Are you an expert on anything? I wish I was, but I am not. I was once accused of being an expert when I was getting ready to go speak at a community organizing seminar.
Colleague: So you’re an expert now.
Me: I don’t think so. What do you mean?
Colleague: You’re traveling over 500 miles?
Colleague: You’re taking a briefcase?
Colleague: That’s the definition of an expert.*
I’m not an expert on anything, but I have a lot of experience in the difference between boys and girls, having grown up with four brothers and twelve boy cousins. I was the only little petunia in the onion patch, as Grammy used to say.
I like boys and I like men. I also like women, and I don’t care if it’s politically correct or not to say that they are different. They are different. Deal with it.
For awhile I went along with the idea that boys and girls are not different; that the differences are taught to us as we grow up. When my kids were small, I decided, in order not to stunt their development, to get them them identical toys.
I got Playmobils-ever seen them? They were way cool and sort of gender neutral. So what happened? Mary built them little houses out of shoe boxes, made little beds and garden paths. Jeremy took the same toys, fashioned weapons for them out of aluminum foil and attacked Mary’s shoe box house.
Not only are boys and girls different but each one of us is different. The thing is, what do we want to do? And there some sort of unreasonable obstacles imposed on us just because we are male or female? That’s bad.
My big brother was rough and tough, he built model airplanes and a whole functioning (but extraoridinarily ugly) car by age 16 and rammed around in the woods with it. The trees still bear the scars.
But he liked to play with dolls. I did not, so I gave my dolls to him. Someone made a remark about his playing with dolls once and my wise Grammy intervened. “There’s nothing wrong with that. He’ll be a good father some day,” she snapped, that warning glint in her eye. Nobody argued with Grammy.
The short video below reminded me of all this. My grandsons, Gus and Carlo, tagged along to their sister’s birthday party where they came up with a new use for their sister’s pink, floofy castle.
Viva La Difference!
See my kid’s story “The Experts from Kerplooey” available on Amazon.