Period, Exclamation Mark!
I used a comma after the word period in this week’s title, which amused me a little more than it should have. As I pontificated punctuation it became clear to me men aren’t as smart as they think they are. The truth is I reach this conclusion with almost everything I read, but I tend to keep this devastating conclusion to myself.
Over the weekend my wife’s menopausal status forced me to stand at the thermostat to adjust the internal house temperature every four minutes. Hot flashes were battling cold fronts as these two conflicting weather conditions disrupted our normal “room temperature” in the living room. This rapid perpetual climate changing caused it to rain in the kitchen. Indoor rain is more entertaining than outdoor rain.
My darling wife alerts me to the monthly visit from a “friend” to help me understand things without ever having to talk about them. I do my best to adapt to this monthly situation because I remember reading a newspaper headline years ago that was following a ground breaking legal case. When the jury supported PMS is viable defense in the lady’s murder charge against her husband, I adjusted my attitude. Never argue with your lady when friends come to visit.
When my betrothed is feeling this way I make her do math problems to distract her attention to more productive, not reproductive thinking. Unfortunately this week she did a lot of math using formulas, algorithms and the dewey decimal system. She methodically explained she had her first period at the age of 13, and though she disputes the next point, she is now 55 and shared a little calculation about her friend. 12 monthly periods X 42 years = 504 friend visits. I easily connected with the number 504, because that is exactly the number of times I have awakened with a slight hangover. In my attempt to show her how our bodies can betray us, I switched from empathy to correcting her math.
Of course I showed her the error in her calculation as there were some years where she was pregnant. She explained the trade off of carrying 50 extra pounds of weight and enduring 20 hour labour might not be the comfortable trade off I was suggesting it was.
Since my math approach wasn’t working as well as I had hoped, I went back to empathy. I immediately explained some manly monthly things men do.
I shared with my rather moody spouse how I pay the mortgage the first of every month. Though it bleeds our bank account dry monthly, in hindsight it probably isn’t the same thing
I like to go golfing once a month, where I get so frustrated I proposed this must come close to the hormonal changes she feels monthly. I was starting to connect with her fragile emotional state.
I felt like I was on a bit of roll so I continued. Some men lease luxury cars with monthly payments to give the outside world the impression that things are going well. I am sure if you asked a lady about this monthly lease option she would buy out the lease if there was a chance the “payments” would never return again.
I was getting nowhere with my brilliant analogies, so I decided to get a little more poetic with my ideas. I explained about the cosmic pleasure I get gazing at the full moon every month. When I elaborated to my wife about the romantic beauty of this celestial monthly masterpiece, she hit me in the head with a frying pan. This surprised me as this is typically only happens when we cook together.
Women endure monthly body changes as things can get tender, and the words cramping and bloating are often mentioned during this time. As I explained to her I get a similar feeling when I eat too much take out Chinese food, I ducked to avoid the oncoming frying pan.
I continued in these pathetic attempts to capture the right man monthly comparator. Credit card bills were dismissed. Phone bills, heating bills and any example I presented that ended in bill, was quickly refuted with phrases like “your such an ass’, and “you really don’t get it” and other words that most firewalls won’t allow me to share here.
I presented the idea of the anxiety and pressure I feel the night before my monthly book club meeting. It was then I realized I don’t belong to a book club. It is my wife who belongs to a book club, and I ducked to avoid the oncoming hard cover.
I harkened back to my sex education classes of grade school, where words like menses, fallopian tubes and ovulation were highlighted as the boys giggled. Since the word giggle is so close to the word Google, I Googled this subject to ensure that less painful objects would be thrown my way.
After relearning some key medical facts about the female anatomy, I visited some porn sights to ensure I had my facts right. It seemed that the anatomy from the medical sites were not quite in sync with physiology of these more popular sites so I quickly sat down to reflect on my confused yet aroused state of mind.
I remembered that as a young little boy, my mother on occasion, would send me to Mr. Osborne’s General Store to buy her chocolate bars, cigarettes and something called Kotex. Now I needed a hand written note to purchase the cigarettes to convince the shopkeeper I was not a seven-year old chain smoker, however I did not require a note for the Kotex, so how important could that item really be?
I believe that I must blame my mother for my total lack of comprehension of fundamental female biology. This might also explain my mark of 64% in my grade 11 biology class. All would have been solved if she had just added a little more to her note to the shopkeeper.
Dear Mr. Osborne,
Please allow my son to purchase Black Cat cigarettes, 3 Caramilk chocolate bars and a box of Kotex for me today. Also please explain to the little darling, that as a mother of six children, I have had it up to here, with his shenanigans. Explain to this little boy that unlike him, a woman must put on the illusion that everything is fine all the time. When he becomes a man, I pray he will be a little more informed than most men I have met. Perhaps the next generation of men will pursue with stronger empathy, to understand the female gender a little more than the previous generations. Though I appreciate we still live in the dark ages, it is time the male population understood how very different we are. Women are taught they must invest in our looks, run the house and ignore our own biology, while the men argue about unfair penalties called at sporting events. How we have continued to populate this planet is beyond my comprehension?
I apologize for the tone of this grocery list my friend, but as you can see from this note, I am not quite myself today.
I suppose I cannot make up for my years of perpetual blissful ignorance. It seems unacceptable using the excuse of being uncomfortable with certain conversations as a reason not to have them.
Let me end by going a little more public with my opening paragraph, “men are not that bright”. Though we are quite busy doing unimportant things most of the time, we should spend a little more time looking at women and once in a while just utter Thank You.…Period. Exclamation Mark!
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt