by vickie tern
He said he hadn't seen Bill out inspecting the job site lately, and wondered if we were neglecting him. Can you imagine? Bill hasn't been there for a year, and he notices only now. They're like children, these men, they think they have a problem and they come crying to you to make it better. So I showed him our progress reports, how it's going fine, he better get the money ready for our completion bonus, because we're way ahead of schedule.
I tell you, Madge, I don't know what these men do all day. I come in here and make a few calls, and then the contractors take their fingers out of their asses and do an honest day's work for a change. Then I come home and I tell Bill how fast things are going, and he doesn't believe me. Just last night I told him about the Peterson project, and that Mall complex he got mixed up in, I don't know how, it's taken me ages to straighten it out. Well, he kept asking me questions about this and that, and I kept answering him, until he finally decided I knew what I was talking about, and he sat down and got moody -- I was doing his job better than he'd done it. Yes, he gets that way sometimes when I change his hormones for a few days each month, same as we all do. Suddenly he realized the roast was getting overdone and he jumped up again. Well, it was overdone, a little, but I wasn't going to say it, and when he served it I had nothing but praise for it, and for his scalloped potatoes, he found a marvelous recipe in this "Modern Woman" magazine he likes to read.
But still he was sad, poor thing. I could tell. He'd worked so hard to clean the house, and the table was set just beautiful, and then he'd gotten to talking about business and ruined the roast. I praised him and praised him, and told him I wouldn't bother his pretty little head with office matters ever again. Finally I had to just take him to bed and give him a blow job and tuck him in. I didn't even insist he take off his makeup or put on a nightie, and he just went right to sleep, so I cleaned up the kitchen for once. These men! They need to feel loved and appreciated all the time, or they come apart!
Is this an OK time for you, Madge? No, I've got some time now. There were invoices to get out, so I told my secretary he'd better take them direct to the post office so we're sure they're mailed, no mistake, and then to go home and bring me the receipts tomorrow. So no problem, dear. He's gone, and I'm waiting on a Fed-X right now, some powers of attorney I need for Bill to sign. Then I can go home too.
I guess you've heard about it? From Becky? The word must be all over town by now then. No, it's just as well. They've been keeping to themselves I guess for a year now, and we've had to make all sorts of excuses for them wherever we went. Now it's out, there's nothing more for them to hide, maybe they'll stop all that silliness about being ashamed to be seen for what they are. Can you imagine? Ashamed to look like women -- how're we supposed to feel about that? Especially when we went to all that trouble? And they all really are kinda cute, now. You should see my Bill, I'm so very proud of him. He's really been trying so hard now that he thinks there's no going back.
Well sure, I suppose he could, but he doesn't know that. They all think it's for life. That's why they're all trying to get used to it. And trust me, Madge, they really do like it. They prefer it. How do I know? It's a long story, you want to hear it or not? When I tell you, you won't believe me. But maybe you'll want to try the same thing with Dave. There's no reason not to.
Well, you remember last Winter, Super Bowl time, when the boys were all getting together to watch the match, or whatever they call it. I asked them what's so super about it, and all they did was laugh, and say, "Women!" and I'm a little peeved but I don't say anything. Well, Helene, and Beth, and Lorie, and me, we sat down to play cards, and its near this open door to Bill's study where the husbands are inside watching the television.
Honey, I think its 325 degrees. For a slow oven, I mean. Maybe that's moderate. But I'd have to ask Bill, I don't remember any more. He's done all the cooking ever since I took over here at the office, and that's nearly a year ago.
Well, anyhow, at first they're laughing together and we feel good the boys are enjoying themselves. But then it gets mean, you know? They start shoving on each other, and they get really nasty? Beth's Joe, I guess he's looking at a cheerleader, or maybe one of those football players always patting each other's behinds, and he says "Now there's a piece of ass!" Then there's no stopping them. "How would you know, all you ever see is your wife's," says I think its Tom. Tom, you remember, Helene married him just last year in that big country club affair. "You can think so if you want to," says Joe, and Beth perks up at that and starts listening. Then my Bill wonders how come the girls on television are so thin and we're so fat-assed. I hoped he was kidding!
But then they all start in! One of them says how we're fleabrained, can't be trusted even to answer the phone properly, and they all agree, and they all start telling each other stories about how we never do things their way. Then they move on to how we truss ourselves up in girdles and stockings and brassieres and things, squeeze our bodies into weird shapes, and one of them starts to mock our clothes that button backwards, and silly hats, and the way we paint ourselves, and how we're always asking each other 'What're you wearing?' as if we couldn't make up our own minds, and saying 'Can you imagine?' and 'Isn't that darling?' and exaggerating everything. And spending too much money on ourselves, yes, that too.
Charlie, that's Lorie's husband -- yes Madge he is cute, he's a dreamboat, but listen, Madge -- Charlie he starts telling them what Lorie sounds like when she's having an orgasm, uhhhh, uhhhoooh! something like that, and these assholes start laughing and talking about "moaners" and "screamers," and I'm waiting for Bill to start in on how I sound off when he's finally gotten me going. And sure enough, he does. I was so embarrassed! We all were. They start telling each other our favorite positions, or theirs, and the little things we like to do. That's right, Madge, all those little private things that are none of anyone's business! Did you know Charlie gives it to Lorie in her rear end? He says she likes it that way, and real rough, too. So I look at Lorie, and she's shaking her head 'No' to that, and her face is all, twisted, and tears are running down her cheeks, but she doesn't say anything.
