octubre 25, 2015

Ah, The Women!

It is no secret that the female sex is my favorite...

I just see how writing this note will be a bit tricky, so I’ll try to be more straightforward; what I mean is that I like women more than men...

The last sentence (I've noticed it right now) remains unclear as to what I mean. Someone may think that implies a certain attraction, smaller but attraction after all to male human beings. No. Not so. And if it was, I honestly wouldn’t deny it. At this stage and in the world in which we live, it won’t cause any commotion and I at least wouldn’t mind.

Let's start over. In human race, I like females more because they are more human and more beings than males.

Maybe I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome, since women have kidnapped me for the last forty years of my life. It is a theory with many arguments. I had only daughters, granddaughter, sisters, aunts and even maids living in my house since I can remember. I've had more bosses that were women than men and in the best sense of the word, more women than men have loved me.

In my father's family, where testosterone seems to have been spared with far more generosity than any other family I know, this opinion will cause a stir. I stress the word "seems" because I am not aware of what the right dose of this hormone is, but some of my relatives firmly believe it and others still toss around demonstrating it with irrefutable facts.

But I confess, as would that Argentinian master of comedy, Pepe Biondi, in his characterization of Narciso Bello (Beautiful Narcissus): I love them all! And not for the reasons that many men keep in mind at this time. Men are the lucky sex because women do that for us.

If we look at history, great leaders, thinkers, warriors and poets have been men. From Homer, Aristotle and Plato to Jesus Christ, Napoleon, Einstein and Gandhi. Lately, characters that are changing the world are also men like Gates, Jobs and Zuckerberg. Melinda, Laureen and Priscilla are some unknown illustrious wives who have kept an honorable anonymity or at least a very low profile public image.

Women seem not to have featured at all. It reminds me a funny story I read about the singleness of Christopher Columbus and that thanks to it he could discover America. If he had been married, he would have to fight these powerful female arguments:

- Why you? Why they don’t send another one?

- Nothing will happen if the world stays flat.

- Only men will be traveling? - Do you think I’m stupid?

- Why can’t I go if you're the boss?

- That Queen Isabel will sell her jewelry for this trip... Do you believe me stupid or what? What do you have to do with the old lady?

Jokes aside, this train of thought has been haunting my life for a long time. I think it is due to being very fortunate to meet many extraordinary women in my life.

In addition, these women are in a completely sublimated sense, more men than many; and I will go further: they have, figuratively speaking, larger testicles than many men. Again, in the sense the cliché is used. When we speak of someone who demonstrates tremendous value, or a character of indomitable struggle against adversity, they say: "He does have balls" or "Wow, such balls". And this is how I call them in the privacy of a great friendship, "Women with balls."

When I see a great lady take her daughter to the altar on her wedding day because she played both father and mother roles, against all the objections and criticisms breaking an immemorial tradition
- It should have been some man, maybe an uncle…- But if I saw the dad over there!
- How is it possible?
I am proud to be his friend. And that in any language is called "having balls".

Or when a woman, keyring size and less than 98 pounds, brings ahead 3 sons doing school transportation and depriving herself of everything while giving them all they need, what do you feel? Pride and humbleness, at least. Pride, because I am honored to be his friend and humbleness because I do not get to her heels. Honestly, and with my heart in hand, I would have been incapable. I certainly would have failed. This woman has at least a couple occupying that place where many men keep a shy, scrawny appendix.

I know a woman who is 88 years old. This lady has the right to do what she feels like in life. Excellent mother, extraordinary woman, great and very beautiful wife, until today she never complains. So what is she doing? How does she spend her hard-earned leisure? Thinking of her 90 year old man. She is always looking for him, and cares about every silly trifle or anything that could disturb the tranquility of her husband. She fought all his life for her family, her husband and even for me.

Another lady who I love and respect very much, has brought up children, brothers, nephews, neighbors and even scoundrels like me. As all these women, she wakes up before all, always pushing, encouraging and inspiring all those around her. Very quick temper, she never had no qualms about using a slipper to appease a horde of savages who lived in her house. I painfully know it firsthand. Her age? Only 92 years old and still there, giving and giving.

But I think I’m moving ahead too fast. I should explain what my current thinking is and why I have concluded with these preferences.

We human males are designed to be aggressive. It is an atavistic trait of our specie. We fight and compete to be the strongest, the most skilled, the smartest and the bravest, in short, the better. If we see other animal species, males have the same genetic conditioning. I guess that's part of what was necessary to preserve the specie. Elk, lions, buffalo and gorillas to name a few. The strongest becomes the leader and is responsible to protect everyone else. That is, to protect the herd as his main objective.

In contrast, women are made differently in a way I find very difficult to explain. Because with humbleness and bewilderment, though I try, I have tried and will keep trying, it is very clear to me that I will never understand them.

Under the same frame of mind, they need to be the most productive, the most prolific and stronger, because it is they and not the males that actually perpetuate the specie.

Take a hypothetical case where we have a pride of lions that for some strange reason, has been decimated and there are 10 lions and a lioness. More likely males will fight each other to death and the surviving will end so injured that it will be impossible for him to impregnate the lioness. The pride will certainly disappear.

Consider the reverse case. A lion and ten lionesses. I do not want to make social comparisons so far. These are simply mechanisms inherent to this specie. The lion will fertilize most of the lionesses and soon the pride will be back to its normal ecological balance. Best not to mention the cruelty of other species such as bees or the famous "Black Widow".

Men can rule the world, destroy each other, or construct buildings and impressive bridges, invent wonders, write as the gods, be incredible sources of spiritual inspiration but the reality, simple and naked is that the future lies with them women and not in our side.

