I am always amazed by readers. You guys and gals are what makes the world go ‘round and round. And, sometimes the world spins so fast, my head swims. I find interesting what will get your attention and what does not.
I could write about a very serious issue, calling on all readers to take action . . . and in response I hear the proverbial crickets in the distance.
I could write something up I just know will rile up the gentry and do it on purpose to illicit a response (I do believe that is called being inflammatory) and nothing. Yawns from the peanut gallery (which is you guys and gals).
And, then I could just write of some memory I had, or how I worked on raising my two sons, Shamus and Sean, like last week, and giminy Christmas. The commentary comes gushing in — this past week via good ol’ Facebook.
I expected comments like this from Teena F.: “I think I just threw up.” And this from Sherri M., “ICK! Yes, you’re right, I’d rather have them in the box than on the floor, that’s for sure!” when I wrote about the finger and toenail collection idea I had to keep the boys clipping their nails AND keeping them off the carpet or table tops. (Click here to read that column before moving foward.)
I just wrote about how this one guy (me) worked with his two sons, to mold them into productive members of society. It was a fun column to write and more fun to remember those times spent with the boys when they were younglings.
I did not expect commentary like this from our fine folk over Ortonville way:
Sarah A., “Potty time, they learned, was a time to read. Ladies, it’s a guy thing. Don’t try to understand because you’ll just hurt your brains. Can you please explain to this lady trying to use her brain while reading this article how we (females) could not POSSIBLY understand the concept of reading during potty training?! God forbid a ‘lady’ hurts her brain over this concept. Clearly you underestimate the power of women understanding potty training. Clearly you underestimate women. #sexist”
. . . or this from Marisa P., “I’m at a loss for words. There are ways to explain creative parenting tactics without introducing gender stereotypes and insulting female readers. Before you say ‘everyone is so sensitive these days’ — I’m over it, it’s not going to affect my life, but it does affect my opinion of the quality of the paper and its contributors.”
. . . and this one from Jennifer M., “For example, doing laundry is a chore and, as such, sucks (that is unassailable male logic). Well, yes — females think the same thing about laundry … but we do it because it needs to get done. Potty training was cool. Potty time, they learned, was a time to read. Ladies, it’s a guy thing. Don’t try to understand because you’ll just hurt your brains. Really? I have three girls and they all potty trained reading. Didn’t hurt my poor little female brain either.”
One non-female did counter. Wrote Jay S., “Oh my god! Really people? Do a poll of 100 or 1,000 or a million adults and ask who they think reads on the toilet. An overwhelming amount will say guys. How many women take 20-30 minutes to do their ‘business?’ Not many at all. It is a guy thing. He is not insulting women but merely saying to not even waste your time trying to figure it out. Just as it would hurt men’s brains to try and figure women out and what they are thinking. We are wired differently ladies. As evidenced by the comments. We apparently don’t get offended by innocent comments.”
* * *
Some women were not offended. Chimed in Mel D., “Omg. This column is a GEM. I live(d) in a house of many men ‘til very recently and none of it shocked me. Lol.”
. . . and, from Pamela B., “Gross but funny! Clever ways to keep the lads clean. Their future wives will thank you!”
. . . and, from Beckie K., “Spot on!! Don, you are amazing! Nothing I hate more than seeing pieces of nails everywhere!”
. . . and, from Terri D., “Epic, Mr. Don Rush! So … did you break a world record for all your efforts? There has to be an award, a trophy, a plaque or SOMETHING?
. . . and, from Julie C., “Hilarious, Don!!!!”
. . . and, from DeeAnn C., “Yup, it’s gross, Don, but you get points for being creative. I’m sure your boys will never forget it.”
. . . and (finally) from my one and only reader across the pond in England, Alys S., “Please, it’s dinner time here!”
All, this hullabaloo over that last column, headlined “Women, see what happens when we’re left alone” has got me thinking: I need to expound and make this into a full-fledged, multi-chaptered and many-paged book!
* * *
Gosh, we are in the second week of November already and as such, I usually start thinking about gratitude. What am I thankful for? What are you thankful for?
Start thinking about it now and start dropping me a line. Tell me what you are thankful for. I will run them all together on the week of Thanksgiving. Send them to this newspaper, or e-mail me your thoughts, Don@ShermanPublications.org.