Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm not smart enough to be a woman. Part two.

Woman have to be smarter than men.

They have so many more choices.  Issues.  Decisions. Options.  Possibilities.  Worries. 

Let's start with just getting ready to go out of the house.

A man can get ready for anything in twelve minutes.  Work.  Hunting.  Black tie.  Golf.  Twelve minutes.

Do his necessary business.  

Shower with Ivory soap.

Shave (maybe, or partially). 

Brush his teeth.

Arrange the mop of hair on his head if he still has any.

Put his clothes on.


A man can be perfectly attired anywhere in the world for any occasion with this as his entire wardrobe.

One black suit.

One white shirt.

One pair of jeans.

One black tie.

One pair of black socks.

One pair of black cap-toed lace-up shoes.

One pair of boots.

Underwear optional.

Not nearly so easy for women.

Let's start at the getting clean part.  Well, only because the necessary business  part isn't polite.  But gents, women sell something to each other called PooPourri.  I swear. Look it up.  Number one selling item in those stores that sell women everything they want and nothing they need. 

But then it starts in earnest. 

Bath?  Shower?  Both? 

Soap?  Scented or unscented?  If scented, which scent?

And or, exfoliating or non-exfoliating scrub?  Bath or shower gel?  Bath or shower oil?  Bath or shower salts?  Or bubble bath?  Or milk bath?  Or milk bubble bath?

Wash cloth?  Loofah?  Bath brush?  Poof?

And then when the bathing is over, there is the next set of infinite choices that must be dealt with.

Just how emollient do you need to be today?   Tubes, jars, pumps, bottles, sprays.  Oils, creams, lotions, with and without scent.

Oh lordy, and the hard part hasn't even started.

A female business associate I once worked with explained it this way to her always waiting male counterparts at the start of the business day.

"You don't have to complete a painting every morning, now do you?"

I have no idea what order these things are used in.  But here is at least a partial list.





Shimmer.  Not to be confused with Glow.




And then there are eyes.  Mascara.  Eyelash curler things that scare the willy out of me.  Eyeshadow.  Eyeliner.  Brow liner.

And then lips.  Gloss.  Stick.  Liner.  Cream.

Please remember, for each and everything listed in the previous fifty lines of copy there are exactly one jillion choices of colors, scents, brands, and designers.  Not to mention the various tools, brushes, applicators and other weapons of the alchemist.

This is why Alan Jackson sings,

I'm sorry I got mad, waitin' in the truck;
It seemed like hours, you gettin' all dressed up,
Just to go to Shoney's on a Wednesday night.

All the while the buffing has been going on, she has to plan what she is going to wear.  And here the number of choices and the reasons why are impossible to calculate.

Who will I see today?  Have they seen me in this before?  Am I trying to impress, hide, flirt, be sedate, be outrageous, intimidate, please, infuriate, accentuate, emasculate or all of the above?

Dress.  Skirt.  Shorts.  City shorts.  Skort.  Cullotes.  Knickers.  Sweaters.  Blouses.  Shrugs.  Tank tops.  Tube tops.  Halter tops.  Camisoles.  Jeans.  Leggings.  Jeggings.  Tights.  Yoga pants.  Cotton.  Wool.  Indigo.  Gold lame.  Angora.  Sequined.  Lycra.  Spandex.  Darts.  Empire waist.  Hollywood waist.  Belt or not belt.  Shawl.  Oh shoot me now.

And don't forget, there is an entire selection process of mysterious undergarments that must be selected from.  Colors.  Fabrics.  Appropriateness for the occasion.  (What?  Different underwear for different occasions?)

I have a daughter in the fashion retail business.  They make trunkloads of money selling things that go under the clothes.  Things like Spanx.  And dimmers.  (I wish I had invented those.  $25 for two pieces of molded plastic to eliminate public party hats.)

And these are universal issues for women.

A few years ago, I was shopping on a Saturday afternoon on Oxford Street in London.  In one quaint shop,. there was a woman covered in full burqa buying the tiniest dental floss g-string thong thing in the brightest color of purple.   Allah be praised, indeed. 

Shoes?  Did someone say shoes?

Have you been in a DSW?  Or Nordstrom's?  There are two pair of guys shoes in the corner.  The other 87,000 square feet are filled with shoes for the lady.

Flats.  Platforms.  Low heels.  Mid heels.  Stiletto heels.  Mary Janes.  Clogs.  Boots.  Booties.   Knee high boots.  Thigh high boots.

Slings.  Pumps.  Sandals.  Thongs.  Flip flops.  Mules.  Skimmers. 

Open toed and closed toe.  (Although Nancy Reagan did say a woman should never let her toes show in public, and things seemed to work out well for her.)

Oh, and then there is hair maintenance.

With the exception of monastic Buddhists and Miss Tanzania, most women don't shave their heads.  (And after seeing Sinead O'Connor's recent photos, hallelujah.)

Those with long hair want it short.  Those with straight hair want it curly.  Those with brown hair want it blonde.  Some want it purple.  Seems very few want it grey.

So everyday for a significant number of women in this world, it's going to be a bad hair day.  After various options of shampoo, conditioner, straightener, curl, pomade, spray, teasing, brushing, combing, and those Satanic creations called hair dryers, it still don't look right.

Women around the world have to deal with the politics of gender in culture, business, government, and law. 

Women around the world have more complex plumbing systems and therefore more health issues.

Cysts.  When's the last time a man had to worry about a cyst?

