It’s no wonder men have been feeling emasculated and underappreciated. Their value in our culture has been steadily depreciating ever since Rosie picked up her riveter. We women have come to judge our mates’ usefulness in terms of dishes washed or feet massaged, rather than recognizing, and celebrating, their uniquely masculine qualities. Go ahead, take advantage of a husband! We forget how useful they can be when we’re faced with a stubborn pickle jar, or a set of chilly sheets. Sometimes, a gal just needs something solid to lean on whilst she ties her shoes.
It was 6am on a Saturday morning when I threw four generations of feminism to the wind and finally called for help. “Geeeorge, can you come to the bathroom for a sec?”
I heard him groan, then sigh, then drag himself out of the cozy bed in the next room – where he’d generously been donating his time to the warming of sheets. The man knew better than to ask me, Why? I’m a writer; the occasional crisis, existential or otherwise, is part of my job description. He came around the corner, my knight in shining… um… um… Anyways, he was as prepared as any less-than-dressed, half asleep man can be when trudging to the rescue.
George is a fellow who takes things in stride. Finding his half-naked wife squatting over the bathroom sink with a broom braced against the far wall didn’t seem to faze him in the slightest. I, on the other hand, was mortified. How, I ask, can one ever regain one’s position as an object of desire after having been caught in such a ridiculously undesirable position?
There we were, our own prehistoric human display in the heavily linoleumed museum of our apartment, me with my blue plastic (microfiber tipped) spear and him with his cro-magnon brow furrowing deeper by the second. He kept the disgruntled, glazed look as I explained that there was a GIANT spider under the head of the broom and that I was too scared to check if it was dead.
My brave husband humored me. He took over at the broom handle and waited till I’d scurried down the hall before lifting the head off the wall.
“Is it dead?” I called from the distant safety of the living room.
“I don’t know,” he answered slowly. “There’s nothing there.”
He was right. There was no trace of the spider, no stray limbs, no tell tale smear. After a thorough examination, I turned to George and said those seven magical words: “Let us never speak of this again.” He nodded, and we both went back to bed, into those lovely pre-warmed sheets.
Later in the day, I thought I saw the same spider creeping behind the toilet, but I left it alone. Sure, it’s great to take advantage of your man, even healthy for his masculine pride, but it’s my own pride I’m worried about. Ever try sucking in your gut while squatting on a counter wearing ratty granny panties? No? Can’t think why not? My kingdom for a loincloth! Now, let us never speak of this again.