Thursday, February 23, 2006

POW in the War Between the Sexes

Having grown up with two mean older brothers and no sisters or close female first cousins, I was brought up with a very scant knowledge of girls and women. But I was smart from the beginning; I didn’t understand females and admitted it. Despite my groveling and deference I grew up suffering at their hands. Women can detect even the slightest fear and will take advantage of any male who shows it.

Women teachers seemed to single me out for disapproval. No matter how hard I tried to please them, they came at me with a look of extreme displeasure, not unlike Representative Nancy Pelosi, who looks like the “before” picture in an ad for hemorrhoid sufferers.

In industry the person who caused me the most trouble was a woman named Mary Ann Something. She was bright, a very good manager and a sharp union steward, while I represented management. I could have a terrible day, but it always got worse when Mary Ann appeared in my office. I once tried to enlist Mary Ann in the ranks of management (we could have used a higher level of manager) but she would not sell out her Labor ideals and bore down even harder on me. No good deed goes unpunished.

In my personal life I have had two wives, a daughter, a step-daughter, a daughter-in-law and several granddaughters but my understanding of females has not improved because of them.

I have even taught in public school, where I often told my charges that women can do anything but play left tackle for the Detroit Lions and most men can’t do that, either. And I meant it. I wanted to be on record as pro-female when they took over the world. But my pretty students took this comment as mere groveling and wrote beside my name in their book of executions, “head of the line.”

My only saving grace is that I have a very good talent for fixing things. I would be pushing up daisies right now, if it were not for the day, early in my substitute teaching career, when a seventh grade girl I didn’t know brought me a handful of parts to her eyeglasses. It was during a test and she was losing time, so I quickly reached into my briefcase and bought out a tiny screwdriver and some very small screws. I had her glasses put back together again in less than a minute. She told other girls and my life was spared from that moment on.

There were several widows on my block and I was allowed to help them with electrical problems and plumbing disasters. That way I managed to continue in not good but tolerable standing with the female community. But it took lots of work to stay at that level.

The Bible says I came into this world with nothing. Nothing, that is, but a minus quantity of points with the opposite sex, and I have been trying to break even all my life. Like Sisyphus with his task of rolling a huge rock up a hill, I have been given the task of understanding women and failed every day.