Sometimes men aren't real bright but they can be taught


Men and women are different and I’m not merely referring to the fact that men have more nose hairs, though they do, and upon aging if not kept shorn, grow into caterpillars that wave to passersby.

Men, consult your wife before passing along pertinent facts, and when you acquire details, relay those particulars to her. They’ll be useful in relevant situations, like during an argument with you, but it may be news she could really use. This is reason No. 346 why men should never make plans without consulting a woman.

Last spring, Esjae, our third son, who lives in Texas, called his dad and “claims” he said, “We are coming to see you and should be there July 18.” After hanging up from a lengthy conversation, Gar told me, and I quote, “Es said they’re thinking of coming here this summer sometime.” Disclaimer: No men were murdered in my house last summer.

It was a Sunday, and after a leisurely breakfast, we went to church. Arriving home, I fixed a bite of lunch and at 2:00 in the afternoon, sat down at my computer. I heard

Gar answer his phone, and soon he appeared in my office doorway and announced, “That was Es. They’ll be here in three hours.” My instantaneous reaction was cartoon-like; eyes bulging and a facial grimace as though I might have had a constipation problem. That quickly gave way to disbelief, heart palpitations and semi-panic, and I inhaled deeply for fear my head would begin to spin on my spinal column. I leapt up, all feet in the air, and left my clothes behind as I sprung forward, leaving only a breeze circling in the air behind me, then my clothes snapped back as if attached by rubber bands. Witnessing this, Gar probably considered hiding behind the door.

For some reason, mowing the lawn was my first thought. I never said I was sane and, in fact, have repeatedly told you, I am not. Knowing I’d never have time to get the lawn done and the other million things, I took a frantic breath trying to think. My pool boy was still on vacation, so I called my cute backup. Hearing my unhinged voice, he calmly said he’d be cutting my grass in 30 minutes. I told Gar – actually, I screeched – to get hamburger out of the freezer for chili, then mentioned we needed groceries. Gar didn’t know whether to put his hands in the air in surrender, or in front of him as a shield. He casually offered to go to the store, probably hoping I’d somehow grow a heart and be a nice person by the time he got back.

I raced to the kitchen and seeing the burger, a solid mass on the cupboard, wondered if Gar actually thought if left there, it would thaw like a Christmas miracle. I shoved it in the microwave and dashed to the linen closet. Gar was following me, not closely, and we looked at each other with the same thought, put the family of six in our bigger bedroom, Granny, who lives with them, in Gar’s office on the futon, and we’d sleep in the extra bedroom. Gar was thinking a doghouse would be more welcoming and wondered if we still had the one our long-deceased malamutes used to use.

Just after 5:00 p.m., the kids rolled in. The lawn was in a fancy diagonal, the dishwasher ran, laundry done, groceries bought, beds made, extra chairs put out and supper bubbled on the stove. The only thing I didn’t get done was to call the undertaker. Upon hearing the story of Gar’s omission of critical details, our other kids thought it was hysterical. Lunny, the daughter, laughed, “This is why women should always be involved in these conversations.” Really? I’ll be. Tug, first son, said, “Yikes, good thing you’ve got a store close by.” Through clenched teeth I replied, “And a mortuary.”

The next morning, second son, Tanner, called and asked what I was doing? I said, “Planning your father’s funeral.”

Did we have fun? Yes, we did. Did the kids even care if the lawn was mowed? No, they didn’t. Did they think I was a nut? Think? No, they’d concretely concluded that long ago.

As the kids left, I mentioned I was taking their dad out, and they thought I meant to lunch. Waving goodbye, I ominously turned to Gar, “I haven’t forgotten I’m mad and ‘take out’ means multiple things – food, dating, garbage...murder.”

Trena Eiden [email protected]

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