Thursday, April 08, 2004

Men, Women and Babies
Yesterday's Dear Abby contained a letter to the following effect:

"When I date a man, I wine and dine him with gifts and candlelight dinners, but they never seem to be appreciated. Not only that, none of them ever do anything for me. I am always being stood up, heartbroken, used or taken advantage of."

I have a hard time believing people can be this dense, but I have seen evidence that they are. This woman has no doubt grown up believing men and women are essentially the same, No doubt she was raised to believe that as a woman she can just go out and get whatever she wanted, and her mother never mentioned that catching a man requires a certain amount of aloofness. So she just goes out and chases a man the way she'd like to be chased--and then is bewildered when it doesn't work.

But despite all kinds of attempts at cultural re-education, it turns out that Grandma was right all along. Men are pushovers, if you know how to handle them--but they can't be treated like women.

Unfortunately, our whole culture tends to make women by default responsible to take the initiative in the direction of a relationship, so no wonder they get confused as to who should do what. The modern relationship pattern seems to be for things to just drift along, the man getting as much as he can while committing as little as he can, until the woman insists upon having "The Talk" about what exactly is going on. Under the older pattern, men were generally expected to indicate their intentions at clearly-defined points. If they failed to do so, the woman usually had a father or brothers around to demand an explanation.

On other fronts, the knee is improving slowly, with much icing. I took the Rhogam shot yesterday, and while we were waiting for the post-shot checkup, we toured the Mother-Baby Center of the new hospital. Everything is brand spanking new, with private rooms with cushy chairs for everyone but me, nice big private bathrooms, and waiting cradles. Putting someone in one of those cradles is still beyond imagination.

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