Monday, August 04, 2008

Battle of the Sexes

Ok, it's not a battle, but after being married for 20 years, I realize that there are some things that fall into the "mom's job" category, and there are some things that are strictly dad's domain.

Mom's job is to find things. For 20 years I have lived in a male dominant household. The fact that the majority of the toilet seats in my house remain in the down position is a testament of the power of the one and only alpha female. However, what I can't do is teach my children (and my husband) how to do what I call "mom looking" versus "man looking." I don't need to explain this for the moms. They know exactly what I'm talking about. The guys are slower to catch on. I'll type s-l-o-w-l-y. Here's a typical "man looking" conversation:
"mom! (or Cat!), where's the ______ (insert anything from socks to the car)?"
"It's in the _________ (insert my instructions like refrigerator, garage, on the kitchen table, etc.)."
After a quick glance around, "Where?!"
My answer "Right in FRONT of you. Look around! Move things around."
Man looker answer, "It's not here. . .I can't find it. . . where?" (Mind you nothing has been moved around, just clueless male species looking around the thing that is literally right in front of their face.
My answer, "If I have to stand up and get it for you I'm going to ______________ (insert horrible death-like consequences)."

There are other equally important mom jobs like multi-tasking (cooking dinner under half an hour while folding laundry and paying bills, all while talking on the phone to our own mothers and checking homework and signing the planners). Other mom jobs: hiding money so that we actually have money saved for a rainy day, testing the milk to see if it's spoiled, organizing the linen closet every summer, and pulling new clothes out of the closet and passing them off as something we've had for a long time.

However, Pono, our almost 11 year old just reminded me the other day that there are some things that only dads can do, and one of them is to have very erudite and well thought out, philosophical answers to their sons' most pressing life questions. Case in point: we were watching the movie Dodgeball during dinner and the characters are trying to raise money to save their gym. One of the characters suggests that they sell their sperm.
Pono: "what's sperm?"
Mom: (suddenly has the urge to check on the jello)
Dad (after quickly pondering that great philosophical question and deeming the question a rite of passage teachable moment kind of question): "it's semen"
Pono: (nothing, he keeps eating).
And that is what only a dad can do.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

note that the fact that i cooked dinner tonight was somehow left out of that last post...the dad (and it is semen after all)

Maui Titah said...

E Cathy...your mana'o is right on! Don't forget the ancient Japanese saying I made up a few years ago, "Me no mae mono, mienai koto." Things in front of your eyes are invisible.
For my own kids, I would always ask, "is the uterus the source of all information? Look for it (whatever the it may be) yourself!!" This command is followed by blue words uttered their breaths, doors slamming, and resonant sighs.
What I am certain is that there is a God of Misplaced Things. When the God is angry (or I am under a lot of stress and send out too much negative energy...irritating the God of Misplaced Things), things get lost...usually important things like my wallet, large amounts of cash, an important document. I can search and search and cannot find the darn thing. I can turn the house upside down and cannot find the darn thing. I can lose sleep, dream of a possible location, wake up, and dash to the dream location and find that I cannot find the darn thing. When the God of Misplaced Things determines that I have suffered enough, then I miraculously find THE THING. Of course, I always find it in a place I would NEVER, EVER, EVER put it. This is the point at which I think the God of Misplaced Things goes into a full-on, gut-busting laugh fest, guffawing into eternity.
So much for lost things.

Liana said...

ALmost peed my pants on that one.