Saturday, July 01, 2006

Living With Women

All my life, a stranger in a strange land. Since infancy I have been surrounded by women. Mother, sisters, friends and lovers, co-eds and co-workers. My formative years spent not with Playboy, but Redbook. Nancy Drew instead of the Hardy Boys. Always questions, always fascination, and, occasionally, answers. Questions like: "Where do babies come from?" and, at dinner one night: "Why don't we get some of those sanitary napkins?" I was only ten, I thought we needed to set a better table, I suppose.

Talk, talk, talk. I learned a few things, but as I grew older I was still pretty clueless (Was clueless?) I became a charter subscriber to Ms. Magazine. I left home to live with a woman. I learned some more, I learned that sometimes it isn't so nice, and sometimes it isn't nice at all. And sometimes I wasn't nice at all. But I still learned. I learned that some things about a woman are unpredictable, and I learned that that's ok. I learned that I could be just a friend, that was a hard lesson. I learned when to shut up. I'm still learning when to speak up.

We, as a species, have about ten million years of human DNA instructions in us, and millions of years more from our mammalian, reptilian and bacterial predecessors. Those things in us, the emotions, the hormones, the rages and fears, are part of what makes us what we are. They help us deal with the world. They hurt us in our dealings with the world. Men living with women, women living with men, it is a continual experiment, a billion variations on a theme.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

By Professor Batty



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