I attended a wedding in another city yesterday. I was telling someone that I don’t to a lot of weddings so when I do, I think about love.
More accurately, I marvel at how we work together to create love.
It’s pretty clear to me that men and women have banded together since the beginning of time to take advantage of each others strengths and to shore up each other’s weaknesses.
It’s also obvious there is nothing in it for nature to make men and women the same.
Oh sure, we can pretty much do anything the other can do outside biology, but we have our preferences, don’t we?
One is that women are more attuned to people and men are keener about things.
Afterall, it was Red Green who said, “Women love a man who is handy,” so it must be true. Just look at all those men with “Honey-Do” lists… though I’ve never had one.
Another tendency is the way a man can focus on one thing to the detriment of all other distractions.
Hunting comes to mind, but I could list many examples where we seem to have blinders on.
Like all of our gifts, sometimes this works against us. ‘Nous avons tous les défauts de nos qualités,’ say the French. We all have the faults of our qualities.
Focus is important, a superpower in fact.
Missus approaches things with a much wider scope than I do. She is apt to notice many more subtleties in her surroundings, especially where people are concerned, than I ever would.
Friday I was preparing to attend this wedding, with its flight to another city and overnight stays. Missus was curled up in a big comfy chair in my office, watching and “helping” me with my preparations.
I brought the usual stuff, of course, but struck upon the brilliant idea to bring a few days supply of roasted nuts. I’m not keen on fast food or even most restaurant foods and well, these are no ordinary nuts.
I’m talking top of the line quality cashews, blanched almond, pistachio, walnuts and more from the roasting ovens at The Ottawa Roastery.
I’ll eat a handful (or maybe even two) each day.
“You are probably not allowed to bring those,” she said.
I replied, “Should be good hon, I checked the website.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Wally (she calls me by my last name). So many people have peanut allergies these days, and some are extreme, life and death sensitive. I bet they won’t let them on.”
Reluctantly, I took them out.
I learned a long time ago to defer to missus on matters of health. In fact, most women are absolute experts at keeping the people around them alive. Look at mothers and their children? Ever see a doctor’s office run by a man?
Soon I was at the airport on time (if Missus is involved we are early) with my backpack carry on, and punching in my booking number at an Air Canada kiosk.
Nothing. I enlisted help.
Turns out, instead of gong on Friday and returning Sunday, I had booked both my ‘to Calgary’ and ‘from Calgary’ flights for the 3rd of September. I was given a number to call.
Someone named Joanne at Air Canada got me booked on a Friday flight to Montreal and then Calgary. It wasn’t cheap. But I was going. Next security.
At the first stop, a uniformed man accosted me as I went by and insisted he swab my backpack for evidence of explosives. A formality.
We bantered good naturedly, especially given the relief I felt after averting a travel disaster. I must have been hungry and asked him if he would have allowed my big bag of roasted nuts.
“No problem,” came his reply, smiling congenially as he gave me a pass and sent me on my way.
Next was the metal detectors and sending your stuff through bins. I needed two, one for the backpack, one for my steel toe Invincible Defender shoes (wear them with dress pants or jeans and they suit both), belt, jacket, wallet and phone.
He ran them through a second time after discovering my laptop in my backpack. I passed. And as he was examining my stuff, I must have been still hungry because I found myself asking this higher order expert examiner the same hypothetical I’d asked the bomb squad dude.
“If there was a sealed bag from home with about “this much” nuts in it (showing him about three inches with my fingers), would that have been allowed?
“No problem sir, you get to keep your nuts,” came his reply in the easy ball busting way men speak.
We laughed. I went to my gate, charged my phone and did a zoom call meeting I thought I was going to miss but which the delay allowed.
Soon, I boarded and went to Montreal, and before long, landed and made the transfer, and was now tucked into 24C, an aisle seat, headed west.
We reached altitude and the seat belt sign had come off when I noticed a comely stewardess (airline attendant I think is what they are referred to now) bent over and making her way down the aisle backwards, stopping to talk to each row separately.
Since I was sitting aisle-side, she was hard to miss in her Air Canada blue gray tightly tailored skirt.
She got to my row and said, “Vous preferer le Francais or can I speak English to you?”
I answered, “English is fine,” not wanting to practice my French at that moment. I think I was hungry.
So, she starts in, “Well just to let you know, there is someone on board with an extreme nut allergy and to protect them there won’t be any mixed nuts for sale for the duration of the flight.”
I resisted the inclination to ask her if she knew my Missus.
I’m an old hand at this stuff.
Instead, I responded, “It’s funny you say that because just few hours ago I had packed a big bag of Ottawa Roastery nuts to bring with me and my Missus saw them and predicted just what you are saying.”
The women in the seats around me clucked… visibly.
I continued, “She said so many people have extreme allergies these days that it would probably not fly (excuse the pun) with you guys if I brought them in my carry on. So, I didn’t bring them.
“Now here you are telling me the exact situation she predicted three or four hours ago. How can this be? She obviously knows many things that I do not”
Now I can see the women sitting around me, squirming, nodding, smiling, chortling quiet laughs.
“Your passenger is safe with me, thanks to you and my Missus,” I tell her.
Flight gal responds half in English and half in French, “Bravo Monsieur. She is a smart lady!” smiling.
Missus called it. That’s why I’m nuts about her.
This is the day…