Women and Men
Women: Peaceful Cohabitation is Bunk
by Scott Hefflon
illustration by Jef Taylor
Living with the two women that I do is making me a misogynist. I’ve always been a borderline misanthrope, but never have I seen the face of evil so personified as in the faces of my two female roommates. There is no dependable reality with women around. I do good: I made the coffee, poured the coffee, added the exact amounts of desired cream and sugar, hand-delivered the coffee, and shared a rare, silent moment with my roommates. But, no; one of them had to go into the kitchen and let out a blood-freezing scream. I, the man/protector, came rushing to the scene, ready to wrestle a poisonous viper to the death, or single-handedly lift a refrigerator with one of my rent-paying roommates pinned beneath it. I discover I had spilled a few drops of milk on the freshly-cleaned counter, and I am therefore the most slovenly, insensitive creature that ever had the audacity to walk the Earth. I quickly wipe up the offending milk droplets with a sponge, trying in vain to clear my besmirched namesake. I can’t win. The damage is done. Again I am reminded of the time, a week or two past, when I left a coffee ring on the counter all day long. By the time I returned home from work, my roommates were so insane with rage they couldn’t even speak to me. Usually, I would appreciate the break in their incessant bitching, but the horror of utter excommunication over a coffee-stained counter was too much to bear. All good deeds, no matter how involved and well-choreographed, can and will be undone with a single detail.
It is hard for a man to endure. We try to be the rocks, the solid foundations of relationships and lives. We are willing to sweat our asses off to provide creature comforts for those we love. We are willing to battle any adversary that threatens our homes, or our loved ones. But lord above, how are we to do battle with droplets of milk left on a counter? We are men; we think in terms of fight and protect. Waging war on spilt milk just seems, well, petty.
But that, unfortunately, doesn’t cut it with women. A brilliant proposal, involving numerous parties each contributing and taking a fair cut, that could well benefit mankind and turn a sweet profit at the same time, falls on deaf ears. As your spiel winds down to its closing, robust with summaries of grandness and broad-thinking implications of such a bold move, she cuts in, irritated that you’ve monopolized the conversation for so long with your delusional powerthink, to tell you that you just let your ash fall on the carpet, you have a stain on your new shirt, or there is something sticking to your shoe and you best not have been dragging it all over the house. You sit, deflated and defeated, because there is no rational counterattack, and no way to defend yourself. A tidy profit loses to a tidy appearance every time. At least, every time a woman is involved. We strive to conquer new kingdoms as well as further fortify our own, and they want us to stop dragging mud into the castle.