nearly twenty months we have finally sold our home and will be moving in a week
or so. I say a week or so, because it isnít me that is in charge of this move.
Itís my wife. The responsibility is on her shoulders, hers alone.
other morning, I was wandering around the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee and
looking at the collection of boxes, paper, tape and bubble wrap. I made a comment
to my wife and told her that I didnít seem to find any rhyme or reason to her
method of packing all of our stuff. It looked to me as if she was working in all
of the rooms at one time. My method would be to do one room and then go to another.
She placed her hands on her hips (a sign I have tried to avoid ) and told
me in very low and pleasant tones that it had been her that had moved us at any
time in the past and that she knew what she was doing and I should just stay out
of the process. In other words, go away and let me do this. I am womanÖI am in
charge. Hear me roar.
Weíve been together coming up on thirty eight years.
I know the hands on the hips stance and have learned that it generally does not
bring happy tidings. I also know that she is correct in saying that it has been
her that has supervised our previous moves. I must have momentarily lost my mind
when I questioned her packing style and methods. I could plead insanity and would
certainly win in a court of law.
I suppose my moment of temporary insanity
occurred when I started thinking about all of the stuff we have to move. Years
ago, I would just throw most of it away, but with the advent of E-Bay and Craigslist,
you donít want to do that any longer. People will pay good money for some of the
things you used to sit out by the curb and pray the trash guys will load up. Thereís
gold in that thar trashÖ.
So, Iíll stay out of her way and weíll get moved
and then Iíll try and sell what we donít want or canít use once we get where we
are going. Makes sense to me.
One thing I do know, men should be aware
of their limitations and not try and attempt functions beyond their abilities.
For example, I donít think a man should ever give birth to a child. Men are just
not built for this and should never attempt to do it under any circumstances.
I feel exactly the same about changing diapers.
Men are good at things
such as football, rugby, baseball, auto repair and hunting, but they should not
involve themselves in activities which are the domain of the female sex. Moving
from one house to another is clearly well beyond my personal capabilities. I was
trying to put together some boxes for my wife this weekend and did not manage
to do them the way she does. So, I have failed box making. My personal self esteem
was lowered, but I know that somehow Iíll manage to get over it. Obviously the
learning curve is just too steep for me to attempt at this late in the day. I
have to admit that Iím completely over my head on this project. When it comes
to the operation of the tape machine, Iím all thumbs and cannot seem to get the
thing to work like she does. Iím in awe of her prowess and box making ability.
You go girlÖ..
No, I think my role is to just stand back and observe her
methods. Perhaps throw in some words of encouragement and bring home some take
out food from the place down the road. For me and certainly for millions of other
men like me, this is hard for us to do. To just stand idly by and do nothing makes
us feel, wellÖ.useless. But what can we do? By the time we get up to speed on
the mysteries of packing and moving, itíll be too late. I suppose the best we
can do is to just swallow our pride and watch in awe how the process moves along.
As much as I hate it, Iíll just go to work and keep out of her way while
she continues to perform this incredible task. I love her pioneer spirit as she
effortlessly wraps the dishes and breakables. I could have signed her up for a
wagon train to California when the gold rush was going on and she would have handled
it with ease.
No, I think Iím totally out of my league here and should
just keep my mouth shut and be quiet, if I know whatís good for me.
Letters From North America February
18, 2009 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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