Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Am Affronted

I thought we, as a society, had moved beyond simplistic blanket statements about race, gender, blondes, and so on. But no, I got a slap in the face while reading the latest issue of AARP magazine (don't laugh, there are some great articles, and most of the pictures are of people so old it makes me feel pretty darn good...). There I was, in my most sacred sanctum, the bathroom/library; when I came across a review of Rachel Getting Married. Not a movie I'd see, except under extreme duress from a female companion; but I do tend to read everything in magazines when I'm "in the zone on the throne," so to speak. This article described a scene-stealing moment by actor Bill Irwin, in which he demonstrates "men's nearly universal preoccupation with the one and only correct way to load a dishwasher."
Again, well.
I speak here for myself, but if I must, I will also stand up for my brethren as I am sure we are all equal in our… affrontedness. There is, in fact, Only One Correct Way To Load A Dishwasher. How, exactly, do I know this? Because I Read The Directions that came with the dishwasher. That's right. I am aware that we, as a gender, are also accused of Never Reading The Directions. I will have you know that on most occasions... OK, sometimes... well, maybe if they are short enough and it's mostly pictures, I do indeed Read The Directions.
But hey, I'm a flexible guy, so let's be clear here, my goal is not rigid conformity--I just want a clean spoon. If you load the spoons down in the silverware tray, they might, well, spoon, and the water and detergent can't clean. There are other corrollaries that apply to plates and tall glasses, but if you, dear reader, insist on poo-pooing The Directions, I will defer and move on.
How about related "baseless" stereotypes?
About Not Reading The Directions. There is a reason we men don't do it: it hurts. That's right, physical pain, of the excruciating variety. But we are stoic and don't want to let on, so we wing it and sometimes get it right without enduring the torture. And by the way, sending warranty cards in is for wimps.
About Not Asking For Directions When Driving. This one is simple, we men know what you women don't--after asking directions, the fellow we asked is snickering. Yes, snickering, which somehow translates into the aforementioned physical pain.
About Not Asking Directions When Shopping. It's a lot like driving, but having worked in a hardware store, I can tell you there is both snickering and mealy-mouthing.
About Our Tendancy To Collect Used Fabric Softener Sheets. You'd best let this one lie, at least I'm doing the laundry.
About Not Going To Chick Flicks. You've got it wrong--men don't mind a chick flick as long as it's a comedy. Take us to a downer and we might cry--'nuff said. And might I add, we need to destroy all copies of "The Notebook" immediately.
I may have to rethink reading the AARP mag if they persist in promoting these hurtful statements! Oh, who am I kidding--the wife won't let me take anything else in the bathroom for fear it will get "spotty," whatever that means. Maybe the next issue will deconstruct the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to insist on some older models... well, its a thought.
As far as "Rachel Getting Married," now I'll have to see it, just to make sure that guy got the dishwasher right.

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