The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, February 10, 2004  

Not Men
For Good Reason

There are reasons why God, or who or whatever, and I don’t pretend nor claim to have the answers, ordered that women, and not men, would bear children.

The most obvious reason, of course, is that when it comes to pain, men are wimps. Big time.

My ex was such a baby whenever he was sick that it was truly unbearable. One time, when he had a cold, a cold, mind you, he went to sleep early. At around 9:00 p.m., while I was watching television in the living room at the other end of the apartment, his beeper went off, the beeper sitting on the coffee table just in front of me. I picked it up thinking it was his office with some urgent message, and took a look.

“Please bring me Blistex.”

I was confused for a moment -- more than a moment, actually -- and then I figured it out.

This weakling, in his oh-so-impaired state, a cold, mind you, though unable to feed himself, actually was able to reach a phone, dial some numbers, and read a message to someone in Bangalore, all to send a page to me, I who was sitting in the living room of the very same apartment in which his “sick” bed was located.

Okay, but enough about me. Now . . . about her. Her, she, Susie, Susan Madrak, of Suburban Guerrilla, who today is celebrating the 28th birthday of her elder child.

Her post on this occasion, for which I congratulate her, the occasion, not the post, (And only tangentially, on the occasion, her son, Michael, who I’m sure is a fine person and everything, but, really, what did he do? He kept living. He’s 28. Great! Go to it, boy.), reminded me that the reason God, or who or whatever, decided women, and not men, should bear children, is not only that women have a higher tolerance for pain, or at least a far higher threshold for complaining about it, but that they can speak so eloquently and humorously about the experience.

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