A little while ago, one of my friends arrived at church just a few minutes before the service was to begin. She was wearing a lovely floor-length skirt and I complimented her on it. “I think my uncle gave it to me,” she said.
I didn’t say anything more, even though I thought she was wearing a beautiful necklace, too. The service was about to begin and I was afraid she would give a case history of every piece of clothing she was wearing. I’m not casting aspersions, because I do it, too. If somebody compliments me on an article of clothing or jewelry, I feel the need to share the story of the loved one who gave it to me, or the bargain I got at the department store or thrift store. I don’t consider myself a fashion plate, but I like to look good—especially for Sweetheart.
Part of that looking good includes making sure the T-shirt size tag is inside the shirt when Sweetheart or I get dressed and go off to face the day. I check his tag and he checks mine. One day I saw a fellow at the senior center with his tag sticking up the nape of his neck in all of its glory. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to just reach up and tuck it in, since I barely knew him, so I asked, “Are you married?” He gave me a strange look and said, “Yes.” I said, “Then your wife forgot to check you out. The tag is sticking out of your T-shirt.” He thanked me and went about his business. I hope he fixed that little problem. I wonder about it still. Would a man say that to another man? I’ve never seen a man chase someone down the street to perform emergency tag duty. Apparently, it’s a woman thing.
On the other hand, Sweetheart and I went to a car show last weekend. That is a horse of a different color. Men ooh and aah over vehicles from the past—some that they owned and some that their fathers owned. All you have to do is say, “nice car” and you may as well pull up a chair and crack open a beer, because you’ll be there for a complete rundown of the car and its history.
Sweetheart and I talked to a fellow who had an old Dodge pickup—I mean real old—from the 30s or 40s. He told us he bought it from an old goat farmer. He showed us the engine and explained how the style had not been changed for several years, because of the war effort and the need for steel.He told us about the war effort. I could see how the body had been patched and painted. I told him he had just delivered a perfect sales pitch, but he said the truck was not for sale. (Not that we wanted to buy it.) Let’s face it. It’s a man thing. Men like motorized vehicles.
Now, there are exceptions to every rule, of course—or for every stereotype. Let’s face it. Men have certain traits that women don’t. Vice versa. But, that’s OK. Because people are different, that doesn’t make them bad. Because they have different traits or habits, that doesn’t mean you can’t live in peaceful coexistence. In fact, the differences can be complementary. What one person, or group, lacks could be filled by people from another group. Years ago, my sister-in-law was complaining about some things that had been done by a man and how it appeared to be done just to make it harder for women. She was blaming them for a host of things. Finally, I told her, “Men are not our enemies.” To which she responded, “They’re not?”
My opinion is that men and women were created, not only with physical differences, but with emotional and intellectual differences, so that they could work together from different view points. Together they can come up with solutions to problems that would be unattainable otherwise. Realizing this could also make marriage more satisfying.
Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.