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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Letters From North America
by Peary Perry

Greetings for Wives
Peary Perry
They've got just about every thing you might need except just some plain old "Thanks for being married to me and putting up with my ... personality" type of greeting cards.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about all of the trouble you had to go through just to buy a carton of orange juice. There was juice with pulp, juice with no pulp, juice with some pulp, juice with lots of pulp and then there was juice with almost no pulp at all, but with calcium. Let's stop with that…ok?

So, here I am at the store the other day and I decided to be a nice guy and buy my wife just a card that said something like…"Thinking of you…wanted you to know it…I love you" or something close to it.

Do you think they have anything even close to that? Of course not, they have birthday, anniversary, sympathy, belated birthday, graduation, Saint Patrick's Day, get well soon cards of every shape and size. You want one that says you're sorry someone died? They got it. You want to give money to your nephew because he graduated from kindergarten? You can buy one.

They've got just about every thing you might need except just some plain old "Thanks for being married to me and putting up with my. ……personality" type of greeting cards.

I came home and started thinking about it. Perhaps the thing to do would be to design a new series of cards for those little moments in life that we all have where men say or do things that just defy explaining.

Those men out there who have been married for any length of time are very much aware of what I am referring to. Women are aware of this as well.

For example, men desperately need cards to explain such things as:

"I'm sorry I said that new dress made your butt look too big…it did, but I should have been more sensitive and kept my mouth shut."

"Please forgive for asking if you were accidentally electrocuted after you had just had your hair done, I should be more sensitive and kept my mouth shut."

"I need to apologize for making fun of your dinner last night. It was lovely; I just wasn't expecting squid and okra omelets. Next time I'll try to be more sensitive."

"Your driving is fine, how could you have known that truck you ran into was stopped at the light on purpose? Next time, I'll try and be more sensitive."

"I'm really, really sorry for what I said about your Mother. I know it isn't much of an excuse but I was somewhat surprised to hear that that she is planning on moving into our apartment with us. Next time I promise to be more sensitive."

"Sure you make good coffee, but I just thought mine tasted…. well, anyway I should be more sensitive next time you want to brew up a pot…seriously."

"No, no, really I'd love to go to the opera, ballet, symphony (fill in the blank) rather than watch the World Series…. honestly, who cares about some old ball game…? Men in tights and funny shoes are much more entertaining…. Next time I'll listen to you and be much more sensitive, really."

As you can tell, the reoccurring theme here is sensitivity. Men are in desperate need of this emotion, which we apparently missed when they were being handed out on conception day or whatever day we got those things. The only thing I can figure out is the line wasn't clearly marked and we didn't stop and ask for directions. Another missing gene that would need another entire column to explain.

Men think differently than women. We fail to see the relationship between women spending money on something like…new china…"What… you bought new dishes? What's wrong with the plastic ones we've been using since we got married?" and men's need for a new bass boat or hunting lease…"It's an investment…"

In our minds, women buy things and men invest in things. There is a world of difference here.

"That new rod and reel will be worth a lot of money …someday."

"You won't be able to buy a boat like that in five years."

"You won't get much for those new curtains…ten years from now."

"What's wrong with our couches? after twenty years…they're just now getting broken in."

Men try to explain what we mean when we say things that come out our mouths all wrong. But we only end up getting deeper and deeper in trouble. It's what I call the 'Male quicksand' syndrome. The more we try to explain our position or our thoughts, the deeper in trouble we sink. There might be some evidence here of a missing link between our thought patterns and our ability to speak.

I believe the greeting card companies are missing a huge market out here by overlooking this niche in our culture. I don't think men are insensitive on purpose, I just think we are what I'd call…'sensitivity challenged'. If you don't believe me look at the cards you get from men and women. The ones I get from other guys have at most, two or three lines of wording on them…always something with a sure fire greeting such as."Happy birthday you old…" or something equally simple…

On the other hand those you get from females take up three and four pages of text. Cards you get from men, you can read in the dark because the letters are so large. The cards you get from women have to read with a magnifying glass, in full sunlight or with all of the lights on since they have these verses that go on and on and on forever and forever…

Oops, I didn't mean to say that about the card you got me for our anniversary…next time I'll try and remember to be more sensitive…

Maybe, I can just find a blank one and write in what I need to say…can you hire a ghostwriter for something like this? Call me; I need one on a regular basis.

© Peary Perry

Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
April 1 , 2004
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