My mom turned 70 earlier this month (Happy Birthday, Mom!!). A couple of days before the big day, I was on the phone with my brother talking about the gift we’d decided to get her. During the conversation, it dawned on me that we hadn’t planned to get her a birthday cake… So, I asked him “Hey, do you think we should get Mom a cake?” His response was quick and unceremonious: “I don’t know! We’re men and we’re not supposed to know those things. Ask your wife!”
We wrapped up the call, gift plans all settled, and ended with “I love you!” (Perfectly in bounds). I sat there for a minute, brow all a furrowed. Can’t be true. There can not be things that men cannot know about or think about because they’re men (and vice versa), can there? What other things are off-limits?
I rolled this internal debate around and wrestled with it for a couple of hours before I finally landed on clarity. Knowledge is the foundation for wisdom. Knowledge together with wisdom gives us all the ability to perform at our best in the world. The more we know, the better we can take care of the people and things around us.
Armed with this new determination, I took the question to the women (actually, I took it to a woman). I asked a friend, who shall remain nameless, “Are there things that you would rather the man (or men) in you life not know?” Her response was surprising. “If my man knows all of the lady things, what would he need me for? And that goes both ways. For instance, if I know how to change a tire and other things like that, what do I need a man for?”
Really?! I’m gonna say No! I’m going to completely reject the notion that being a man or a woman restricts what a person should know. I’m going to cast down the idea that the more typically other gender specific information that a person has limits their utility to their opposite sexed mate.
Life is about being your best you. It’s about being capable and able to respond. Gender and gender roles have nothing to do with it. The more my wife (and all of the women around me) knows about everything that this life has to offer, the safer and more secure I feel. The more my wife knows, the more I know she’ll be able to take care of me and our life whenever the need should arrive. I want to know as much about everything that I can. I want to be able to be the best that I can be for my wife and everyone and everything around me. Here’s my confession: I know how to buy underwear for my wife. When my wife is having her “Lady Moment”, I know how to go to the store and purchase “Candy” (cause that’s what I called the special sanitary products used during the special “Lady Moment”). I know these things because I want her to know that I’ve got her back whenever she should need me.