What I mean is that at sixty we are still children playing in the gardens of life, with larger, sophisticated and more dangerous toys. Women don’t. They will always keep their feet on the ground and will focus on small and insignificant things that will ensure life can continue. In other words, so we men can continue with our treacherous and irresponsible game, while ignoring such trifles that are so important for them.

My sister in law Gladys, which we raised as a daughter and pulled so many gray hairs from me as the other two, has three grown children. Her husband, who lives in the stratosphere endlessly rebuilding old cars and writing a novel longer that the veil of Penelope, comes down from time to time to change his underpants and socks and to issue new rules for all the family.

She gave me the exact phrase defining precisely the dimension of the relationship between millions of couples of our specie:

- Gordito, (nickname denoting I’m fat, like “chubby”), oh, you know, I say yes to everything that Tom wants, except to what really matters.

And this naive simplicity and brilliantly unappealable phrase defines the reality. Neither Schopenhauer could write a sentence so pure and powerful.
That's how it is. And that’s it.

To conclude my theory, a proof that we are built this way to preserve the specie is polygamy. This does not come from the mind of some inspired or crazy prophet, (which is often the same); it is the result of men playing little wars and killing each other since the days of Cain and Abel. As far as I remember, no biblical woman killed another woman (or man) with the jawbone of a donkey, and the few that ended with someone like Judith, it was a male, Holofernes in this case. The Bible is full of widows who finished marrying the brother or uncle to preserve the specie.

Not a single ethnic group initially wasn’t polygamous, always in the same direction, a man and several women.

I'm sure some naive men think that the lives of these polygamous men were idyllic. Sorry to disappoint them, but that only happens in fairy tales. The vast majority must have often regretted having to endure these trances. Believe me.

However, we are in the XXI century, and with some exceptions, we live in a society where living conditions have varied widely. Women have usurped with extraordinary success places reserved exclusively for men. They are presidents, doctors, lawyers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, poets, painters and any profession you can think of has women. Most do better than men do, because they need to establish that they can compete and above all win. The men not. Many settle into a comfort level that ensures them a quiet life that enables them to see as much TV as possible with the most enjoyable sports and beer less fattening.

But most important is that my female friends are far more interesting than my male friends. And it cost me a lot to realize it. Although my life has been very intense and I give the impression to be an individual disrespectful of conventional social norms, somewhat shameless and with a very long tongue, the truth is that I am a very shy and introverted person. Certain features of my personality are like "acquired tastes" needed to survive in this world.

As a result, I have enjoyed immensely the conversations with women, and while I see that we men get older and begin to limit our conversation topics, women on the other hand seem to expand their range of topics and what we lose in sensitivity and ability to wonder, is won by them. It's interesting. And it doesn’t seem fair. But long ago I realized that daily life and justice travel separate ways.

A few days ago, we went out to eat with a group of friends we see frequently. As usual, the women sat on one side of the table and men on the other:

- It was fucking hot today, right?
- I saw the weather report, a cold front is coming.
- What we need is rain. My yard is almost dead.


- Did you see the Cowboys game?
- Tony Romo should be fired at once.
- Ever since Jerry Jones owns the team is no longer the same. He's a jerk!


- And Trump? Did you watch his last statement?
- The worst would be if Bush wins. Too much of the same.
- Still way to go, boys...


In less than an hour, the food and the talks are over. There are five mature men, unable to hold a conversation in the middle of an awkward silence while we look doubtfully and helplessly at women who seem to have a great time, talking animatedly, with much laughter and shouts of joy.

I couldn’t help remembering my childhood, when my mother took me to the house of my aunts, and I watched them with a feeling of abandonment while they were immerse in long and entertaining conversations, while I waited for the moment when we would go to the library to choose my books.

You could feel among men an air of envy and discomfort. At one point, I got up from the chair and sat between them, tired, drained of searching commonplaces and getting monosyllabic answers. I had a great time!

I do not seek existential nor deep talks, but simple and interesting dialogues, words flowing, navigable topics in conversation. It is a pleasure that I think I always had at my disposal and never fully appreciated.

Near the end of the meal, one of my friends told me:

- I think we're going to remove your card from the men's club ...

Well, an interesting topic! Amused and eager to argue, I replied:

- No please! What would I do without the card?
- It's your fault, go back and talk to the women!
- Yes, I know it’s my fault but what I’m asking is what I'm losing with the card.

A slight confusion crossed his face. However, he reacted quickly:

- What do you mean “What”? Everything, man, everything!
- That’s what I am asking. What is everything? Give me some examples, please. The matter really worries me. I don’t want to lose any privileges or the perks of a male, you understand.
- Well, for starters, you will no longer be the boss at your home.
- Me? ¿In my house? If I understand correctly, I'd be just like you. It’s evident that you are not the boss in yours. And we all know that. The only difference is that I don’t mind admitting it and you're embarrassed with it.

I went too far. My friend had a too serious face so I stopped piercing the wound.

Then amicably we started to list the benefits of the club, and I almost convinced him to adopt the matriarchy:

- Pay the bills? If she wants to do it, be happy, you won’t have to worry anymore. You'll sleep better and at the end, the money that's left over you can spend it as you wish. The problem is that almost never is anything left...

- So she wants to drive when you two go out? Wonderful! You’ll forget about the "iiiiiiihhhhhh", or her shoes about to make a hole in the floor of the car, the endless "careful!" "stop!", "Oh my God!" and others when she is not driving. You can listen to music, enjoy the scenery, use your iPhone, etc.

We shared almost an hour of interesting and fun conversation and at the end of it, he said:

- I'll return your men card club. I have included a note that says, "Private consultancies are given"

In short, I love women!

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