Saturday, August 21, 2010

Men vs. Women

I was 27 years old, a college graduate who had worked in my profession and spent 3 1/2 years in the Peace Corps, when I first realized the most basic difference between men and women.

I was working in my new job in a city several hours from where I grew up. I didn't know anyone, but I was excited to be living there. But then I left work one day and my car wouldn't start. My boss helped me jump the battery, and I drove it to a gas station for repairs.

When I got home, I called my parents.

"Dad, my car wouldn't start when I left work today," I told my father.

There was silence on the line. Finally he spoke.

"I'm not sure what I can do from here."

I laughed (because by then I could) and said, "It's okay, Dad, I don't need you to do anything. Could you put Mom on the phone?"

And that was where I finally understood the most fundamental difference between men and women, one that seems to run true no matter what the setting--home, work, friendships. That difference is this:

Men need to fix things. Women need to comfort.

This week seems to have been fine for Boy#4 except for Thursday, which was one of those Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Days that seem inevitable for new college students. The long days of Band Week were already taking their toll on his endurance when he was stung by a bee during practice. Then he realized that the $50 he had in his wallet had disappeared somewhere.

When he texted us about the money, Husband immediately called him.

"Are you sure it didn't fall out in your room? You'd better get in touch with your dorm staff and let them know, so that it's on the record in case anyone else has problems. Here, your mother wants to talk to you."

Then he handed the phone to me.

"Honey, I'm so sorry. That just stinks."

He's the fixer, I'm the soother. I like to think we're a pretty good team.

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