In the musical My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe Professor Henry Higgins is a middle-aged speech specialist who attempts to pass off the cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle as a socialite. Eliza is young, crude, pretty and most of all female. Her audacious resistance to Higgins’ efforts to turn her into a fraud is beyond frustrating to Higgins. He sums up his Eliza dealings with a statement to his co-conspirator Colonel Hugh Pickering, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”
I suggest the main reason My Fair Lady is one of the most successful musicals in history is this eons long male quest to control or at least understand their female companions. Every man, especially every married man, commiserates with Professor Higgins. When Higgins asks Pickering if Pickering would get upset if he did not speak to him for hours or if he forgot Pickering’s birthday, Pickering scoffs and replies, “Of course not”.
The reason I raise this subject pertains to Peg’s totally unreasonable reaction to my involvement in our move from Posey County, Indiana to Osage County, Oklahoma. I don’t get it. Regardless of what activity or inactivity I am currently engaged or unengaged in Peg believes I should be doing something else, something she declares is essential to national security or at least to getting us moved. And whatever it is it is vital that it be done immediately! No time to finish watching a ballgame or drink a cup of morning coffee or an afternoon beer.
Let’s take yesterday as an example of Peg’s recalcitrant attitude. I will leave up to all fair-minded husbands if I was in the right. Wives need not trouble themselves with a response.
I turned on the television about eight a.m. and was in the process of continuously switching between CNN and FOX in the hope of finding some news squeezed among the vitriolic diatribes at both ends of the impeachment debacle. My coffee had hardly cooled when Peg burst into the den with fire in her eyes and a dust rag in her hand.
“The buyers must never know we lived here for twelve years without dusting behind those boxes in the closet. Are you about ready to quit griping about the national news media and the government and help me?”
“Uh, can I finish my coffee or will Rome fall if I don’t immediately go searching for dust devils?”
“Oh, don’t let me interrupt your delving into the fine points of who did what, to whom and when. I am sure they will contact you for your solution to war in the Middle East!” I ask you, husbands of the world, does such sarcasm sound familiar? I calmly responded it appeared to me the dusting and packing of yet another item we had not used for years could probably safely wait until my coffee was finished. Such was not to be.
Anyway, it does appear we will get completely packed up this year. I am looking forward to my instructions on unloading and unpacking out on the prairie. Wish me luck all my fellow testosterone travelers.
P.S. From Peg, who has to type all these Gavel Gamut articles, post them to the jamesmredwine.com website, Facebook, and send them on to the newspapers, which happens to take 3 hours of her Friday because the author waits until the last minute to write them: “No wonder the National Organization of Women’s credo is ‘Men just don’t get it!’. And, by the way, I am more like a man! I have had to help my Dear Jungle Jim move quite a few pieces of heavy furniture from one room to another because he decided he wanted them in a different room than the moving crew originally moved them into!”