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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Difference Between Boys And Girls, Part 2

It is 7:20 AM PST and my son just switched on a podcast called "How To Make Yacht Wheels". I know, yachts have wheels? was my reaction, too. I would have quite probably gone my whole life without knowing or caring about the existence of yacht wheels, much less how to make them. Neither I nor my daughter would ever get it into our heads to listen to a program explaining how something was made we had neither seen nor knew existed.

This kid has been building stuff since he was 4 or 5 using any materials he could get his hands on, whether they were part of some other functioning entity or not. He was responsible for our move from VHS to DVD when he decided he needed part of the electrical cord from our DVD player and simply cut it off, thankfully when it was unplugged. I have to admit, I was remiss in my duties as a mother and had not included "not shearing off portions of the power cord while something is plugged in" as part of my "dangers of electricity" mantra because it had simply never occurred to me that this was something anybody would ever do. We got lucky. It does shed a little light on the reasons boys have higher mortality rates than girls, though.


The wedding invitation. My husband received a wedding invitation from an employee addressed to him and "guest". This was not a slight, weren't married at the time, but I had spotted the unopened linen envelope immediately and opened it right away. Sure enough, inside was the full set of wedding invitation, and it was dangerously close to the date of the event. I told him that he absolutely must respond, whether he intended to attend or not and I would do it for him, if he would just tell me what to reply. As he couldn't make it, he declared he would just tell his employee (the groom), he couldn't make it - i.e. no need to send back the little linen RSVP card in its little linen RSVP envelope.

How could he know that those items were the product of weeks, possibly months of research, discussion and agonizing over the final choice of the perfect invitation by the bride and her mother, sisters, friends etc. He could never understand the significance of those little invitations, nor notice whether they were actually eggshell, not oyster shell, white.

Furthermore, regardless of his stated intention to simply tell his employee that he could not attend the wedding, the likelihood that this information would never reach the ears of the bride was close to 100%, given the odds that either he or the groom would forget to pass it along. Finally, even if by some miracle, the bride was informed, not having the little card to put in the "can't attend" stack would cause unnecessary grief and stress for the bride, and ultimately the groom, as she frantically counted and recounted the little cards to make sure the correct numbers were given to the caterers. She would not forget that he had not bothered to return the most important RSVP card of her life. Hell hath no fury.


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