Thursday, April 27, 2006

Life is SOOOOO Unfair!!!

Whoever said "Life is So Unfair", lived with brothers, or at least a lot of men in their world. How do I know? It started in the beginning…

I am fairly certain that as the Creator was busy planting shrubberies, sculpting mountain ranges and churning the waters into the oceans, He wasn’t thinking “Hey… what a great place to potty!” I sincerely doubt that He felt the urge to pause momentarily and walk behind the nearest tree to empty His bladder.

Why is it that the human male species, equally made in His image, has deemed the entire planet to be one big potty?

Maybe I’m jealous because I don’t have that “tree” option before me. At least I don’t have it when I’m sober… and since I gave up drinking in the 80s, I may feel a little left out of the loop here.

My first recollection of the inequality of the male/female potty options came as a young child. My little brother having pushed his way into the world screaming like a Goth at a Marilyn Manson concert, had life so much easier than I. On those horrible two-day drives from Texas to Kentucky to visit family, my father was never one to willingly stop for the essentials, like a child’s need to potty. If I complained that I had to “go”, I was instructed to “hold it”. If I could not possibly hold it any longer, my father begrudgingly pulled over to the side of the road and to my horror of horrors I was expected to “cop a squat” while millions of happy motorists drove by to watch. That fear typically scared the pee right out of me. However, when I could not perform adequately (or in a timely manner), I was whisked back into the station wagon to begin “holding it” again until my father had to “go” or we ran out of gas, whichever came first.

My younger brother had a much easier road of it. My mother, always being prepared, carried with us a Kraft Mayonnaise jar specifically for my younger brother’s use. It came complete with the screw on lid that kept its contents not only hermetically sealed, but fresh too. The young Jedi only need to whimper once and he was physically hauled to the front seat where he stood between my parents and emptied his much smaller bladder into said jar, and happily bounced back to my area to gloat at his success. I typically skulked back to the third seat facing the rear of the vehicle in order to escape his bragging ability whilst twisting off body parts of his newest GI Joe action figure. (A woman’s wrath begins at an early age).

In grade school, one learned quickly to not follow boys on the playground if they headed to the nearest wooded area. An overly curious child might walk away with a more enlightened view of the world.

In high school, the majority of my friends were not just boys, but boys ready to be men at the next full moon! I hung around military-minded and ambitious fellows who lived on the edge and for adventures not found in our small town. A favorite hang-out was a wooded area about 30 miles away. Many an evening was spent trudging through the forest, playing “flashlight” (an almost-adult version of hide-and-seek), setting booby-traps and building campfires. My good friend Joey, ever a gentleman, always announced his intention as he walked to a tree line, lest an unsuspecting female happened upon him. As I look back on it now, his announcement may have been to entice the unsuspecting female, but I was no fool… my brother pee’d in a Mayo jar!

As an adult, I met my great friend Brent. Brent is a guy who you can count on when the chips are down. He’s an incredibly talented man in so many respects and a gifted spiritual leader. His biggest drawback… he has the bladder of a gnat. He traveled for many years with a drama ministry and his traveling motto was “where you be, that’s where you pee”. This could make a simple three-hour tour lengthen into a six-hour ordeal. Whenever he would stop, and there were plenty of times for it, he would marvel at my ability to wait until our final destination to potty. I commented on his inability to wait and he affectionately referred to me as a camel… then told me I would have health problems, as I got older.

Then I watched, in horror, as my friend Carey took one of his boys by the hand while we were all playing at a playground, and walked over to the nearest tree. Apparently, the “world’s your personal potty” is a generation-to-generation, male-bonding, hand-me-down sort of instruction. I was both appalled and astonished that this God-fearing father of triplets would so easily assume a baser instinct, and then pass it on to the next generation. This folly proved itself as I was baby-sitting same child a few weeks later and he showed his intention to potty on a washcloth in the middle of the bonus room while watching a Barney video. I don’t remember having moved that quickly since.

This inequality finds its way into society as well. Heaven forbid a lady attempt to potty during a theatrical intermission or between the two acts of a concert. Walk into the lobby and the men step in and step out. Women are lined up for miles, shifting from one foot to the next and mentally willing the women in line ahead of us to move as quicksilver so that we may get to the next empty stall. Only the most hard-hearted and calloused women will not allow a sister performing the ever-popular “Pee Pee Dance” to cut in line. Those women feel they paid their dues to society and they know their dates have been patiently waiting outside the Ladies’ Room for their return.

So, chalk up another plus for the boy’s team in the land of inequality between the sexes. They don’t have to bear children, they don’t have to wear pantyhose (unless they really want to, but that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax) and they get to pee standing up. Life is so unfair.

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