My early childhood years were spent in a duplex we shared with the Ware family. They were a typical 50’s family: he a factory worker, she a stay-at-home mother of four boys. Given that I had a brother three years older than me, a brother three years younger (a six-year gap separated me and my little sister), I spent a lot of time with boys.
Granted, no one forced me to spend all this time with them – it’s just that, being more of a pack animal than a loner, I wanted to play with. And that meant with boys. They taught me baseball, but possibly with the ulterior motive of having someone to assigned catcher duty since they preferred pitching and fielding. (Baseball spoiled me for girls’ softball in P.E. – never liked it.) They managed to somehow persuade me to climb onto the garage roof and jump off along with them, taught me to value and collect certain varieties of marbles, and to dodge many a snowball. I knew I wasn’t exactly “in” the club, but I still felt a measure of respect when invited to join the activity du jour.
My husband’s suggestion that I add the Any Given Sunday movie line to my inaugural post so as to attract male readers got me thinking. It’s true: I wish for an audience comprised of both genders. Perhaps this desire stems, in part, from my tireless efforts to win the respect and approval of all those boys in the back yard. Yet I suspect that most of us covet the respect of both genders to one extent or another. I mean, when my husband told me not long ago how surprised he was after we got married by what a good driver I was, well… I’m here to tell ya’ that one was 24-carat.
In that same spirit I share the following: I recently traveled abroad as the sole female in a foursome. I hadn’t spent that much time with just guys in a long, long time. My take away: I think it’s the only way to fly! We had three layovers between here and there and every time we needed to head for a terminal gate, grab a snack, or make a pit stop, it was as if three full-size Lego people bent down, locked their grip on their duffles and backpacks and moved with purpose toward a fixed destination. No extraneous movements, no fuss, no drama – just elegant simplicity and efficiency. I really appreciated and enjoyed the streamlined component of the trip.
Since this particular attribute isn’t generally my strong suit, having people in my life who are especially good at drawing a straight line between where they are and where they want to be brings much value to my world. Thanks, guys! [And to you women who also have this attribute in spades: you go, gals!]My sixth birthday and the gang’s all there, plus one little girl I played with occasionally. (Baby sister is being held by older brother.)