Humans are basically tool users. That’s what separates us from other primates (although chimps use twigs to dig for termites). Neurologists have discovered that that SAME PLACE in the brain lights up when males visualize either tools or attractive females! There’s a message here for women: Don’t ever get between a guy and his tools (don’t force him to CHOOSE)!

I recently got a nice card from my favorite 2-year-old, who “signed” his card by putting his BEST stickers on it: pictures of shovels, hammers, dump trucks, etc. I’ve been around males long enough by now to know what a compliment this was.

Males are a mystery to those of us with XX chromosomes. First of all, there’s the obsession with cars. Now, I like a nice, speedy convertible (and have owned several), but I’m not IDENTIFIED with my car the way men seem to be. Once we traded in our sports car for a hybrid, my husband’s personality changed as well. Instead of cutting other cars off on the highway, he now complains mightily when someone does it to him and obsessively calculates how much mileage he’s getting on a gallon of gas.

Most social events now separate smokers and non-smokers by kicking the smokers outdoors. I predict that the same thing will soon by done to drivers of hybrid cars, who get so BORING when they compare driving techniques that decrease their gasoline usage. In the name of good conversation, we need to banish these folks too (at least until they get it out of their system, which seems to take about 45 minutes).

Then there is Male Selective Deafness Syndrome (MSDS). My husband was actually diagnosed with this by a hearing specialist once. It basically means that a man somehow can’t hear a female voice, especially when it’s asking him to do something. This is a problem, since I notice that the voice on most automobile G.P.S. guidance systems is female. I’ve ALSO noticed that half the time Whitley doesn’t pay any attention to this pleasant, cajoling voice, despite having obsessively programmed our destination into the G.P.S. computer. Our last G.P.S. (the one in the sports car) also demanded to know the ZIP CODE of the place we were going to (now THAT G.P.S. was a Virgo! It takes one to recognize another one).

It turns out that MSDS is also present in male gorillas, meaning that the females have to clap their hands to get their attention when they want them to take out the garbage (I find a sharp whistle works well too). MSDS is in male primate DNA, and we gals just don’t stand a chance of being heard.

Speaking of “tools,” I’m also amused by how often men tend to “flash,” despite the fact that they have so much more to “show.” I always have to remind Whitley to get dressed before he opens the blinds in the morning, lest he shock the sweet little old lady living across the way. There’s an amusing image going around the internet that shows a photo of a beautifully set table that its owner put up for sale on the internet. The problem is, as he took a photo of it, his own image shows up on the mirror that’s mounted on the wall behind the table, and he doesn’t have a stitch of clothes on. He apparently didn’t notice this before posting it on a popular internet sales website.

I think this harks back to the fact that it was Eve who first ate that apple in the Garden of Eden. As Genesis 3 says, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.” Maybe Adam only took a bite, then Eve finished it off (no woman ever wastes food, which can lead to the creation of some strange concoctions when there are lots of leftovers in the refrigerator).

One of the secrets about a long marriage that your Mom didn’t tell you is that all middle-aged men get grumpy. There were a series of films a few years ago called “Grumpy Old Men,” but I remember thinking they should be titled “Grumpy Middle-Aged Men” instead (although I suspect that old men are grumpy too).

If your mate is a male who gets too grouchy, buy him a new socket wrench. I don’t really understand what the heck it’s used for but believe me, it does the trick every time.

NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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