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Perk up, men...we've finally lived up to women's expectations

September 19, 2005|by TIM ROWLAND

Commentary

Ah, but it is the dawn of a great and wonderful century for us guys. Never before have the fates smiled on our gender with such warmth and understanding, never has our future looked so bright or our prospects so rich. It is a great time to be a man.

And no, I am not speaking about the multitude of new electronic technologies, all-inclusive sports television packages or the popularity of Texas Hold'em. This is something far more basic and something far more valuable to our station and purpose in life.

This flash came to me upon my return to home and work after a 10-day absence. To my surprise, the reactions to my reappearance in both establishments were virtually identical.

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At home, the women of the house said, "Oh good, he's back - he makes the coffee."

At work, the women of the office said, "Oh good, he's back - he makes the coffee."

It was true. Being an early riser, I make the first pot of coffee both at home and in the newsroom. Not, frankly, to suit anyone else's needs, but to keep me alert and focused long enough to do some writing before my Adult AID (Attention Indifference Disorder) kicks in.

But these women's identical-twin statements hit me with the force of a clever vegetarian bumper sticker. Dazed, I sat down and wiped my forehead with the sleeve of my shirt. My eyes misted over before my bosom swelled with unrestrainable joy and I my head filled with hosannas on high as I raised my arms skyward and sang:

"Gentlemen, We Have Won! We finally won!"

Yes, remember this date in history, because - after years of struggle - we have managed to lower a woman's expectations to the point where her general, overall acceptance level of us is met by producing a simple pot of a hot, caffeinated beverage. They cared about nothing else. I made the coffee. That was good enough.

How beautiful is that? The bar has been set so low for us men that all we really have to do is: 1.) Hang around and 2.) Make the coffee. Women, apparently, have stopped expecting us to do more. Only a matter of time, I suppose, although I do not mean to suggest that it has been easy work wearing them down all these long centuries.

I praise the men who have gone before us - our fathers, our grandfathers, Andy Capp - all the men who have clung dutifully to the couch in the face of gale-force kvetching, ignoring female calls to responsibility. Theirs has not been an easy task, for they lived in a time when women Expected More. Yet through their sacrifice, we males have achieved our nirvana.

Women have finally moved on. They've learned not only that they can manage affairs for themselves, but that they can manage them better. Much better. To that end, they've just really stopped caring a whole lot about what we do.

We men have become like pets. We exchange affection, and if we can do a trick, such as making coffee, so much the better. It's like telling your dog "Sit!" or "Fetch!" It's cool if they do it, but no big deal if they don't.

Women look at us and say "Brew!" And when we do, they say "Good Boy!"

Imagine trying to explain this new order to one of the early, male hunter-gathers, upon whom the females depended so heavily.

"Hey dig this, Wog, you know how you have to leave the cave for months at a time tracking game in the freezing cold through piles of glacial scree, and then when you finally get a woolly mammoth or something cornered you're supposed to kill it with a weapon the size of a No. 2 lead pencil, and then you have to drag the carcass back home through a mountain pass just to keep Mrs. Wog off your back for another two weeks before she sends you back out to do it all over again?"

"Oouug."

"Well, imagine this. In about 20 million years, all that the female will require of the male is that he throw some ground beans into a pot, fill it with tap water and throw a switch."

"Oouug?"

"Tap water, tap water, It's a - never mind, not important. The point is, one day the male will not be called upon to walk around all day stuffing acorns into his cloak. He will be able to spend his days lolling about the cave - he will call it a batcave, probably - with his feet up with nothing the least bit strenuous to do. Wouldn't that be sweet?"

"Ooooouuuuug."

Yes, that day has come, and we men stand before all of civilization unencumbered by the burdensome and mundane shackles of performance that have dogged us yea oh these many years. The time is here when we can sit back and accept, nay, celebrate, our complete worthlessness and unimportance to the female species. So let the word go forth for now and all time that our tireless struggle has resulted in the paradise that we most assuredly deserve! Hurrah!

He makes the coffee. Sheesh.

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