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I used to skip over Judith Warner’s Op-Ed in the NY Times but much less now!

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Town & County of Nantucket, Massachusetts
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I am beginning to relate more and more to many things she writes, even though she is 50some, female and a US citizen from the Northeast. Of course, I know the Northeastern US reasonably well, skiing in Vermont and NY, summering in Ogunquit, Nantucket and Cape Cod, finally hiking in Vermont and NH. But I’m a 73 yr old curmudgeon who lives in Vancouver and Dalian China now.

So it’s a wonder that I related very well to these words from her Op-Ed today:

How we seem to love and hate those men and women we never knew. What we would give to know their secrets: how Dad managed to come home at 5 p.m. to read the paper or watch TV while Mom fixed dinner and bathed the kids. How Mom turned up at school, every day, unrumpled, coiffed, unflappable. And more to the point: how they managed to afford the lives that they led, on one salary, without hocking their homes to pay for college, without worrying about being bankrupted by medical bills.

How we make them pay now, when we breathe them back into life. Our cultural representations of them are punishing. We defile the putative purity of the housewives — those doe-eyed, frivolous, almost simple-minded depressives — by assigning them drunken, cheating, no-good mates. We discredit the memory of the organization men by filling them with self-loathing and despair. Each gender invites its downfall, and fully deserves the comeuppance that history, we know, will ultimately deal it.

That’s where the pleasure comes in. No matter how lost we are, no matter how confused, no matter how foolish we feel, we can judge ourselves the winners.

Judith Warner writes Domestic Disturbances, a column at nytimes.com.

Of course,  there is one important difference between Judith and me: I was one of those men and she has only seen them on TV and read about them and their wives!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/30 at 10:16

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