Cancers of various parts of the body that men don't even have.

The whole reproductive cycle, peak breeding years, pregnancy (no man has ever died birthing a child), lactation, birth control that too often falls solely on the woman, hormones, menstruation, chapped nipples, breast infections, yeast infections, menopause.

And yet, women handle all this and typically live longer than their male counterparts.

And in the meantime, raise children, start businesses, create art, and make homes out of houses.

God said, "It is not good for man to be alone."  Because he made man with limited capacity.  Man couldn't multitask.  So woman was created to be the perfect complement to man.

I'm sure glad it turned out this way.

What time is the Outback Bowl?


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Christmas Angel

I ordered the apron for mom out of a mail order catalog.  It was a November in the early 1960's.

Everyday after, I would check the mail.

"Dad, did a package come for me today?"

"Nope.  What'cha looking for?"

"Ah, nothing much.  Probably tomorrow.."

When school was let out for Christmas, I started meeting the mailman at the end of our driveway everyday.

Seven days to go.  Six.  Five.

My heart began to sink.

Then a package would show.   But it wasn't mine.  Not the one.

Three.  Two.

On Christmas Eve, we were busy getting ready. for the best day of the year.

Packages being wrapped.  Fruit cakes being sliced.  Ambrosia being chilled.  Phone ringing.  Big Papa and Momie stopping by to see what was going on.  Looking forward to seeing all my cousins.

In the joy and warmth and excitement, I lost track of the mailman.

He had come and gone that Christmas Eve.

My mom was the center of my universe.  She loved Christmas.  She loved to spread joy.  She loved to cook those once a year specialties.

I had spent hours picking out just that special gift. I had paid for it in cash with allowance money stored in my honey butter jar.  It was the finest apron ever made.

But now it wasn't here.  I had nothing for my mom for Christmas. 

"What's wrong",  mom asked.  "You act like Santa isn't coming!"

Little did she know how right she was.

As I moped around late that afternoon, I tried to think of something I could do for her since I had no gift.  Help around the house?  Draw her a picture?

I was in a total stew.

And then I heard the sweetest words.

"Oh, look.  The mailman came back.  He said he had overlooked something."

It was nearly dark on Christmas Eve.  And here comes the mailman with my mom's apron.

She wore it every Christmas till she died.

Thank you, Christmas Angel.

That Christmas about 50 years ago, you appeared as a mailman.

Wonder what you will look like this year? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm not smart enough to be a woman. Part One.

Second only to my forthcoming bestseller, "Cats and Dogs, an Explanation of the Differences between Men and Women", my new friend Mark Gungor explains it best. 

Women are superior. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

One more thing I wish I'd said

Before we got married, my wife and I attended a course on marriage.

The teacher was a very interesting guy named Billy Grammer.

At the first class, we quickly figured out he was going to be deep.

Billy shared this point of view:

"The basic structure of  the universe is one of paradox or dialectic, which is the phenomenon  of two interacting forces, each of which find their meaning in the context  of the other (male/female, talker/listener, maximizer/minimizer, spender/saver,  etc.). On the surface there are two opposite polarities, each apparently contradicting the other, but what is found on a deeper level is the truth that both polarities are needed to express a greater truth and a greater reality. The tension that exists between these polarities is the drive mechanism for personal growth. The great temptation is to eradicate one side of the polarity so as to bring instant ‘relief’ from the tension generated by the two opposites. The point is this:  God has designed the universe with this built-in tension so as to push us toward the journey of growth (death and resurrection). We, in turn, are very reluctant to grow and wish to constantly get out of this tension so that we don’t have to grow. The truth is that every relationship we participate in forces us to face this dilemma."

It was at that moment I heard one of the funniest statements ever uttered.

A friend of 25 years in the class said,  "Oh, that explains it.  I'm not smart enough to be married."

I still laugh out loud when I think of him saying it with perfect pitch, perfect timing, and just enough volume to let all that needed to hear it, hear it. 

And it wasn't just that it's funny, it's probably true.  At least for me.  But I muddle thru anyway.

When's the last time you and your betrothed discussed the dialectic?  Or your polarity?

And now that I think of it, there's alot of things I'm probably not smart enough to be.  

Hmm, more to ponder.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why are we so entrusting of a man with an aborted lamb fetus for a hat?

Hamid Friggin' Karzai.

Quaraqul hat.

Technicolor robe.

Nehru shirt.

Heart as black as Newgate's knocker.

But we western fools have propped him up as the titular head of Afghanistan. Cause he looked good. Heck, he was on Esquire's 2007 list of 10 best dressed men in the world.

Unto him we will entrust what the men and women of our militaries and information services have worked for, been wounded for, died for.

Hamid can't control his own brother, much less Afghanistan.

Hamid has already figured out life without NATO.

His ass will be grass when he can't hide behind our ACUs anymore.

So, he's made clear his allegiance to Pakistan over the United States.

He's making entreaties to those nice folks over at the Taliban offices.

Such as this sweet example of justice.

A 19 year old Afghan woman was recently raped. And impregnated by her rapist. For her troubles, she was thrown in prison for adultery. See, under the Talib way of thinking, it's her fault.

Oh, but wait. Old Hamid has stepped in to rectify this.

All this woman needs to do is agree to marry the man that raped her, and she will be pardoned.

And to this bastard, we are going to hand over security gains we've made against the Taliban and al Qaeda in that lawless land and entrust him with maintaining.

We will deserve it when the next 9/11 happens.