Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Open Letter to Women: The effect of 'ouch' on the male psyche

Somebody just said it's been over a month since my last post.  

By golly, they're right.  I'll just have to come up with something interesting now won't I?  Hmmm let me seeee...  OK, Current Events will be the category...

I have a friend who is getting a very sensitive operation on his male appendages this week.  I don't find any humor in it whatsoever.  

OK, maybe a little, but I think the more important issue is to communicate with women how important this seemingly innocuous little procedure really is to the males of the species.

Women, if you've ever known a man who you think on occasion may lack the ability to be more sensitive and caring, you have a golden opportunity to lead by example when you find one that is having his Vas Deferens severed and clipped shut.  

Show him some gentle, unrestricted, and loving care that is so crucial to leaving one with a feeling that all will be well.  "But we already care for them in ways they can't seem to imagine."  Yes, we do know this despite rarely recognizing it.  

Believe me, we men know we have it good compared to women when it comes to bodily issues.  Please don't blame us for that.  We had as much to do with that fact as you do with causing the sun to rise every day.  I also believe that regarding our physical beings, we men are wired a bit differently so as to feel that we are powerful and nearly invincible (we hunt, we gather, you know the deal...) meaning we have relatively less regard for care and sympathy than women.  We seem to not desire or request assistance of any sort.

Women, does this sound like any men you know?   Like EVERY man you've ever known perhaps?  Did you think that we learned this in some secret meeting in fourth grade while you were learning about various hormones and cycles?  Not hardly.

BUT, when happenstance produces a time that we are feeling vulnerable (due to some sort of injury, surgery, and pain, real or imagined), we are forced to reckon with the fact that we are rendered vulnerable and frankly, it can frighten us, even if only for a few moments.  It is no more apparent and lucid then, while still at a relatively physically strong, virile, and competent stage, the most sensitive and emblematic region of a male's body becomes a target for scalpels and stitchery.  

It is at times like these that you have a special and unique opportunity to pass along some of your wisdom.  

Be overtly but sincerely kind and caring.  Don't joke about it.  Don't cause it to be worse than it already is because you may not realize how vulnerable we are feeling, just as we can't really understand how difficult childbirth is.  We do get it - pregnancy is a major bodily trauma that lasts for months if not years.  We, as men, do understand, yet we can have no first-hand, direct brain-wired concept either.  A statistically miniscule number of men actually go through the pregnancy sympathy suit training but that seems quite far from what must be the actual truth.

So, for the man who has the vasectomy on his immediate horizon, please understand that I empathize with you.  I offer my sympathy and will endeavor to assist if called upon.  I'm also hoping that there is a minimum of one person, one special female in order of priority ahead of me who will serve as primary caregiver and nurturer-back-to-normal.  Nothing personal, you understand.

I'm hoping (and quite certain) she will be giving you the loving care and sensitive hospitality you will crave.  I share your pain(s) and your vulnerability... from a safe distance.  Sorry, just not wired that way.