As I pull into the parking spot in front of Target I have but one thought on my mind—time to get out of the car. Which is precisely what I do every time I park the Griswold Family Truckster, I open the door and get out. This uncomplicated autonomic response (think beating heart, blinking eyes and perspiring arm-pits) occurs automatically for all menfolk each and every time we park our van, truck or car. No questions asked. No last minute do-to lists. No preening. No final peek in the mirror. We just park, remove keys, open door, and get out—often needlessly announcing the obvious, “We’re here!”
Not so for the typical twin-X, damsels of all things dilly-dally. Sure, stopping the car is critical to exiting without injury, however, doing so doesn’t automatically signify it’s time to get out, if you have a uterus, apparently. Perhaps a genomic defect, perhaps not, but unlike the countless number of husbands, sons, brothers and fathers, the uniquely distinct twin-X believes the simultaneous stopping of car, removal of keys, and opening of door, all signal a time to begin the process of finding shoes (often needlessly removed), coats and sweaters (never mind it’s 95 degrees, don’t want to get cold), amending hair styles (if it’s up, take it down, if it’s down, put it up), and eyeballing themselves in the mirror for the proposes of performing last minute spackling and powder-coating, if necessary, which evidently, it always is.
Did you know the cosmetics industry generates a $170 billion per year in world-wide commerce? Neither did I. I looked it up while waiting on my wife, who needed something make-up related, and daughters to get out of the car. I look up lots of stuff while endlessly waiting for them—did you know there are 2.5 million rivets holding together the Eiffel Tower’s 18,038 parts? Neither did I, I looked it up in a parking garage, once more, while waiting on them.
Yes, the simple task of getting out of a vehicle has become painful for its lethargy. Alas, while our brides and daughters slowly and obliviously perform all varieties of supplementary grooming and restyling efforts, the typical husband or father idiotically stands outside in the cold, heat, and sometimes rain, waiting for his twin-X(s) to egress the truckester—mumbling senseless concerns of time management and schedule efficiencies. Waiting. Googling stupid stuff on their smart-phone—just exactly what is the Higgs boson particle?
Announcements like “Look, there’s Costco now!” and “Wow, we’re entering the Safeway parking lot already?” or “Great! There’s a spot. Everybody have all their stuff?” do little to hasten the process. Mostly ignored, my prompting is in vain. I’m standing outside the van, waiting. Sweating. Googling.
Notice if you will, the positive relationship between the difficulties of getting into the parking spot, and the wait time. The more difficult the parking challenge—I’m thinking parallel here, though my wife sometimes even has trouble getting the truckster parked straight in our garage—the longer you can expect to wait for them to get out of the vehicle. Why I wonder? What’s the big deal? What takes them so long?
Women, naturally, say this is a necessary step in the ongoing beautification, get-ready process. Men, predictably, are skeptical, and view this as an unnecessary foot-dragging and lack of planning obstacle. Could this chronic dawdling be a passive aggressive rebellion? An insurrection of sorts designed to remind all men that though we park the van, truck and car better, significantly better even, we are, in spite of everything, “at will” spouses serving at the pleasure of our wives? In other words, husbands can be replaced. And to that I give a big eye roll and say, yea right, just try and find another semi-healthy, beer drinking, procrastinating, sarcastic, balding, middle-aged man to replace us—we’re rare.
Always standing ever ready to highlight our shortcomings, our wives may be collectively offering a kind of message, one designed to remind us that, superior parking skills aside, we needn’t get too carried away with ourselves. After all, they chuckle, we virile masters of our own universe cannot give birth to a child, whereas they, the women can. That Royal Flush of maxims will be held over our balding domes until the end of time— there’s nothing you can say to that. Game over.
We will pause here to assert there is, of course, no intent to pick a fight with the entire twin-X genus. Openly conceding to having our own genetic defects, we menfolk know our Y chromosome remains the male Achilles' heel of human chromosomal malformations—linked to an army of maladies, conditions, and physical shortcomings, all of which point to an abbreviated life expectancy, and ultimately our very undoing as men.
Despite all this, gentleman, we must continue our struggle for recognition of the few things we Y’s do better (enthusiastically watching sports whilst littering the chesterfield with potato chip crumbs, stepping over and around baskets of clean, folded laundry and yes, quickly parking and egressing the truckster) then our double-X counterparts. And in the meantime, and while you wait, be patient and by all means feed your inquisitorial Y chromosome with all the Googling you can stand—Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel? 23 miles. Huh.