Monday, March 17, 2008

Chocolate and testosterone

It's been a long day of doing pretty much nothing.

I had a great weekend, though. I went to "Extrication Fest" in Fort Worth. If you ever wondered where firefighters go to learn how to cut people out of metal, i.e., cars, 18-wheelers, cement trucks, etc., this would be it.

At one point, I was actually sitting in a room with over a hundred guys and maybe four women, myself included. Maybe it was because I'd never been in such a large group of males, or maybe it was just that I'm older and more observant, but whatever the reason, I got a glimpse into the masculine mystique that was a real eye opener.

I sat in the back and watched the guys sitting around, chatting it up, and it was like a curtain opened up. For the first time, I realized why the men's club is something a woman can never really be a part of.

They were comfortable with who they were and with each other because, on a very basic level, they were the same. They were all men. They all had the same body parts, the same thought processes, the same core experience. This, they understood. There may have been an unspoken pecking order - you know, Alpha Male and all that - but I didn't see it at all. It was just that they were the same, and they knew what to expect from each other. Uncomplicated. Primeval.

Suddenly, I understood how foreign a female must seem to the inexperienced male. And, for those men who are in a relationship with a woman, what a relief it must be to occasionally gather with their comrades for a respite from the unfamiliar worlds of vulnerability, mysterious mood swings, and "talking things out."

I never got it before.

No wonder misunderstandings happen so often between the sexes. We try to act like there is no difference between us when, in fact, we are incredibly different. If we approached the opposite sex like an alien culture that must be learned - and taught them our own culture as well, instead of expecting them to inherently know everything - then we could live together much more effectively, and peacefully.

I also got to visit a chocolate factory. Which made me happy!


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