Archived Story

Both sexes are not equal

Published 7:20am Wednesday, August 1, 2012 Updated 12:21pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gender Equity Week is coming again. It’s a period of time when men and women pay hypocritical homage to the myth that both sexes were created equal.

Of course they’re not.

I know, because I once lived in a house with four females. That meant four of them, and only one of me. Some might call that a “battle for gender equity.” That’s pretty fancy wording. I called it, back when it was happening, “Out-numbered, out-estrogened, and out-witted.”

I did put up a good fight, once in a while, living with them, about as good a fight as a man can put up while his bladder is bursting and he’s standing outside his own bathroom door.

I would shout: “Let me in before I explode!”

Fourteen and 16, who were the two youngest females of the tribe still home, 18 being off to college, were inside the bathroom. They said back, in a distracted tone, which they used when they were doing stuff to their hair: “The car needs gas, dad.”

Anything. I took out a twenty.

Them: “Slip it under the door, and then back up three steps.” It wouldn’t really take three steps. They’re obviously quicker than I am.

I pushed the twenty under the door, and asked to be let in. Quick.

I heard them whisper. Then they said: “You have to check the oil, too.”

Me: I will. Please. In. Now.

Them: “We don’t think so. You forgot the toilet seat Rule yesterday. You have to say the Poem of Toilet Contrition.”

Me: No. I refuse.

Them: “No admittance, then, unless you do the Poem. And don’t forget the dance.”

So I said, while I did the dance: Everytime I use the potty. Everytime I drop around. Number one or number two. Put the potty lid back down.

Them: “O.K. Come in.”

But it was too late, once again. All that dancing on a full bladder — they always get me on that. I went and changed clothes.

18 is off in college, like I said, where she still has her finely-honed Them instincts. Even though she’s a hundred miles away. The other day she called.

Her: “Dad? Have they let you into the bathroom yet?”

Me: Nope. At least, not in time.

18: “Send me a couple of hundred bucks. I’ll put in a good word for you.”

Me: I’m a little short on money right now. I asked her, after looking in my pockets: What can I get for a nickel, one gopher foot, and two used crying tissues?

18: “Well, not too much, dad, although I could put in a good word for you with Ms. Hum-Slosh The Clothes Washer.” (Ms. H-M is a gender-spiteful, man-hater who lurks patiently in the basement for my clothing.)

Me: Really? You’re not just saying that to get my hopes up?

18: “That check is in the mail, right?”

Me: Sure. As good as spent. Say. Can you ask her not to eat my shirt sleeves, and not flush half my stockings out to sea?

18: “Ummm. Maybe I can let you in on the secret Poem of Washing Machine Contrition you can chant for her. It goes: Roses are red. Ms. Hum-Slosh is blue. Keep your hands off her knobs, or she’ll agitate you.”

Me. Hey. You girls are too good to your old Dad.

Gender equity week. Coming. Some day.

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