A Traitor in the Gender Wars

14 12 2008

Read the last few posts and you’ll notice something missing. That’s right, a vagina. Mrs. Blister, our family’s head writer and CEV (Chief Executive Vagina), has been on sabbatical in the world of pain and it has been left to me, our family’s one and only NVM (Non Vagina’ed Member) to fill in.

As is customary for NVs, (AKA men), when put under pressure, we make jokes. Don’t ask me why but when we men don’t know whether to laugh or cry, we always laugh. Or fart.

(In this gender bending age, it’s nice to know there’s one reliable method of determining someone’s sexual identity: watch how they react to a difficult situation. Any attempt at humour strongly suggests the presence of a Y chromosome.)

So here I am, making jokes. Laughing. Farting. Doing what we men are supposed to do. So what does it mean when I find myself fighting back tears over a sad story in the morning paper? Why is a lump growing in my throat as I watch appeals for African relief flash across our TV screen? Where are the jokes? Where are the farts? Are they gone forever?

No. But after a decade of immersion in the world of women, things are changing. For those of you who don’t know, I’m surrounded by women. My wife is one. My three daughters are too. Our cat, our fish, and our minivan* are also all female. My only true friend I’ve kept since my grade school years is female. In my pre-homemaker life, I worked in a store otherwise completely staffed by women and serviced by an army of sales reps who, despite working in a male-dominated industry, somehow all happened to be women.

What does it all mean? I don’t know. But I do think I’ve gained something. I’m not always sensitive, but I’m more sensitive. I’m not always thoughtful, but I’m more thoughtful. I don’t always see our children’s bad behavior as an invitation to discipline. More and more, I see an invitation to nurture.

And that’s why I’m a traitor. If there is a gender war, I’m on your side ladies. Somehow, slowly, you are wearing away at my insensitive, thoughtless, smart-ass and replacing it with “feelings”. I’m so grateful. What’s left is a better father. I can see it in my children. I can see how much happier and more comfortable they are when I’m “feeling” it. And it’s enough to make me cry.

                        * If you are crazy, like us, and you give your vehicles names, you’ll know how this is possible. Our 2005 Pontiac Montana’s name? Patricia Dishwasher. Don’t ask me why, it just is.

 

ps Happy Birthday Mom! (Another great woman in my life.) I love you!

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6 responses

14 12 2008
Katie

We need more NV’s with “feelings”. Good for you:)
P.S For no other reason than lack of creativity, our Pontiac Montana’s name is “Hannah”…..yuck.

14 12 2008
nanny

These are lucky kids! Having two parents who try to understand where they are coming from .You don’t get that very often as a kid. Living in a place where a lot of dads have to go thousands of miles ,for months at a time,to keep a roof over the families’ heads, we often hear of mothers being both parents to the children. It is great to hear of a male parent who has chosen, by times, to be there for his kids in both roles. Well done Mr.Blister!

14 12 2008
Nana

Our “van” is named Joel. and Matthew I am so proud of who you are right now. Thanks for the birthday call.

14 12 2008
Jane

Your Mama and all the other women In your life have rubbed off well,….MY pontiac montanas name is Knotavan….I’m in denial that I’m a mini van driving soccer/Hockey/kid transporter…Mama….But I love it

15 12 2008
domesticblister

Hey, Mr. You DO have a dishwasher! Patricia Dishwasher!

15 12 2008
Mr. Blister

Technically, Patricia’s not ours, she belongs to the bank.
Also, since I am ‘the dishwasher’ and you thought my name was ‘Pat’ when you first met me, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if you named her after me…

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