Introduction to men and women

I am approaching thirty years in our emergency room.  I am not sure I can any longer recall patients I have seen, the histories I have taken.  Some histories are fascinating, some adding to my life education knowledge I never needed to know. The one constant that has remained throughout these years is that men and women are staggeringly different.  More important, those differences never diminish or go away.

One example of confusion is why women believe they can finish the job our mothers failed to finish? Do they honestly believe our mothers did not do their best, trying to raise us to adulthood? Nonetheless, women marry us with the premeditated intent of spending the entire marriage helping us grow and mature. And, for reasons that must be genetic, they never give up, despite all evidence to the contrary that they should. They never accept the reality that the peak of our maturity, the one time for which we muster all the maturity we will ever have, however slight that might be, is our wedding day. From that day forward we do our best to just hold our own but usually regress, despite our best efforts.  And, no amount of effort or caring or desire on our wives part can change that. We simply do not grow and mature throughout the marriage as women do.  At any age we pretty much live as a five-year-old; playing in the dirt, getting filthy, playing with guns, playing with trucks, dressing in camouflage, and the like. Think about it.  Have you ever seen a woman in her fifties purchasing a Microsoft X-box 360 with Call of Duty 4? In all honesty, the only change we make as we age is purchasing more expensive toys than we did at age five.

Something else I have observed over the years is the change that occurs with a man’s voice as the marriage matures. Invariably, at some point in the marriage either God removes a man’s ability to speak or his wife has him debarked. I went to examine a male patient whose wife of twenty some years was with him. He was sitting on the exam table so I sat down beside him. I asked him one question and for the next 15+ uninterrupted minutes his wife answered in staggering detail. When she finished, I put my arm around the man and asked him if he now understood how he felt, or if he would like her to explain it to him again? Similarly, I sat down to speak with a male patient in his nineties. His wife of some 70 years was sitting behind me in the corner. For ten minutes I asked this man questions and for ten minutes he did not get an expression on his face suggesting he was even listening, yet alone considering an answer!  All answers echoed over my shoulder from the corner of the room!  I finally asked him one last question.  I asked him how long he had been a deaf mute. The ninety-two-year-old woman got out of her chair and cuffed me on the back of my head while her husband responded, “Son, the last time I had anything meaningful to say was the 40s!”

Last, during my nearly thirty years in emergency medicine there is one statement I have never made to a woman, only to a man. I regularly find myself saying to a male patient, “What the hell were you thinking?” I have never asked a woman that question. Why are men so capable of stupidity but women are not?  I am reasonably certain if I was told a woman did something stupid I would believe it was a lie because women just don’t do stupid things like we men do.  I am convinced it requires a male mind to dream up something staggeringly stupid. Only a man would look at his buddies saying, “Hey guys.  Watch this! I’ll bet you can’t do it!” This is usually followed by getting in his pickup truck for the drive to the emergency room. And when a man does something stupid enough to end up in the emergency room there is almost always another person behind the feat, leading to the question, “What was her name and were you trying to impress her or were you mad at her?”  Last, if you want men to set new records of stupidity, it requires a team of men. Our ability to reach higher levels of stupidity does not increase in an additive way with more of us, it increases exponentially. 

I have a lot more to say on this subject, but I have to get back to Call of Duty 4. I must destroy the command post and kill the Nazis flanking our right.  Oh well, I can grow up tomorrow.

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