I have spent much of my life around the opposite sex. Five of them lived in our home and a whole army of them go on our mission trips. However, I must tell you that what I don’t know about women is a lot. They are mysterious creatures, yet if we men study their ways too closely and form generalizations, we get branded as “sexist.” For example I made the following list of Ten Things Women Get To Do and I’m guessing I’ll probably get in trouble with some female for it.
Women get to…
1. Shop for underwear and enjoy it.
2. Touch or even cuddle with each other without people thinking, “I wonder if she’s gay?”
3. Not really care much about cars or football (and yes, I know some of you do).
4. Take multiple showers in a day without being labeled obsessive-compulsive.
5. Have shoes for every outfit.
6. Have bags and bags of those stupid little cotton balls.
7. Have way more drawers for stuff than guys do.
8. Treat themselves to chocolate if they have a bad day.
9. Cry for no reason whatsoever and feel better afterwards.
10. Consider shopping without buying anything an accomplishment.
Yes, there are tomboys and iconoclasts, but before you write me off, recognize that most guys are absolutely clueless about women. We need generalizations like this to begin to make sense of a foreign land. Deprive us of our lists and we’ll just go off hunting somewhere and crack jokes as a defense mechanism.
I see this disconnect with women on our mission trip teams. Some guys who grew up without sisters are so brusque, smelly, and loud that their presence on the team is a continual challenge. Many are completely ill-equipped for the intricate task of navigating in the world of females. They are continually flummoxed and bamboozled and having to apologize in advance for their missteps just to avoid being banished from the team.
A few days ago I obliviously messed up in our household, causing a flood of tears. Fortunately a male friend of mine who understands women better than I do went and bought a bunch of tokens of remorse on my behalf – flowers, wine and cheese. Peace returned to the house.
We men need grace and if we’ve run out of that, often something tangible and sweet or pretty will communicate that we know we’re idiots.