Caution: Men Working

My dad and I just finished a garden retaining wall / walkway project we started a few months ago.  We worked on it diligently every weekend it wasn’t raining and this weekend, finished it in the drizzle.  We built a 5-block high retaining wall and dug out a walkway three inches deep at forty by five feet.  It was a big project.

As we were finishing up, in the rain, shoveling river stone and sweating like the out-of-shape men we are, my mom popped out on the deck and said, “Looks great!  I think you need more rock.”

My dad and I looked up at her and immediately said, “We know.  We’re not done.”

“We’re getting another half scoop,” my dad said.  We were spreading the first scoop and had already assessed we needed an additional half scoop to finish.

“I think you need a whole scoop,” Mom said.

We didn’t falter.  “No, we need a half scoop.  We already figured it out.”  We had talked about maybe getting another full scoop but decided we only needed a half.  Now the decision was definitely made.  We were getting a half scoop.

My mom insisted that we come up on the deck to see what she saw, that we needed a full scoop.  I leaned on my shovel and said, “We’ve already decided to get a half scoop.  We don’t need another look from anywhere.  We’re down here working in it, we can tell how much more we need.”

Truthfully, we had filled up 3/4 of the dug-out walkway with a full scoop.  So a half scoop would be more than enough to finish.  I have a BS in Math and Computer Science.  I’m not incapable of figuring a simple volume problem.

And plus, we’re men, doing men’s work.  Get out of our way and let us do men’s work.

Women have already invaded everywhere that men had for themselves.  There’s almost no such thing as a men’s school now.  But there are all-women’s schools.  (For the record, I don’t mind this.)

Women wear pants now and boxers and other traditionally men-only clothes.  We don’t wear dresses and make-up and carry pocketbooks.  These devices are left only for women.  (And some episodes of Seinfeld.)

Women can even enter the men’s locker room after a game, in the name of journalism.  But men are perverts if we try the same in the women’s locker room.  (And truthfully, we would be perverts about it but that’s not the point.)

My point is that women have taken all things held sacred by men and made those things theirs too.  Don’t even get me started on sperm banks and artificial insemination.  Hell, you even make us talk about our feelings.  Nothing is solely ours any more.

But please, oh please, let men do men things.  We’re good at them.  We’re made for them.  That’s what we’re here for.

If we ask for your opinion on how something looks, just exclaim that it’s beautiful and you love it.  Don’t offer us advice on how to fix it or make it better or finish it.  That’s our job.  Men are the fixers in the world.  Even the wacko fru-fru psychologists agree on that point.

Let men do men things.

My dad and I finished the walkway and I must say, it looks great.  Just before he headed out to get the last load of stone, he said, “Maybe we ought to get a 3/4 scoop?  Some of that stone will settle and it can’t hurt to have a little extra.”

“Yeah,” I said.  “Sounds good.  But we definitely don’t need a full scoop.”

“Yeah, that’s ridiculous.”


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Dec 20, 2008