A Guide to Guys
Thanks to the President’s Day blizzard that engulfed the eastern U.S., I started shoveling late that afternoon to give myself a head start on the additional accumulation in the forecast. Then I awoke to more snow, on the day that happened to be my 36th anniversary.
Every year when this personally historic occasion rolls around, I’m reminding of my hastily-conceived idea to move our wedding day up by five weeks. And thus guarantee it will be too darn cold to go anywhere and enjoy an outing—unless it’s to the Caribbean.
A Guy’s Decision
I had already pondered my dumb choice a few days earlier. Combining Valentine’s Day with an early anniversary celebration, we attended a dinner theater staging an adaptation of humorist Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys.
As a former Florida resident who read Barry’s work in the Miami Herald and elsewhere via syndication, I’ve long admired his wit and writing talent. (As an aside, every time you read someone like Barry and think, “I could have written that,” the truth is: you can’t. Great writers make it look easy.)
While it’s been awhile since I read Barry’s work, I chuckled as soon as I saw the questions the company promised to explore. Such inquiries as:
- What is a guy?
- Are you a guy?
- Who invented the whoopee cushion?
- How do you have a relationship with a guy?
The latter question provided the most amusing part of the evening. A couple who were dating sat in two chairs as he pretended to be driving while she reminded him that day happened to be their six-month anniversary.
Six months! The auspicious occasion immediately sets her to reflecting on whether he appreciates the seriousness of this day. She wants to know: Where are they going? Do they have a future? Is he interested in a long-term relationship?
Meanwhile, her comment about “six months” has him reflecting, too. It’s about time for an oil change. And this time that darn mechanic better do a better job on his car than the last time he took it in. Silently the guy fumes about the garage’s past mistakes and its need to honor a warranty.
Back to the woman, who now is questioning whether she even has the right to hint at a commitment. Will he feel too pressured? Is she overreacting? And who is she to expect him to be the knight in shining armor, riding in on his white horse to save her?
Ultimately this all tumbles out in a teary-eyed confession in which she asks his forgiveness and laments how there is no white horse anyway.
The next day she spends hours on the phone discussing her travails with a friend, while in a brief chat with a mutual acquaintance the guy asks: “When did she own a horse?”
My wife and I got a lot of laughs that evening. One reason is because of how we reverse the stereotype of women as the communicators.
I’m the writer in the family, so when we sent out thank-you cards after our wedding, guess who wrote them? I’m the one typically asking lots of questions, which often prompt the retort: “I don’t know! I wasn’t taking notes!”
Still, the fact that our match has endured for so many years is one reason we are so grateful for our decision to follow Christ. We know that without God’s help today we would be divorced. Or, as Janet likes to say, “One of us would have killed the other.”
After all, even with the Lord in our lives, there are differences.