This winter has been a long one. Here in our little neck of the woods, there has been a TON of the white stuff. Which has led me to believe that the real reason I was put here on this earth was simply to shovel snow. Because honestly? It’s all I’ve done here in my home since November. This topic lent itself to a REAL writer, Kathleen Parker, a while back. She stated in her editorial that snow gives men a purpose. Her article goes on to ask, “What do men really want?” Which is a very good question, if I don’t say so myself. And there are SO many possible responses! Let’s take a quick look at a possible laundry list…
- Football on TV
- A sweet 57′ HD television
- A good job
- Vacation on a nude beach
- More sex
- To be financially stable by the age of 27
I’m sure there are MORE possible answers…but this has got to be a short list. And nowhere in this list or even anywhere farther down there on MY personal list is there any reference to shoveling snow. Not that having to shovel snow is a terrible thing. I would rather do that than shovel cow manure. But I think THAT is a discussion for another time. Ms. Parker then goes on to speak on behalf of the female species when she says…”Women can’t be blamed for wanting to become independent and self-sufficient, but smart ones have done so without diminishing the males whose shoulders they might prefer on imperfect days.” Soooo…now we’re being USED for our ability to shovel snow? What the hell? But I do kind of understand. There is nothing like being in South Beach, Florida while the first big snow has fallen on our little home in Cincinnati and I get THE phone call the I get EVERY winter which goes like this…
My Wife: “Guess what? You are out of town and it is snowing like crazy here! This ALWAYS happens! You are NEVER home when it snows and I have to dig my car out from under all of this?!? I HOPE you are happy!”
But secretly…I AM happy.
But that has nothing to do with the fact that if I WERE home, I would gladly dig our cars out from under a foot of snow and clear off the driveway and make sure my wife’s car was de-thawed and ready to go when she gets ready for work. Because if I WERE home, I would do ALL of those things willingly. But it wouldn’t make me HAPPY to do it. As a matter of fact, I have never tackled any work outdoors and had a good time doing it.Work is work. And shoveling snow doesn’t pay me a damn thing. But I do it because I have to and it needs to be done.
Going back to Ms. Parker’s article, it was, in all sincerity, about men and how we are all willing to work. We WANT to work because we get great joy from being useful and needed. We are creatures that NEED to be needed. We NEED to have work to do and we WANT to take care of our women. It might be a little old-fashioned, but it’s very much a truth. I remember when I didn’t have a job. I felt worthless. I had been employed since my senior year in high school and to be sitting at home, without a job, with no one needing me or wanting my skills, was a shock to my system. All things start to break down on you when you don’t have a job. Your confidence. Your worth. Your feeling that you belong. And Parker was talking about the economy and jobs in America being lost. This doesn’t escape me. I understand what she’s saying and it was cute and all, but I’m here to tell ya…shoveling snow ain’t what I’d call a good time. On the contrary, it’s been a pain in the ass (and back, and wrist, and neck) and I can’t wait for summer so I can start mowing the grass…with my new Toro Recycler 20333 which does pretty much everything, from mulching to bagging and side-discharging clippings. It’s AMAZING and SOOOO much better than a shovel and a pair of gloves!
And I mow because it makes me feel needed and my wife loves me. Not that that is WHY I do it…but it IS a part of the equation…