If you haven’t read the dialogue posted over at Eli’s place last week…then you simply must go there first. It’s been quite a journey of growing awareness and education for both our gender related inquiries and concerns. I asked some pertinent questions and Eli provided us with exquisite answers. Now it’s his turn to ask…
Let the second-half of the game BEGIN!!
Dear Miss Ms/Mrs.,
Thank you for submitting your questions to the less-fair gender. We hope you have a deeper understanding of the underpinnings inherent of being a man.
We get to ask the questions now. I want to diffuse any thought early that this is a gender-driven tug-of-war. There will be no one-upmanship. No manning the cannons. No man-driven, manic agenda here.
Just free-flowing discourse. I appoint myself managing partner and question/answer czar for all mankind. I represent the district of men who’ve evolved from knuckle-dragging, but can appreciate a messy rack of ribs. Who’ve actually read a book without pictures, but don’t mind sitting in the pretty waitress’ section.
Who’ve loved and adored your gender at various times in our lives, any time after packing away our LEGOs and Nerf footballs and swimsuit issues, but who do sometimes purposely forget to shave our faces. We do listen, but we don’t do manicures. We’ll even cook and play with the kids, but we won’t moisturize or whine on Girls Night Out.
We consider ourselves the refined district of manhood, and we have questions, Christine Carter.
What’s up with purses?
We men have all carried bags. Lunch bags. Duffle bags. Bags of donuts. Hell, your bag, while you try on clothes. We’re baffled by what happens in the woman’s hand bag. What’s in there? Why must you carry it everywhere? Why does it often resemble a largemouth bass, affixed with handles and stuffed to the gills with the ultimate and useless survival kit for your gender?
If men carried bags, we’d fill them, too, with essentials: A deck of cards. A baseball and a Sharpie (just in case we run into Tim Tebow at church or Pacman Jones at the club). Beef jerky, perhaps. But we’d leave it behind when we went shopping. Or hiking. Or high-stepping it to the gas station after we’ve ignored the low-fuel light for 312 miles.
Oh dear man, it’s not about the purses…it’s about the planning, preparation, and protection all in one place. If you would open up any size purse with which a woman holds, you will find all the essentials for any and all situations…lest they arrive.
Hungry? Here’s a snack. Sniffles? Got tissue. Chapped lips? Got chapstick. Bad breathe? Got mints. Out of money? Got that too. Monthly visit? Covered. Rattle for the baby? Here ya go. Teeth need brushed? Travel toothbrush right here. Hands dirty? Here are some wipes. Going shopping? I got coupons. Kids annoyed? Lollipops here. Don’t like that flavor gum? Here’s three more kinds. Hair a mess? Here’s a brush. Need a pen and paper too? Check. A pencil for homework? Yep. Bored? Here’s a book. All cried out? Here’s more mascara. You get the point…
You see we women are all about being prepared. We plan according to what “might” happen…as you plan according to, well…what is actually happen-ing. How many times has a women’s purse parts saved you, I ask? It’s kind of what we do. We are ready for anything that lies ahead…of us. You live in the moment. We live for the moment. It’s that simple. A nice balance perhaps?
What’s up with the feminine hygiene aisle?
I’m a brave man. I’m not afraid of snakes, spiders, punk kids in malls, flu viruses or the singer Pink. I do, however, get a little sweaty and shaky when you ask,” can you pick up some pads?” Unless they’re fun pads, steno pads or launching pads, even, I really.don’t.want.to.
Heavy-flow days. Overnight. Scented. Unscented. Tampons. Pads. Pantiliners. Maxipads. With wings. With aloe. With man-detecting-radar-which-I-swear-changes-color-packaging-and-terminology-to-bring-hell-to-earth-without-the-gentle-glide.
Why can’t we catalog all the products (tampons, pads, maxipads, pantiliners, maxi-liners and tampads, or whatever) by serial number, like car parts? If the water pump goes on my ’92 Buick LaSabre, I go to Auto Zone and look it up. XE-3492. A dude gets me the part. I can get the oil filter, too, just by knowing the model.
What? A GD-32293? Sure, we have those.
Maybe if you all had model numbers and years, we could just say, “Hey, I have a 73 Hilda who needs an overnight pad with wings.”
“Sure, mac. HH-6663. Better take two.”
