Men can’t find a thing

Published 8:06 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

History records show that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but I’m pretty sure it was by accident.


Because men can’t find anything!

Email newsletter signup

I offer myself as Prime Exhibit #1.

Donna Sue asks for help.

“Would you go get so-and-so?”

“Sure,” I say. “Where is it?”

“It’s on the table.”

Uh-oh, Houston, we have a problem.

The “table” is the world’s largest magnetic field. It is cleaned off periodically, but within seconds it has drawn to its surface the most unusual variety of objects this side of a woman’s purse, which we will get to in a moment.

One might think that a table would be a great place for dishes and such. One could even go so far as to think that a table would be a great place for a meal, but one could also think that Washington, D.C., would be a great place for governing. Wrong on both counts.

Tables are resting places for the day’s mail or for books. A table is a great place for receipts of all kinds and a couple of hats, some candy, drying flowers, pocketbooks, calendars, medicine and souvenirs from New York City.

Forget the place settings.

Upon the question, “Could you help me find?” a man’s brain goes into apoplexy. What does that mean? Apoplexy is defined as “sudden loss of consciousness.” Other physiological losses are associated with hearing, eyesight and a general sense of direction.

One would think that “Where is it?” is a good place to start when assisting the wife with looking for something. However, beware of the simplistic answer.

“It’s in the closet,” she might say, for instance. Well, let’s see. In our small house, there are at least four closets and an additional pantry in the utility room. The normal man would ask which closet; however, I have already mentioned the standard dementia that accompanies men looking for anything, so normalcy is not an option.

If it’s an item of clothing, one would expect to look in the closet with clothes. Yet, that, too, is fraught with challenge. For instance, if it is a blouse, does that mean that it has buttons, or could it be a T-shirt? And what about color? There are 4,000 shades of blue and, not only have our eyes glazed over, we are also colorblind.

Well, it could be on the sofa or couch, as Donna Sue recently asked me to get something.

“It’s on the sofa,” she said simply.

I don’t mean to sound excessive but we have three sofas. Two are in the room where sofas are supposed to be, the living room. However, thanks to God and my wife, we have another very nice sofa that has been placed at the foot of our bed and it looks and fits nicely.

But, when being told that the item for which I am diligently looking is on the sofa, I go to the room where sofas live, the living room. It ain’t there. I have looked, but it’s not there and I relay that information to Donna Sue. She graciously accepts my effort.

Five minutes later, we are talking about something else and she, lovingly, informs me that the item I was looking for was “on the sofa” … in the bedroom! Oh, I forgot THAT sofa.

I have talked about tables and closets and sofas. All of those places have Bermuda-like triangles where objects cannot be found by men. There is no doubt, however, that the most perplexing and mysterious place that men are sometimes directed to look for an object is the “pocketbook.”

A woman’s pocketbook or purse (I don’t know the difference) is a scary place if you ask me. It’s as frightful as a cave and as large as the Grand Canyon. There is so much in there that I don’t understand. Words for which you must be very careful if you are a man are, “It’s in my purse.”

It is a fact that pocketbooks are made of inanimate objects such as cloth, leather and metals of all kinds. However, put them all together and build a woman’s pocketbook and some kind of life oozes forth. If a woman asks a man to look for something in her pocketbook, he would be considered wise in my book if he said, “I ain’t sticking my hand in there. I might draw back a nub.”

What’s in there? I told you it’s scary, but here are things that might be in there. I say “might” because I want Donna Sue to know that I have NOT been looking into her purse. I have no idea, nor do I want to know, what’s in there.

That being said, I can imagine that there would be a set of keys. But don’t try to find them if you are asked. The troll that lives in there will hide them from you. After you have looked and failed to see them, then the troll will release the keys for the owner of the purse to find them very easily.

What else? Of course there are two sets of eyeglasses, neither of which will be there when they are really needed. Plus, there will be a ballpoint pen that has dried and doesn’t write anymore. All kinds of make-up and stuff that men could never understand, some of it looking as if it were decades old, will be there.

An old tin of aspirin from 1974 and other kinds of medicines will be in the purse. Three dirty pennies and a dime will constitute all the money that the owner of the purse will have. Driver’s license and other plastic cards will be in another kind of compartment. Peppermint lozenges will hopefully still be in the wrappers, but might not.

Finally, it doesn’t matter what the size of the purse is, large or small; all of the above items will be there and much more. It’s a bottomless pit, the black hole of accoutrements. Just be forewarned. Don’t go looking for anything. Be a man!