Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something positive.

I was at a friend's place the other day, helping to cart out the Christmas decorations, and moving the day to day nicknacks downstairs. It took quite a while.

There were boxes of stockings and garland and lights. There were boxes of ornaments and snowmen and stars. There were boxes with 3 foot tall dolls. And topiaries (little fake trees shaped all cool).

Now you have to keep in mind, this was the extent of my help. I was not allowed to decorate, because I wouldn't do it "right"...a fact fully explained to me before I wasted any effort.

So I sat and watched her put things where they go.

You have to keep in mind, her house is very small, and she's artsy, so it's full of nicknacks and clutter. All in all, a very homey place.

And here she was, placing what seemed like thousands of little snowmen and decorations all over her house.

And every once in a while she'd stop....say "No, now I remember" and move a couple snowmen, or put a hat on a cup, or change the places of a couple things.

I couldn't help but think to myself "If women wanted to know what men love best about them, this is it right here".

I mean, here she was with thousands of little things to put out in her cluttered house, and SHE KNEW WHERE EVERYTHING WENT! More to the point, she had a place for everything, and actually cared where it went.

So it could be the same as last year.

Because it's tradition.

As men, we typically eschew things like this as "petty" or "unimportant" or something we put up with cause it makes her happy.

But really, these touches of familiarity, these groundings in tradition, give men a sense of place....of belonging. The expression on her face as she put the things out, as she showed me favourite snowmen, or the candle set she has for a centrepiece, was one of contented happiness as well.

Christmas is a great time of year to appreciate the little things. This year, my friend gave me a few hours to feel like part of a family again, and for that I'm grateful.


  1. Hi, just found your blog and am enjoying it.

    But, I have to say, your "freind" sounds a bit anal to me. Why does each and every frickin' snowman or whatever have to "go" exactly where it "went" last year? Who gives a shit, really?

    Also, if your friend were really an artist, as opposed to merely being "artsy," she would understand that experimenting and changing things around is part of the creative process, and part of the fun.

    As for "tradition," doesn't hauling out the same ornaments every year (and maybe adding one or two more each year) take care of that? Does tradition really require that the same hat must go on top of the same cup that it was on last year.

    Finally, your "friend" was happy to use you as a pack mule (that's one of the roles that women are happy to let the men on their LJBF program, and men in general, play), but she didn't respect you, or your feelings, enough to "allow" to have some fun placing the ornaments. Even if she didn't like what you did with them (it's her home, after all), she could have indulged you and moved them to where she liked them later, after you were gone.

    I understand that you are trying to say something positive, but your story, to me, rather than being heartwarming, comes across as somewhere between a weird/creepy tale (everything was go in it's exact "place," like with Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman") and a typical story of female take advantage of a man ("help me haul my shit up and down the stairs") while at the same time putting him down ("you can't do it 'right'") behavior.

  2. That's a really cynical take on the whole thing, if you ask me. The point of the post had nothing to do with that, and there's a ton of back story and other stuff there that, for some unknown reason, I don't feel like sharing with the whole world.

    It's obvious that these things don't mean anything to you right now, but they finally do for me again, and I'm enjoying it.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the blog otherwise...

  3. Well, if there's more to the story that you're not revealing, then there's more to the story. I can only judge it based on what you choose to reveal.

    And,,despite what you might think, these types of things actually meant quite a lot to me. I empathize and sympathize with men who hunger so much for family, for true emotional intimacy with a woman, that they will accept being put in a subordinate position just to get a little taste of it. So, you see, my take on your story is not a cynical one, far from it.

    Anyway, I am enjoying the blog and I wish you good luck with it.

  4. I feel the same way as ruddyturnstone. I don't care if you call me cynical. What's wrong with cynicism? I don't have any 'good' feelings as far as women are concerned and cynicism towards them would be the least of my emotions.

  5. Well frankly I can't blame you for being cynical. It's certainly prudent to be so, since so many women seem quite happy to succumb to the temptations of a permissive legal environment.

    But hey, it was a good day for me. Is it OK if I ask people not to shit on one of the few good days in my life?