This past weekend I had my son and my future son-in-law with me at the cottage. It was just the three of us, so testosterone had the lead over estrogen the entire time.
It worked out great for the most part. One guy mowed all the lawns while the other guy used the gas-powered whipper-snipper to do all the trimming around the trees and buildings; both guys donned work gloves and emptied a lot of crap out of my shed to send to the garbage and then they piled the remaining crap back into the shed until we have time to tackle it again (and to perhaps have a bonfire to burn a lot of the wood crap); and they carried bags of groceries in from my car and barbecued steak, burgers and sausages for our suppers (good testosterone foods, I imagine).
I didn’t make them work the entire weekend, though. We lounged on the deck, our cold drinks in hand, and breathed in the salt air while looking at the water. We had time to read our books and magazines, and the two guys had a late-night poker game Friday evening.
We also walked on the beach, searching for pieces of sea glass to add to my small-but-growing collection. The two guys cast off their sandals so they could enjoy the squish of sand between their toes (my words, not theirs)….they said they did it to keep from ruining their sandals if they decided to walk in the water (which they did). We strolled along the sand and the rocks, on the lookout for the elusive shards of green or brown or clear glass that wash up onto the beach from who-knows-where, or for small, broken pieces of pottery that come ashore perhaps years after being tossed overboard during a transatlantic voyage (or from the village down the coast about ten kilometers). Our walks were quiet; it seemed none of us felt the need to chat while we quested for sea glass, welcoming the opportunity to let the sun and the wind do their jobs to restore a semblance of peace to our minds and our souls.
Meals, however, were another matter. I like to chat during mealtime, catch up with the others at the table to see what they are up to with their lives, find out what they are thinking, and what they are planning, and it was mealtimes that made me realize that testosterone and estrogen still reside on different planets completely. I don’t even know if they are close enough to be compared to Mars and Venus–more like Earth (estrogen, of course), and Pluto (the orb that was a planet when I was growing up but has since been demoted, and where testosterone probably originated).
My two cottage guests were wonderful and did talk to me, but it was the conversations we talked about that they DON’T have that intrigued this x-chromosome person.
One conversation went something like this:
Me: Did you ask James (not his real name because I still want these people to come back and visit me), if he has anyone in his life right now?
Y Chromosome person: No.
Me: Why not?
Y Chromosome: If he wants me to know, he will tell me.
Me: What if he is waiting for you to ask him?
Y: (Looks at me as if I’ve just sprouted an extra nose.) He isn’t. If he wants me to know, he’ll tell me.
Me: So if he does tell you that he has a girlfriend then you will ask him about her–what she does, where is she from, where did he meet her?
Y: (Now looking at me as if I’ve sprouted TWO new noses.) No.
Me: Why not?
Y: Because if he wants me to know those things, he will tell me.
Me: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! That doesn’t make sense to me. He needs to know that you care about him and are interested in his relationships and he will only know that by you asking him questions and then he answers the questions and then he asks you questions and then you answer the questions. It’s give-and-take; that’s how friendships work. How will he know that you even care if you don’t ask questions?
Y: I’ll give him a beer next time I see him, and I’ll snap him with a towel or twist his nipple, and I’ll have a belching contest with him (I just made this answer up but I’m pretty sure it’s what Y was thinking).
Me: So you aren’t going to ask him?
Me: (Giving up.) May I be excused from the table? I have to go blow my noses.
But the weekend was a success and I think the two guys enjoyed themselves here despite the fact that their significant others weren’t around. I look forward to their next visits in a couple of weeks, when our mealtime conversations will tackle the topics of why Y Chromosome people can’t figure out that the toilet seat should be lowered after using said toilet, and exactly HOW do Y Chromosome people think empty beer bottles and cans migrate from the counter top to the recycling containers by themselves when they don’t even have any legs or wings?
Stay tuned for Round Two.