The Whoa-Man’s Touch

10 11 2010

A couple conversations have thusly arisen this week about the differences between the genders. I am an Enlightened Male in many regards where it comes to things feminine. This is not necessarily by choice. It’s simply that I was raised by she-wolves. My father died when I was 11, leaving me to fend for myself in a palace of estrogen (if I ever meet him again, I’ll kill him for that). Family life is best described as a constitutional patriarchy. My maternal grandfather symbolically ruled, but his duties were largely ceremonial, restricted to distribution of Hershey’s Kisses and peppermint Lifesavers. The effective head of government, the Duce who made the trains run on time seemed to be my grandmother.

So there is an inherent sense balance for me when it comes to gender roles. As per one of those conversations, things aren’t based on equality as much as they are based on similarity. Women do some things, men do others. Certainly there are areas of crossover. My bff Hottie is not only all woman, she thinks little of ripping apart a kitchen herself and rebuilding it from the studs out while still hitting the town as a stylin’ gangsta on Saturday nights. Suggest to her that there are things men can do that she can’t and she is likely to shoot you in the forehead with a nail gun while calmly wiping a bit of lipstick from her teeth.

On the other hand, men are designed for upper body strength so while there are indeed workarounds, men will always have a general edge when it comes to opening pickle jars on brute strength. (“kaPOW” goes the staple gun – thank god she lives across town).

I have some sense of that railing against traditional roles. My favourite power tools of the moment are my KitchenAid mixer and Braun hand blender. Crock pots and rice cookers see more action than band saws and routers in my life. I’ve had a woman break up with me because she never got over the fact that you give me two hours and a lump of ground beef and I could improvise Moroccan kafta skewers despite the fact I knew nothing about Morocco other than that it’s in Africa. I’m functionally an idiot savant in the kitchen, but the savant does outweigh the idiot when it comes to cooking.

Not-Mr.-CleanWhere I definitely lag behind the sisters is in the area of cleaning. In fact, I have done extensive research on this, despite the empirical evidence to the contrary demonstrated by Where I Live. Selling a house once, I went over it top to bottom in preparation for hockey buddy/realtor’s assessment. I was pleased. It was a lot of work and the results showed.

“Yeah we’ll get a cleaning lady in,” says realtor, “give that woman’s touch.”

WTF says I, or whatever we said before WTF entered the vocabulary. Okay, maybe I could have taken a toothpick and run it around the edge of the kitchen sink but he had to have been talking some pretty minor refinements here. When he left, I looked around but I still could not see where improvement could be had. While we were marketing this place I would come home from work when I didn’t need to be absent for showings and I would promptly hermetically seal myself in cellophane and remain motionless until it was time to leave so there was no way I could spoil the clean house effect.

There was no way I was going to come in second to the cleaning lady, so the day before she was due, I cleaned again.

Yeah, seems redundant, doesn’t it? This was big time battle of the sexes for me however, so nothing less than a note from the cleaning lady asking why she was hired to clean such a spotless house would be acceptable.

The day of her visit I came home and with trepidation opened the door.

You know those ‘after’ moments in commercials where there is a little gleaming star shining from the corner of an ultra spotless counter, accompanied by the ubiquitous “bling” sound to indicate that 99.9% of all household germs met a screaming painful death? That was my house.

It was a sad night as I wrapped myself in cellophane once more, and with an extra layer to protect the sheen of woman’s touch all around me. It was indisputable proof that I was a man. And that was truth that hurt.

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6 responses

10 11 2010
Chris Brown (not THAT Chris Brown)

Now I know why I LOVE meat and my wife eats the equivalent of a small SUV in salads every day. I get overwhelmed by cleaning. And if I leave it long enough, the wife will do it. Perfection is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Idiot Savants rule!

10 11 2010
shpak60

If there’s light at the end of the tunnel, the windows don’t need cleaning yet. Savants rule. Idiots drool. I have the best of both worlds.

10 11 2010
Joe

No comment necessary. I laughed until I cried.

10 11 2010
shpak60

I’m not sure you’re doing it right, then.

14 11 2010
SkypixieZero

Clean schmean. I am proud to be a true bachelor. If the dust bunnies aren’t big enough to attack in the night, it’ll do. Heck I even shower once a year, needing it or not!! When my socks walk to the laundry tub, blow off the dust and hop in, it’s time to go and buy new ones. Women are always going on about sweeping and mopping; don’t they know the 10 second rule?

14 11 2010
shpak60

I bought socks on Friday 😉

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