Men Are From Mars, and God Bless ‘Em
This photo here pretty much sums up the difference between men and women. What is it, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a boot brush, modified. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Awhile back, Charlie says to me, “Ida, you know what we need?”
“Smart-aleck. I was thinking of something a little closer to home.”
“A complete kitchen make-over?”
“Hmm, I don’t know. New cloth napkins with matching placemats?”
“No, a boot brush?”
“A boot brush?”
“You know, for the front stoop? Has a brush on top? You wipe your boots on it before coming into the house.”
“Oh, I’ve seen those. You mean like a little porcupine, with a brush on its back?”
“Well, I don’t know if I’d be up for a porcupine. Just your basic boot brush.”
“I’ll look into it, Charlie. You know how much I love a shopping project.”
“That I do, dear.”
So, I threw myself into it. See, Charlie’s pretty good about wiping his feet when he comes in the door. (Not so much when we first got married, but eventually, he came around.) And anything that’ll help keep the house clean is worth searching for.
Some boot brushes were too cute, and some just a little too functional, if you catch my drift. Looked like something you’d see in a cobbler’s shop, not on your front stoop. But I finally found one that did the trick, one that both Charlie and me could live with.
It had a nice design on the base (that’s for me), and a rusty finish (that’s for Charlie. Far as he’s concerned, the rustier lookin’ the better.) It come with a black brush originally. It worked pretty good for awhile. We both used it, least until the bristles give out. Then it got demoted to the shed, and I forgot about it.
But a few days ago, this modified version appears.
“Charlie,” I says, “what’s up with the boot brush?”
“I can see that. Why didn’t you just ask me to buy you a new one.”
“The rest of it’s good. Just needed a new brush.”
I stared at the thing. Charlie had obviously found some replacement head for a shop broom at the hardware store, and tacked it on. How long, I’m thinking, are we going to have to live with this?
“OK, OK, it’s ugly, but it works like a charm.” He wipes his boots across the bristles, sending little bits of sand and grit flying. “See? And only $6.95 at Mahoosuc Hardware.”
And there you have it. “It’s ugly, but it works like a charm.” For a woman, the first part of that sentence wipes out the second part. For a man, it’s the opposite. All I have to say is “bean bag chair,” and you know I’m right. Or how about one of them big cable spools converted to a coffee table? Or duct tape on just about anything, including his down jacket.
“Check this out, dear,” they’ll say, looking so proud. Well, God, bless ‘em. What can a woman do but humor them for awhile, then buy ‘em an early Christmas present!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)