Then they all start talking how women have a "basic triviality of mind," that's what he said, my Bill, a "basic triviality of mind," and am I ever pissed? He says that's why he doesn't ever tell me anything about his work, and the others agree, they don't let their wives know anything, they'd only offer useless advice. By now they're on their third sixpack, maybe the fourth, and there's no stopping them. It's like they're infecting each other. I keep waiting for Bill to drop the other shoe, and sure enough he starts telling them how I let our house go to hell when I was studying for my finals for my management degree. It was only for two weeks for God's sake, and did he lift a finger to help when I was at it all day and half the night? Someone else is muttering about 'ungrateful bitches,' or something.
Anyhow, Helene is sitting there real quiet, and sure enough, her Tommy starts in how women are frivolous and grasping and only good for shopping and sex, spread 'em and forget 'em, that's what we're good for. Yes I think he was serious, because Helene at first gets all red-faced and then she's crying a little too, and Beth has to lean over and hug her around the shoulders a little, you know? And Tommy keeps going that we never know our own minds, and Helene suddenly says out loud, "That's right, you shit, that's why you rape me most nights!," and she starts to cry, and it isn't too funny any more.
And Joe, that's Beth's husband, he starts waltzing around the room and saying in a high-pitched voice, "Dear go to the store and buy me some tampons, will you, I'm all out," and the others all laugh, they think it's funny. So I just motion with my head, and we all get up from the table and go into the living room, and we can't hear them clearly any longer, but they're as loud as the Super Bowl reporters still all jabbering away, and there's no mistaking it, they're mocking and laughing, and nasty and spiteful, and obviously they're telling each other everything about us that's no one's business but ours.
Poor Helene, she's really crying now, and the rest of us aren't feeling too good either. Beth and I are just furious. We love them and sacrifice for them, and just listen to what they really think! Helene starts to makes excuses, says Tommy can't really help it! He has a rotten boss so every night he stops off and then comes home drunk, and then climbs on her and forces it in and calls it making love. "But he's sweet to me sometimes," she says. And it turns out Charlie, the dreamboat, you remember from a minute ago? Lorie says he's got a temper, punched her out a few times, and once busted her nose, and when they argue he's never far from it again, fists all clenched and everything. But he cares about her down under, she thinks, really. She hopes. Beth and me, we don't say anything. But now we can all hear all of them in there making high pitched squeals, pretending to be us. Very funny!
If the book says 300 degrees, that's what it is. Put it in, I'll wait. I may as well tell you all of it. No, I won't be late. Even if I am, Bill'll greet me with a kiss, no complaints, pretty as can be, all dolled up, and dinner ready. He really appreciates how I take care of him. He's such a lovely man, now. I tell you, Madge, every girl should have a husband like my Bill.
So first thing is, Beth and I have to calm down poor Helene and Lorie, they're both crying now. "Bastards!" I say. "They should try walking in our shoes for once, and see what kind of basic triviality of mind they'd end up with.
Beth says, "They need a taste of their own medicine!"
I say "No, they need a taste of our medicine, what we go through as women. We should teach them a lesson they can't ever forget. We should fix them!"
And Beth, she's a head nurse over at Mercy General, in obstetrics and gynecology I think, she says to me "Well, Janice, if I understand you, I've got plenty of our medicine we can lay on them." I just stare at her, and this terrific idea is born.
"It'll take more than medicine," I say.
"We can do it," she says, and that's all she says. We've always been that way, know exactly what's on each other's minds. "Should we?"
"Bill's a dear," I say, "But obviously he can stand improvement."
"I've been working on Joe," says Beth. "And I thought I had him the way I wanted him. But I guess not yet. Lets."
So while we're consoling Helene and Lorie, and bringing in the tea service and little cakes and things, I'm just thinking hard. You know, Bill would never let me come near the office. "It's no place for a woman," he'd say. But that management degree really did teach me a few things about project planning. By the time the tea's ready, and the boys are still in there hooting and hollering and laughing, and the television's shouting, I've got it pretty well worked out.
"Here's what," I say while Beth pours the tea, and Lorie and Helene are taking sugar and lemon or milk or whatever, and stirring, and then we're all stirring and sipping, and we can still hear those bastards yipping and laughing. "They need to learn things we can teach them. And they can learn them, if we give them the proper motivation and guidance. Clear so far?"
They nod, and sip, and stir.
"Well, we are going to educate them. We are going to put them in our shoes, literally, and let them walk around and see the world the way we do. Why are they being so hateful in there? Why do they put us down like that? Because they don't understand us, for sure. But more than that, at some level they're afraid of us. Why? Different reasons. But I think a lot of it is, they're scared not to measure up as men, all that macho bullshit they're throwing around in there right now. They don't dare to resemble us, or act like us -- if they do, they get mocked and called sissies when they're kids, and faggots when they're grown up.. They can't even let themselves think about it. They can't handle it. So they exaggerate how they're different and superior, and that makes them worse, in some ways a lot worse.