Though we adore men individually….
The first Saturday morning, in our new little (operative word being little – but hey, we’d been living with my folks for the previous 2 months, so little was the new big) (apologies to Seth Godin) apartment. I wanted to be a good wife, so I made Jeff pancakes and bacon, with juice and coffee.
I really splurged, because we weren’t exactly rolling in the dough at this point in our lives. I made extra pancakes, thinking we could put them in the frig and heat them in the toaster another morning. But, I kept them all on the same cookie sheet, staying warm in the oven. I fried the whole pound of bacon, too. I thought I could use the left overs from that to make Cream of Potato soup and possibly even some broccoli salad. I was so pleased with myself and my frugality.
One pot of coffee, 15 pancakes and all but 3 pieces of bacon later, he suddenly looked at me and said, “Weren’t you going to eat any?” I was in shock. There went all my breakfasts, dinners and grocery money. I just stared at him and said, “What were you thinking?” He looked back at me, devoid of understanding and replied “I don’t know.”
I don’t know?!!! WHAT KIND OF AN ANSWER IS THAT? Surely you have to know what you were thinking. You’re a sentient being, you are, in fact, brilliant and you don’t know what you were thinking? How stupid do I look?
Now, I’m sure the rest of you didn’t struggle with this, but it was sure my battle – until one day, Jeff inadvertently helped me out in a MAJOR way. We were watching our neighbor do something really….well, really….GUYISH.
He was a) drinking and b) removing the large – read: 3 feet across and 3 feet tall – rock from his front yard….with a 20# sledge hammer. After watching him out there for 30 minutes or so and removing probably a chunk the size of a head of cauliflower, he called a friend over to help. Then, we had two drinking men wielding 20# sledges in an attack upon a large rock. Before long, man number three arrived, followed quickly by numbers four, five, six and seven.
Seven sloshed, sledge-swinging, stammering, “studs” spending Saturday smashing stone* – the stuff nightmares are made of!! 😆 I remember – about 2 hours into the process – with little result – that I turned to Jeff and said, “Why are they doing this?” He laughed, shrugged, as though to say, “What can I say?” and then turned back with a grin and said, “Because they’re big dumb men.”
Now, this isn’t a bash on the male gender – I mean he IS a man after, all. Rather, this is a call to understand that guys sometimes just do dorky things and they aren’t being jerks, they aren’t being insensitive and they aren’t being stupid. They just don’t think right. 😉
I remember very clearly having a young married couple over whose toddler was…out of control. He was throwing food, he was screaming, he was determined to climb on my sofa and jump onto the chair next to it.
His mother was beside herself trying to keep up with him. Her husband was sitting in the chair that this little guy was trying to launch himself into. Even when WonderBoy landed in his lap, dad simply picked him up, set him on the floor and kept on talking to Jeff.
I thought for a second mom was going to do the Bill Cosby’s wife thing. (You know – where her face splits and the skin and hair split and come off of her face so that there was nothing except a skull. And orange lights come out of her hair and there is glitter all around. And fire shoots from her eye sockets and begin to burn a hole in his stomach. THAT Bill Cosby’s wife thing.)
She looks at me and says very loudly, “What is wrong with HIM?” I responded, “He’s a big dumb man.” She was still livid, but having correctly identified the disease, she was willing to listen to me. I then went on to explain to her that I had it on first hand authority – guys are either big or little dumb men.
I told her ” Jeff told me ‘Guys just do dumb things, without thinking. They aren’t taught to think the way a woman is. They don’t think about who is going to be hurt by their actions, they don’t think about who is going to be gagging by whatever foul smell is emitted from their body, they don’t see the big bag you’re carrying, they don’t notice that your back is hurting – we’re just big dumb men.'”
Now, this doesn’t mean they don’t love you, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to care for you and best of all, it doesn’t mean they won’t grow out of parts of that – or can’t train themselves to think a little bit differently. But it does mean we MUST exercise grace when we’re dealing with those wonderful differences. Even if they do make us want to scream sometimes.
And if you’re a truly wise wife, you will even learn to enjoy and laugh at the differences. It’s much better than having your head split open and your hair and skin fall off, so your skull is exposed. I hate it when that happens.
(By the way – the men eventually won – it took them all day, but the rock was conquered. Hooray for big dumb mankind!) 😉 😀
*Berenstains, I am begging your forgiveness!!!
(Edit: I want to let you know, I asked Jeff to read through this, to see if I represented him correctly. He not only laughed at me, he kissed the top of me wee head when he was done. That’s kind of like whipped cream on the top of dessert, ya know? It got full approval from him. Truly, my desire is not to bash our men, but to acknowledge we’re wired differently and we can either be frustrated by it or we can delight in it, knowing our Creator knows what we need to be perfected. Any of you who have read here for long know I am certain that Jeff’s sins are perfectly suited for my sanctification and mine for his.) 😀