I don't quite buy into a certain popular book's hyperbole that men and women are from completely different planets, but I do believe God did a little tweaking when He yanked that rib out of Adam to create Eve. Now before you ladies roll your eyes and sigh, Here we go again...please stay with me. (There's a baseball story later for you male readers...that should keep you reading).
I consider myself fairly in-tune with my lovely, adorable wife....ahem...maybe a delusion on my part. True...we have very distinct differences, but I chalk most of them up to the fact we are different species...I mean genders. There is, however, a concerted effort on my part to overcome the obvious disabling condition of having a Y chromosome. In my younger days while living in the chase, Cosmopolitan magazine was a favored research tool to try to gain some insight into the female psyche...and well okay...to gain an advantage over my fellow Y chromosomes.
Now in my settled years, I have traded the racier publication for a few dainty, estrogen-oriented blogs like Lulaville and Blah, Blah Blog. The educational effort on my part is still there...just refocused and refined... to better suit my environment. Sure I miss browsing articles like 32 Best Sex Tips You Wish He Knew or 27 Ways to Make Him Scream, but getting busted by Mrs. Tony C reading something like that today would bring on a whole new set of questions/problems I'd just rather avoid.
Here's a recent example to help illustrate my point and contention of perplexity. While sitting with my love watching television one evening, the toddler was climbing on and off just about everything vertical in the living room. After repeating you're going to fall and get hurt for what seemed like a hundred times, it happened. She tumbled off the ottoman right at my feet. I didn't budge and played witness to the whole scene. Mrs. Tony C frantically, instinctively leaped from her spot just a few feet away in a vain effort to somehow prevent the fall. There was a brief pause... then came the crying.
Mrs. Tony C: You didn't even try to stop her from falling!
Tony C: She's fine. It was only a foot or so. She needs to learn how to fall.
Mrs. Tony C: But you didn't even try to stop her!
Tony C: Sure I did. I warned her she was going to fall and get hurt.
Mrs. Tony C: (silent rage and nurturing simultaneously)
So obviously I don't get it. No, I didn't want my youngest to actually get hurt...I just wanted her to learn.
Let me move to another obvious point of disparity. Women gather for the oddest reasons. Now maybe it's only for a reason to get together and live it up...so to speak...but I don't get it. Mrs. Tony C hosted a Tupperware party just last week. Tupperware. You show me a group of guys willing to get together to see the latest in plastic containment, and I'll guarantee you there's female nudity involved in some shape, form or fashion.
Yet somehow, for over 2 hours, a group of mostly unrelated women sat attentively in my kitchen and swooned over premolded, sealable plastic. Tupperware, Thirty-One, jewelry or fake designer purses...I just don't get it!
I do recall the first Tupperware party hosted in my house though. The year was 1988, and I lived in Hawaii in officer's housing at Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station. The party happened to coincide with Game 1 of the World Series featuring my beloved Dodgers, who were heavy underdogs against the Oakland A's. I was perfectly content to retire to the bedroom for Game 1 while the festivities consumed most of the rest of the house.
That's right... Game 1...1988. Dodgers vs A's. The guys in blue are down 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th. David Eckersley, Oakland's superhuman closer, was in to seal the deal. Mike Davis walked in his at bats putting the tying run on base. Somewhere from the shadows of the dugout, a hobbled Kirk Gibson is announced to bat. Gibson had not one, but two bad wheels and wasn't expected to play in the series. After struggling at the plate and fouling off several Eckersley pitches, Gibson faced a 3-2 count with 2 outs. As the backdoor slider crossed the plate, Gibson made solid contact and sent the pitch into the right field bleachers...Dodgers win Game 1! Dodgers win Game 1! As Gibson limped around the bases and gave his now-famous arm pump as he rounded first base...I literally burst into tears of joy and was overcome with a need to share this most glorious turn of events.
I charged into the living room to share the amazing, epic story...
Tony C: Kirk Gibson just blasted a 2-run homer, and the Dodgers won Game 1!
Tupperware Lady (obviously miffed at the interruption): That's great. Who's playing? Baseball?
Party Attendee: Is he crying?
Former Spouse (obviously embarrassed): He's a huge Dodger fan. Are you okay?
Tony C (babbling idiot): Gibson could hardly walk to the plate! He had a full count...Davis was on base...Lasorda's a genius...home run!! Dodgers win!
Another Party Attendee: That's so sweet he's crying about his baseball team. Men shouldn't be afraid to show emotions, but you know the big, bad Marines have to be so tough all the time.
Party Attendee: I know it. So stupid. A few tears doesn't make you less a man...
Sigh...I just turned around and retreated to the bedroom to the sound of group murmurings...knowing for sure when word of this got back to every one's husbands, I would take the riding of a lifetime. Stupid Tupperware parties.
As I predicted, I received a number of mocking tissue boxes and sniffing comments. I will say, however, the ladies who witnessed the whole spectacle started treating me different...they talked to me different, related to me in a different way...I still can't quite put my finger on it...but somehow different.
Here we are almost 25 years later, and I'm still apparently in the dark about a lot of things when it comes to women...