The helplessness of man

Herb Day - Contributing columnist

Since the dawning of time it has been man who slayed the dragons, planted, cultivated and harvested the crop to provide for the family. It has been man who threw himself without concern for his own welfare before saber-toothed tigers to protect those in his care and in all is star-spangled valor he would step in front of bullets, out of control freight trains and hold off divisions of the enemy while settling the wild, wild West to protect the kids and the little woman, because that’s just what a man does (ladies, don’t be mad at me yet … read on).

Yes children, it is a “real man” who at the first hint of danger steps into a telephone booth (for those of you too young to know what a telephone booth was, ask grandma or grandpa), make a split-second change into his Superman costume, and fly up, up and away to save the day.

It has been said that real men don’t cry, don’t share their feelings, don’t say I’m sorry, and above all, never, never do woman’s work.

Well, I was thinking about that the other day while I was doing dishes and mopping the floors, and I was trying to figure out just what “woman’s work” is. And since my wife was away at a conference for work, I was just overcome with emotions because I didn’t have her here to share my inner-most feelings with, and suddenly I began sobbing. (No, I didn’t… I have taken creative liberties with the truth to make this column more interesting and entertaining). However, there is some truth to what I am saying as Patty was away for a week at a conference, leaving me and son Aaron at home to fend for ourselves. Not good. We survived, but not good.

While conference time was set in stone over a year ago, I tried to be as decisive with the timing of our move to the newly remodeled house. That proved that I am not good at timing either, as it almost happened at the same time. Regardless, we were still moving items across town, and under the best of circumstances when all is in order, I can’t find my socks. Not a problem with my wife’s organization of the house, just a problem with my following patterns, directions, instructions and recognizing where important items were when last I found them.

I’m not sure if it was indicative of how many times I called asking my wife where the toothpaste was, or how do I turn on the dishwasher, or are we out of laundry detergent, or is the spare house key still under the brass monkey in the back yard just “in case” I lock myself out (wink-wink! I’m sure glad the key was still there), but I was shocked to see some of her conference notes (yes, I sneaked a peek when she got home). There were entries like, “…the importance of checking the heart valve during surgery is… your underwear can be found in the top left-hand drawer of your dresser.” I’m not a medical professional, but I am guessing, the whereabouts of my underwear is never brought up during heart surgery (just sayin’).

OK, so I can on occasion be a little needy. But afterall, let’s look at all that I must keep up with. There is mowing of the lawn … no, wait, Aaron does that. Um, making certain all the garbage is taken out the curb… no, Aaron does that too. Well, there’s the laundry and cooking, no, Patty had that taken care of before she departed. Oh well, there’s a lot I need to keep up with, and just because I can’t remember it right now does not mean that I don’t have to keep up with it.

Make no mistake about it. I am the head of my house. My wife is the neck that turns the head though. I am boss around here… uh, when no one else is here. Things are always done just the way I want it around here … because, well, I want it just the way she does it.

Bottom line, note to wifey: Don’t leave on conference for a week ever again and leave us defenseless.,” Signed, your real-life Superman.

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at

Herb Day

Contributing columnist