This column is likely to get me in trouble because it excludes women. I'm doing so because they won't get it, and worse, if they read it, will probably accuse me, and much of my gender, of insensitivity. So I'm writing it exclusively for other males. All women are hereby requested to stop reading.
All right - is it just us? Fine.Lately, we've been bombarded with books about the need to better understand women by getting in touch with our own nurturing sides. The way to do that, we're told, is to at last emerge from our boys-will-be-boys stage, where we revel in being alternately macho or sloppy. That's immature '50s stuff. This is the '90s. It's time, we're told, to grow up and evolve.
Well, what the authors of these books don't understand is that our base interests are not '50s holdovers, or signs of immaturity, they're who we are.
And it's simply not worth trying to explain that to women. So that's what this column is about: Things about us women will never grasp.
- They will never understand the pride we have in parallel parking perfectly into a tight spot on the first try - it's about the same feeling primitive men had when they killed a woolly mammoth - and how much it hurts when our partners roll their eyes after we crow about it.
- They won't see that when sitting side by side on airplanes or at movie theaters, if we don't get the arm rest, we will feel we've allowed our woman to dominate us.
- They also don't get that when they give us any advice while driving, what we hear is not, "Pay attention, that car's changing lanes in front of you," but rather, "I have no respect for you as a man."
- They'll never understand the draw of James Bond films. And how, secretly, we still hold out hope of being called by M one day and being told Her Majesty wants to recruit us as a double-0 agent.
- They'll never figure out why messy desks make us happy. And why it's illogical to object to our hanging trousers from closet door tops.
- Not to mention that they'll never see how pointless we feel it is to lift the lid of a laundry hamper when it's just as easy to dump dirty clothes on top of it.
- They'll never appreciate, as we do, the absurdity of coasters.
- They won't ever understand why we see no point in spreading margarine with a knife when you can directly scrape a piece of bread across the top of an open tub.
- And how rational it is to empty pockets of change and other objects on the front hallway counter top.
- They won't ever be able to see how important it is to us, while alone in the kitchen clearing the dinner table, to toss half-eaten cookies, spears of broccoli and even baked potato skins at the trash can from five yards to score two points.
- They'll never conceive why, when sent to the grocery store for three items, we're incapable of coming back with less than 15. They always accuse us of indulgence, without discerning that the caveman part of our brains sees the A&P as The Hunt.
- Finally, they won't appreciate how important it is for us to be asked at least once a week to open a jar for them - even if they don't really need help.
- Oh, and one more item: The old issue of our refusing to stop to ask directions. This may be the ultimate symbol of what women see as odd male rigidity. To those females who violated the ground rules of this column and continued reading, let me try to explain once and for all. Deep down, men see one of our key gender roles as logistical navigation. To admit we're incapable of that would undermine our . . . I mean it would . . . oh, forget it. There are things you'll just never understand.