Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll titles this one LET ME GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE…She writes:

I don’t care if you are a sane person who understands that there are two, and only two, “genders,” or more accurately, “sexes” (M & F), or if you are convinced that there are dozens of genders or none at all. It is – more or less – a free country except on college campuses, and you can believe what you want.

But if you are looking for advice on any particular topic, let me give you the benefit of some wisdom gleaned from my many decades upon this wacky planet.

If you want short, practical solutions to a problem at hand, ask a man.

If you want to just vent, or be listened to without even coming close to solving the problem, consult with a woman. In fact, there is substantial research claiming that that is precisely what women want when they ask a man about, say, a vexing issue at work. They just want him to listen; they do not want him to “solve” it. Further, it will even make the woman angry at the man if he tries to solve it. Talk about sandbagging someone!

So a woman (let’s call her Gwynivere, since I’ve never known anyone by that name), will complain to her girlfriend, Lucille, that Judy at work is sabotaging her, taking credit for her work, and possibly even using her coffee cup in the break room.

Lucille will make good eye contact, listen intently and pat her hand and together they will discuss all the times they have been upset by coworkers. There may be tears; there may be hugs; there will almost certainly be chocolate, possibly cocoa or herbal tea, and the ladies will feel much better.

Later that evening, Gwynivere might mention to her husband, Ralph, for the four- or six-hundredth time that she does not like Judy at work who is sabotaging her, taking credit for her work, and Ralph will sigh, look up for a nanosecond from online poker or ESPN and say, “As I see it, you can either confront Judy, or document your complaints and go to a manager, or you can quit.”

There. Several different paths, each with different consequences. But, of course, Gwyn did not want ideas that would force her to act. She wanted sympathy. Ralph has made that mistake once again (doh!) and is mystified by her frosty reaction to his suggestions for certain activities later in the evening.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the general gender breakdown on this. No Mars-Venus paradigm is perfect. My women friends tend to be engineers, veterinarians, I.T. People, lawyers, data-driven, gun-totin’ broads. While I love far-ranging conversation with all types of ladies, even the more touchy-feely among us, I do not enjoy beating any horse, but particularly a dead horse. Is that, by the way, not a thoroughly repulsive metaphor? I prize logic; love quick, practical solutions, and moving on in a sprightly manner.

And so, when my friend Angela (an engineer), who is a spectacular person though not a cook, asked me how long tuna salad would keep, I told her for sure 4 or 5 days with proper refrigeration. Now, as it happened, The Paranoid Texan was also on the patio when this conversation took place and he said, “Tuna salad will keep until it is gone.” No slave to variety, the Paranoid Texan will fix a giant vat of tuna salad which includes hard-boiled eggs, and there’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for many days. Many.

This segued – as it naturally would while drinking – into a discussion of the proper way to fold contour (fitted) sheets. I said there was actually a Utube video of the proper way to fold a contour sheet and that long before Utube, my mother had attempted to show me how dozens of times to no avail. I further asserted that, unless the NSA is going to include linen closet inspection along with their electronic snooping (it’s just a matter of time…), that just balling the damn thing up and stuffing it into the closet is good enough for me.

Once again, The Paranoid Texan offered the male viewpoint: “What folding? You take it out of the dryer and put it back on the bed.” I said, “But I have several sets of sheets and I like to rotate them.” And the PT, who is every bit as sensitive as he is paranoid said, “That’s just stupid. You use one set till they wear out and get another set on Amazon.”

It’s hard to argue with logic like that even when sober. When Mr. Ammo Grrrll came out on the patio to bring out more bourbon, I informed him of the New Sheet Plan going forward and he said, “We have more than one set of sheets?”

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