I know this is both uncomfortable and confusing for you to manage, and for that I am deeply sorry. I know it’s hard to understand all of these essentials as us women have to cope with and bear through the aches and pains of menstruation, ovulation, childbirth, recovery, menopause and such. I know your difficulty in understanding that infamous aisle is partly our fault.
You see, we women are very complex. Our Heavenly Creator thought it best to give us all of it. And spare you any of it. Father God took one look at Adam and declared on the sixth day that Eve would just bear it all. Lucky us!
The monthly horrific draining yields excruciating abdominal pain and headaches as our world floods in a cesspool of hormonal tidal waves and peaking irrational thought. This trauma begins very early in our growing years, so innocent and young. Then it haunts and terrorizes us until we are nearing the end of our hormonal journey. But if we would like to create human beings…well then there is the nine months gestation, hormonal fluctuations, our entire body being sacrificed to create a human being, the pushing of the human being out of our tiny part whereby the gates of Hades violently tear open and the rolling wildfire purges a baby. Then there are about three years recuperation, but if we’re lucky…recovery may be interrupted by another nine months gestation, hormonal fluctuations, our entire body being sacrificed to create a human being, the pushing of the human being out of our tiny part whereby the gates of Hades violently tear open and the rolling wildfire purges a baby. And perhaps if we want a big family… the recuperation is interrupted over and over again, therefore giving us the inevitable super power of miraculous endurance. Once we have gone through these seasons of our womanly life…we top off our journey with the beautiful and reflective years of menopause. Ah yes…the Golden years of hot sweats and no sleep…hormonal highs and hormonal lows. Kinda like menstruation but instead it’s ongoing all the time and holds many fun surprises! You’ll see.
But back to the aisle, because clearly…it’s hard on you. Poor, poor you wandering in that painfully overwhelming aisle just wishing for a way out…
We get that it’s just too much to handle.
Why do you worry so much?
We kind of get it. We worry about stuff, too. Can the Ravens stop Tom Brady? Can I grill salmon after sundown without overdoing it? Will the fellas at the office notice if I have to borrow your berry-scented Secret deodorant because I’m all out of my Old Spice?
But once we’ve crushed a bratwurst, some onion rings and a Pepsi max, and our head hits the pillow, it’s all tomorrow’s problem.
I bet even Barack Obama, the man with the toughest job in America (outside of the dude who has to stock the feminine hygiene aisle at Piggly Wiggly) can forget his troubles and snore on the couch after a hard day’s work.
So, that’s what we want to know. We love that you’re more likely to have a bandage for the kids if needed out of your purse (and probably a collector’s DVD set of Three Stooges classics, if you packed right), have different hygienic needs than we, and are often the glue that holds together our worlds, but … help a brother out?
We don’t need to understand you. We just need to appear to from time to time without having to push a cart around in Garden Ridge on an NFL Sunday afternoon.
Oh how we wish we could be like you men and not worry! We watch you sleep so soundly and wonder how…why…how…why?
If only the weight of the world did not dominate the fretting firing neurons in our mind! You see, we can’t rest knowing there are things undone, unclean, unclear, undecided, unplanned, unknown, unresolved, unimaginable, unorganized, un.
Remember, we are complicated. Our thoughts go round the bend about 4,000 times faster than yours. And our emotional state is bound by those hormones and those thoughts. It’s just a universal spiral of winding roads and hills and valleys…
We can’t stop the speed or the depth from which our anxious rumbles radiate.
You see, while you can immediately turn your switch off …we cannot tell our switch to do that. Our switch has it’s own power that rules our world every. Single. Minute. Our engine is not in control. The current is flying through our veins, whether we tell it to stop, or try to turn it off. And if by some way, we can worry through the turns and bumps and possible detours of all predicaments? We might be less likely to worry through the next tour of duty… so we hope.
Believe me. We wish we could be more like you. We try. Try hard. So hard. Oh so, so hard. We really don’t like to worry. And we really enjoy sleep. Restful sleep that we scarcely get in between the trauma of menstruation, creation, (repeat unending) and eventually menopause. But we need somebody to rest and stay still while we pace. And that is why we have you…
You truly are our rock. Our anchor. We just can’t handle stress like you do. But we count on you for the freshly paved road with no bumps or detours or turns…
Whether you wander the aisle holding our purse for us or not.
So rest assured. Rest you will.
And in the morning we will have your spreadsheets ready…