He Drives Me Crazy: Loving Our 21st Century Men This Father's Day

Only a man would try balancing the checkbook at 8:20 on a Saturday when our son has a 9:00 soccer game. Who does that? Who thinks the checking account has priority when there are shoes to put on, uniforms to dig out of laundry baskets and orders to be shouted at children who don’t function on Saturdays without them.

Men are just different from women. They think about things differently. But I guess that’s why we love them. They complete us. So in honor of Father’s Day let’s look at husbands and the things that only a man would do.
Listen to this narrative on NPR,

Only a Man Would…

… Hide Cooking Talent
By and large, even with our more evolved 21st Century men, the what’s-for-dinner responsibility still seem to mostly fall on women’s shoulders.

One day, my husband handed me a “Seared Scallops With Pumpkin Soup” recipe torn out of Men’s Health. It’s a bit out of character that we subscribe to Men’s Health (check out the Position Finder on the website). I believe he thought it was a magazine to help you workout. Anyway, he hands me this recipe. I saw the Men’s Health branding and gave it right back.

“You got this from Men’s Health?” I asked. He agreed. “Men’s Health,” I said pointing, “That means men can cook it.”

He could not deny that logic. He looked at the recipe. “What are scallions?” he asked. (I’m not making this up.) And sure I had to help him chop the hazelnuts and find the chicken broth. (I’m not making that up either.) But he made it. I’m still waiting for him to make it again. But celebrate the little victories.

… Survive in the Wild Without Grocery-Foraging Skills
Our two children are both in sports. So, we’ve been running crazy on weekends. Getting groceries has become a divide-and-conquer task. Most Saturdays, we shop together early at the organic store. Then I’ll run off to Wal-Mart or another errand and he puts the groceries away by himself. The first time he did it, I complimented him. I honestly thought he had no clue where everything went. (See story above.)

“You make it sound like I’m helpless,” he said. I replied that it took him 15 years of marriage to show this ability. He protested saying he took care of himself as a single guy.

“No you didn’t,” I replied. “Your roommate Mark took care of you.” Mark cleaned and made a mean Pasta Fajioli. “You went from your mom’s bosom to Mark’s to mine.” He just smiled and shrugged. It’s good work if you can get it.

… Believe an Obvious Urban Myth
The other day my husband was eating a handful of pistachios late at night. He justified it saying, “It takes as many calories to open a pistachio as it does to eat it.” He said this as if it were gospel.

I know where he’d heard it. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d made it up. It’s just one of those things we women say like “Shared desserts have no calories” or “Yelling at children on Saturday mornings has no long term effect on them.”

…Touch Your Heart When You Least Expect It
This spring our usual load of flower-bed mulch sat on our curb for weeks because our house was being painted. One Saturday afternoon, I took my son to a friend’s house and we were gone for several hours. When I came home the mulch pile was gone. Hooray! My husband and six-year-old daughter had spent the afternoon spreading mulch in our widowed neighbor’s yard. Her son’s getting married there this year and she’s doing all the work herself. My husband saw a need and filled it. And isn’t that just like a man?

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