Friday, April 15, 2011

Tears: The Last Resort Weapon in the Arsenal

In spite of the great strides in gender equality over the last decades, there remains a common belief that doesn’t necessarily further the notion of Women’s Lib:  Most folks still think that men are stronger. 

Well, I believe that the “men are stronger” statement needs a little more qualification before it can be agreed upon or disagreed with.  Yes, there is a very good chance that men, as a gender, are physically stronger than women.  There’s the whole hunter/gatherer concept and I certainly don’t know nearly enough to call hundreds of years of apparently valid scientific hypotheses into question, so...

Man Stronger—Ooh, Ooh, Ooh!

Of course there is another facet to the argument of strength:  Are men mentally stronger than women?  Well, I would first submit to you that any female who qualifies under the rigorous strictures of Diamond Magnolia status is a damn sight smarter and tougher than anyone else that you would ever come across in your entire life.  That being said, I don’t really know about the intelligence of the genders.  At the risk of sounding like all of that Mars and Venus crap, I think that—at the very least—we operate in different ways. 

Men can certainly confound women.  Can I get an Amen???  Never, ever send a man to have a conversation with someone if you are interested in getting actual pertinent information.  If you want more than a “yes,” “no” or “maybe” you’d best go and do it yourself.  One also has to wonder about a gender that can’t seem to remember to put the toilet seat down and their dirty socks in the hamper.

Yes, men can most certainly make a woman want to tear her hair out, but women aren’t left without defense.  As a matter of fact, women have one round in their arsenal that is powerful and versatile enough to use as either an offense or defense:  Tears.

Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that the “Y” chromosome is either completely incompatible with and/or allergic to female tears.  I’ve noticed that men tend to act one of two ways then presented with a crying female:  (1) Flap around in bewilderment like a chicken with its head cut off; or (2) Run for the hills and never look back. 

Now, I am in no way suggesting that crying should be used as a weapon except in very exceptional circumstances—such as raising a D to a B in a macro-economics class or getting out of a speeding ticket in the middle of the night when you are supposed to be home and snuggled into bed.  Still, little Belle’s don’t know all of the rules yet.

Poor, poor Scott.  As I’ve told you before, Scott is the only man in the Council household.  He has his wife, two daughters and two female dogs.  It can be sociologically fascinating to watch him tread water in the ocean of estrogen in his desperate bid to keep from drowning. 

There is no doubt that Baby Belle 1 in the worst offender.  My Lord, the girl cries when she when she can’t find her damned shoes.  We’re not talking about crocodile tears, either.  No, she has to take her glasses of so she “doesn’t get tears on them.”  There’s snot and the whole nine yards.  To be honest, Baby Belle’s drama makes all of us roll our eyes and/or shake our heads in defeat, but it really puts Scott at a loss.

Just this past weekend, we had another episode of the “Attack of the Tears.”  Baby Belle 1 had Field Day at her school on Friday, so she was more tired than usual and the stage was set.  That evening, we all piled in the car to head up to Raleigh for the weekend.  Scott’s car has DVD screens on the back headrests of both of the front seats and that God for them, but I find them to be a little too complicated at times.

Baby Belle 1 couldn’t get things to work to her satisfaction and the torrent started:  “I CAN’T GET IT TO WORK!  IT WON’T WORK AND I’M TRYING AND I DON’T!  KNOW!  WHAT!  TO!  DO!”

Scott:  What?


Scott:  Well, why in the world are you crying?


Scott:  Well, you don’t cry about it!


Scott:  But, don’t...well, there’s no crying about it! 

It was at this point that I could no longer contain my giggles.  Scott didn’t see the humor.  Go figure.

In spite of my laughter, I do feel sorry for Scott.  Of course, there are times when he knows he’s walking into a landmine and I don’t have a one lick of pity for him.  If one can’t foresee that a snowball fight with little girls has a high likelihood of ending in tears, get what you deserve.  Furthermore, if you don’t throw the occasional Wii game every now and again, you’re doing nothing more than poking a stick at a snake.

Scott can’t get any peace when it comes to Man’s Best Friend, either.  We have Desi (the psycho Chihuahua) and Lola (the dog of questionable lineage, but allegedly part German Shepherd).  Desdemona is six pounds of fire and fury and Lola is around forty pounds of hyperactivity.  Basically, that means that Desi can sit in Scott’s lap and Lola can’t.  So what happens when Desi hops up to snuggle down with Scott?  Lola sits by the two of them and literally whines and cries the entire time.

Poor Scott can’t win for losing.  

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