she knew there was no return, without a price. She scanned the unfamiliar landscape and cupped her full red lips and stinging nose against the acrid smell of chemicals, wood and metal.

Legs spread in a stance of strength; he touched the Buck knife strapped to his side. Quiet laughter filled suddenly little boy eyes as the soothing essence of familiarity washed over him. A million years of learning, triggered instantly by the sights, sounds and smells now before him, raged through his mind and body taking control. He belonged here. He felt alive...defined.

The sign read, "WELCOME TO HOME DEPOT."

"OK, now let's go over it again." O my god, there was that whining voice we both hate. But somehow it just surfaces when I’m nervous.

"Where's the list? Did you bring the list?"

He never heard me. The starter gun went off in his head and he was already almost out of sight.

"Honey, waaaiittttt! The garden area is this way!" I said, as I stood in the throng of abandoned, glassy-eyed women, just inside the store entrance.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you are probably like me...totally mystified with the apparent male need to have tools. I'm sorry. I just don't get it!

Now before you men get all huffy and feeling picked-on, let me just acknowledge that women have plenty of equivalent weirdities that you could challenge us on, and some women love going to Home Depot. But, at this point the dialogue is one-sided - I'm doing the writing - you're reading. So either write a comment, or go play with your tools.

Where was I...Oh yes, tools.

I'm not afraid of tools. Believe me, I've handled plenty of them...mostly, grudgingly, handing them to my "man" upon command. It usually goes something like this...

"Sue! Sue!" The man I adore yells in a tone that sends me screaming across the house, mentally preparing myself to see squirting blood and dismembered bodies. I arrive breathlessly to that "I can still command her appearance" smirk on his face.

"Hand me that torque wrench right there." He nods in the general direction of the 600-pound tool chest resting a mere 18 inches from his shoulder,

Never mind that I just tore off in the middle of a mind-boggling creative moment at my computer...without saving I might answer his deceptive cry for help.

I knew I was in that dangerous place we swear we'll never go to again, but always do.

"This one?" I whine, waving a heavy menacing thing in his direction.

"No! The torque wrench!" He barks.

I stare at the pile of twisted metal praying for a good guess.

"This one?" I whine.

"NO! Damn it!" He screams."

"Describe the friggin' thing!" I scream back, tiring of his stupid game.

"It has a callipered end on it!"

I stare back blankly, wishing I were somewhere else.

He rolls his eyes, mystified by my stupidity and replies in an aggravated sing-song," it's the one with the red rubber end on it, about 12 inches long."

"Why didn't you just say so!” I snap back, grabbing the...whatever, and smashing it punishingly into this open palm.

"Thank you!" He sarcastically spits.

"You're welcome!" I similarly respond, slamming the door behind me.

And gawd knows I've spend years unsuccessfully trying to fine a formula for teaching my husband to put up his tools. I've piled them conspicuously in the middle of the room. He walks around them. I've hidden them. He just goes and buys another whatever it was. I've followed along behind him picking them up and putting them away. He loves it - I've become his lackey apprentice. I've asked him repeatedly to put them up. He says he's tired of my nagging and suggests that I seek counseling.

I was single for many years and am rather proud of the fact that I've repaired appliances, hung pictures, and constructed minor household projects without a single tool. Well, that's not exactly true. Actually, I've always had on hand all the tools I've ever needed - various kitchen knives to use as screwdrivers and cutting; the heel of a heavy shoe as a hammer; and my creative mind to overcome obstacles. For example, if I needed to saw something that my biggest butcher knife couldn't handle (men wince here), I would just simply adjust the dimensions of the project to fit the size of the materials on hand.

I do have a confession. I think I have always had a pair of pliers. I don't even know where they came from. Against my will, they appeared and stayed and I admit, been pretty handy. But, if I didn't have the pliers, I would probably have used those gigantic, heavy scissors I've dragged around with me for years because I couldn't throw them away because my mother gave them to me. If you have to ask me how I could possibly use scissors as pliers, forget it, you are obviously a "tool-ie."

And thank gawd for super glue. I can't tell you how many household woes I've healed with that diabolical liquid. I could reveal super glue secrets that would win me the Pulitzer Prize, and possibly make your skin crawl and cause you to question my sanity. But that's another story for another day. Back to tools, or the lack thereof.

I also have to confess that I've actually owned a couple of rolls of black electrical tape, and reluctantly admit that I've found it very useful, but then I discovered duck tape. Let's hear it for duck tape. Certainly one of the things on the short list of what man and woman can agree on. Perhaps I'll write a story about duck tape some day.

So...! What's the big deal about tools? Just unnecessary expenditure of money as I see it.

When I think of all the books, art, and trips to exotic locals that I could spend that money on, it make me fume.

Men are so sick...and I love 'em!

If this story made you angry, go see your therapist. If it made you laugh or reflect on the fun differences between men and women, post a comment.



  1. A good read and a funny one. Thanks

  2. Thanks Miss Mapp - You are from England. Right? I love the way that the internet brings people together and I love your blog!!