I have a long history with women. I mean, not like Larry King and his seven wives. His would be a far more interesting story, but I'll leave that to the National Enquirer.
I had a great mom, who introduced me to peanut butter sandwiches, fried bologna, and egg toast. That's still my food pyramid, and I don't care what the government says.
I grew up with two older sisters, who protected me like the Hope Diamond. They treated me with tender loving care, around the clock. I'm pretty sure if I'd had two older brothers, I would have been a human football.
Plus I've been married for quite a while. As my Cindy would tell you, I've given her twenty-six great years. Those other ten were a little rough.
With this type of background, I should have figured this out long before now. But I'm finally ready to admit: Women are better than men. Let me count the seven ways.
- Women listen. Guys just pretend to listen. We're buried deep into our ball game, while she tells us about her cousin's upcoming visit two weeks from Sunday. We nod our approval. When the day arrives, and the cousin comes knocking, we are shocked. If only someone had warned us, we would have mowed the weeds, or picked up our socks from the front porch. (I had wondered where they were. Hadn't seen them since Easter.) But women listen to EVERYTHING. One joke is going around about the Alexa device. If you're concerned about Alexa “listening” to your private conversations, they're developing a new one called Alex. He doesn't hear anything.
- Women are compassionate. When I watch the Braves, I'm thinking about strategy. I want to know what the next pitch will be, and if the batter can adjust. Women see the human side. “I wonder how his family is doing in Venezuela?” my wife will ask. Or, “Poor Freddie Freeman. He doesn't seem like himself. He needs a hug.” Moments later, Freddie strikes out. She saw it coming. On 95-degree days, she will ask, “When the pitching coach goes to the mound, why can't he give that tired pitcher a bottle of water? The sweat is pouring off the bill of his cap like Niagara Falls!” She could be the Dugout Mom. She would scold them when they throw their paper cups on the ground, and insist they shake hands with their opponents when the game is over.
- Women have stronger senses. They see what we don't see, they hear what we don't hear. They certainly smell what we can't smell. Like that time I had some lasagna for lunch, with extra garlic. That night, as soon as I said hello to my wife, she said, “Oh my! What did you have for lunch today?” And we were on the phone at the time.
- Women have better memories. While looking through old pictures recently, she started doing the play-by-play of vacations we took decades ago. “Do you remember that weekend we spent in Savannah? We didn't like the beach that much, but we went back to that Mexican restaurant a second time. The first time, you had chimichangas, and I just had a salad. But when we went back the next day, I had the chimichangas, and you got the burrito supreme.” I barely remember even being in Savannah. She probably remembers the waiter's name.
- Women have better radar. She can detect changes in the weather long before me, your pets, or your TV weatherman’s Doppler radar. If she has pain above her left eye, it’s snowing in Chicago, and it’ll be here by Thursday. If her big toe hurts, we’re about to get two inches of rain. Who needs a weather app, when a woman is around?
- Women have better songs. This one’s not even close. They have “Pretty Woman.” We have “Nowhere Man.”They have “Young Girl.” We have “Old Man.” They have “Sweet Talkin’ Woman.” We have “Street Fighting Man.” There are beautiful love songs about Caroline, Rosanna, and Maria. We're stuck with Bad Bad Leroy Brown, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and a Boy Named Sue. The ladies win again.
- Women are more family-oriented. Most women know their first cousins, second cousins, plus all their spouses and kids. I've been meaning to meet all of my cousins, but I just haven't gotten around to it.
As I talked to men about this, they rose to their own defense. They said, “Hold on! We're handy around the house, we do the heavy lifting, and sometimes we put the toilet seat down.” Good points. But then they added, “We've run the government since the beginning. We've made it what it is today.”
Guys, you should have quit while you were ahead.
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or firstname.lastname@example.org