Gut Rumbles

January 20, 2008

Boys and girls

Originally published December 10, 2003

I stayed at a very nice house in Augusta one year when I went to watch The Masters golf tournament. We left the course that evening and took the long way back to the car so that I could see all of the golf course. I saw the greenskeepers spraying green food coloring on the grass to make it appear better on the TV cameras than it really was.

I stopped and told Jennifer, "Look at that. They are PAINTING the greens."

"So?" she replied. "It looks really pretty."

When we got back to the house, several couples gathered on the back porch for drinks and conversation. One couple had a five year-old daughter. She found a hammer, a pot full of dirt and a small gardening tool. She went down the stairs, picked some flowers, and planted them in the pot full of dirt. She used the little gardening tool as she hummed a song. She ignored the hammer. She made things look "pretty,"

I watched her work and told Jennifer, "You know what a boy would do in this situation? He would go for the hammer first, break the goddam pot, then see how far he could throw the pieces off this porch. If there was an animal running around in the yard, he'd see if he could hit it with a good throw. He wouldn't be planting any goddam flowers. Plus, he would end up with every bit of that dirt on him or in his drawers before he was finished playing."

Jennifer didn't believe me at the time (she's a woman--what can you expect?), but after Quinton came along, she saw my wisdom. My boy was all boy and he came out of the box NOTHING like a girl.

Quinton was two years old when I reminded Jennifer of that conversation we had in Augusta. "Watch this," I said. I laid out a rubber hammer, a teddy bear and a book on the floor. "Okay, Quinton," I said. "What do you want to play with?"

Quinton picked up the hammer first, beat the shit out of the teddy bear with it, while making TEE-YAH noises, then pretended to read the book. I turned to Jennifer and said, "I rest my case."

Men are from Mars and wimmen are from Venus.

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