This might be a news flash for you. But men just think differently than women. I know, I know, I am probably the first to make that astute observation.
But recently I saw this difference while watching a dedicated father do an intervention with his four year old daughter. I say dedicated because he was carrying three sets of downhill skis while walking uphill toward the ski resort base with his two young daughters trotting closely behind.
“Ohh, what a good daddy,” I warmly thought. He’s shouldering a heavy load so that he can spend some quality time with these chatty young offsprings.
But, then he stops, sends one daughter ahead to catch up with the mother, and turns to the whiny four year old. “If you don’t change your attitude, young lady, you’re going to spend the day behind THAT door. Do you really want to spend the day behind THAT door?” No response from the little girl. “Well, do you want that?” intoned the father a little louder this time. Still nothing.
Then the father wisely, if belatedly, inquired, “Can you read what’s on that door?” Between sniffs, the little girl slowly shook her blond curls side to side. “Oh,” says Super Dad. “It says Day Care” And on went the threat that was probably muted somewhat by my chuckling.
I don’t know how it happened but I went from the youngest of my friends to old. Eyelids started to sag; gray became the dominant hair color. Old moved in on me. It happened without me even agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.
One minute I went from having to sneak into Nebraska bars with my husband because I wasn’t 21 to bar bouncers refusing to card me even though the sign proclaimed “We card everyone 40 and under.” Surely, I consoled my fifty something self, I could pass for 40 or at least 40’ish. When the cocktail waitress replied, “No thank you, ma’m” to my offer to show my ID, I knew it was time to drown my sorrows in chardonnay or find some humor in this aging process.
You see I’m pretty good at finding something to chuckle about even in the dark times. Ashamedly, I found this out about myself as a grief-stricken 10 year-old in the mortician’s limo during my grandfather’s funeral procession. The somber black Lincoln had just been rear-ended in Dallas traffic and we were going to be late for the church services. While all the grievants were knashing teeth after this fender knashing, all I could think of was a parody of the “My Fair Lady” song so that the words morphed into, “I’m getting buried in the morning.”
Or when my son’s first grade teacher railed on about my son coming in muddy after recess, I had to stifle a chuckle. The image of this fastidious woman having swept a first grade classroom expecting first graders, especially first grade boys on a rainy day, to not come in with a little of the brown stuff in the soles of their genuine imitation Air Jordans seemed oddly funny.
So, surely together we can find something to chuckle about during this aging process and the crazy world around us even as I get to know my thigh’s constant companions, cellulite, and learn that widgets are not female midgets.