Tuesday, May 08, 2007
On Being a Man
A four year old daughter of our friends has decided she would rather be a boy. She wants her hair cut short (it is long and easily tangled) and she would like to be able to pee standing up. I agree that the last would be convenient in public restrooms and out in the woods, but for me the best thing about being a man is that I wouldn’t have to carry a purse (pocketbook in the USA). If anyone were to invent an adequate substitute for a purse, he/she would earn my undying gratitude. There is the backpack, but this is even more inconvenient to carry to the grocery store. I have been experimenting with different ways to carry the necessities. Some years ago at a college reunion, I received a passport carrier you hang around your neck as a momento. It almost carries the necessities, and I have been using that recently. The trouble is that it doesn’t carry everything, so that, for example, I found myself at Blockbusters without the list I usually carry of the 50 or so films recommended to me for our new DVD player. As a consequence, we chose three films that proved not to be hits. One was The March of the Penguins. Bill doesn’t like animal documentaries at the best of times, but said he, “This not only was about animals, it was about animals that were suffering.” Another one was a sappy version of Emma in which Mr. Knightly was played by a movie star no one who had cherished the book would regard as even remotely Mr. Knightly-ish. The third one we chose only because it had the word Harvard in it and was in the comedy section, Stealing Harvard, and it proved to be silly and funny, just what we need. Of course if I were a man, I probably wouldn’t have cluttered up my pants pockets with a list of movies. The cardiac specialist who was looking after Bill pulled a lip balm out of his white coat pocket and applied it while he was talking to us. That did make me wonder what else was in that pocket.