My husband broke his little toe a month ago. It would seem. On my daughter’s shin. (I don’t get it either.)
For a month, he has been hobbling around and literally tearing up every time one of us bumps his foot.
“Maybe you should put some shoes on,” I say.
“It hurts when I have shoes on,” he responds.
This is when I say that he should go see a doctor because it’s probably broken.
“I know,” he says.
And then he does not go.
This reminds the drama major in me of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece Waiting for Godot, in which two men wait for someone to arrive (who never does) and then decide they should stop waiting and leave (but do not). Here’s the big finish:
ESTRAGON:Well, shall we go?
VLADIMIR:Yes, let’s go.
They do not move.
I never fully appreciated this play’s greatness as a single woman. Now I think Beckett captured the very essence of a man’s existence: talking a lot about something, I mean a LOT, but not doing anything about it.
And they start young. We were cleaning out our minivan last weekend (six inches of rain will eventually make you that desperate). I climbed into the third row, where I never venture, and found Seamus’s booster seat armrests covered in a sticky brown goo of dubious provenance.
MOMMY: Boys! It’s disgusting back here!
CONNOR: I know! It’s so gross!
MOMMY: Seamus! How can you sit in this seat?
SEAMUS: I don’t weally think about it. As long as I don’t wook down.
Men will go to great lengths to avoid dealing with the unpleasant. I read somewhere about a guy who, rather than changing the toilet paper roll in his bathroom, would go for the extra roll under the toilet paper cozy. His wife only discovered his perfidy when the cozy sort of collapsed for lack of toilet tissue support from beneath. “Is he seriously that lazy?” this man’s wife mused. Yes ma’am.
My closing argument: a male friend of mine, during his off-campus college days, lived in a house full of guys. Their kitchen became so funky and disgusting to behold that after winter break, they NAILED PLYWOOD OVER THE DOOR. They chose not having a kitchen for the rest of the year over cleaning it.
And so I have come to believe that the male propensity for inertia is much greater than the female. I’m currently seeking a major university grant to study this topic more fully. (That will be a lot easier to achieve than getting my husband to the doctor for his month-old broken toe.)
Do you have any empirical evidence of your own to contribute, about the relative inertia of the men in your life?