Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Secret Man Classes

Last November, I went to Preference (the church dance where girls ask guys). The night of the dance was cold, icy, and very snowy, so it should come as no surprise that when I went to pick up my date, my car got stuck in the snow outside his house.

Without missing a beat, he jumped out of the car and told me he would push me out. He then proceeded to lean against the right side of my car just in front of the passenger side door and push from the side. I was so surprised I just stared at him for a moment before I remembered I was supposed to be driving the car out of the pile of snow. His bizarre technique worked like a charm.

When he got back in the car, I asked him how he'd known to push from the side. After all, if it had been me I would have pushed from the back, the front, and than the back again before maybe guessing to push from somewhere else. He didn't even have to look at my car to know where to push. What was his secret?

Sadly, he could offer no explanation. At least not one that I could follow. He merely shrugged and said he'd done this a lot. Well so have I! I live in Calgary, have been driving in snow as long as I have been driving, and get stuck on a routine basis. How had I not acquired his mad skills? I was more than a little jealous.

A few months passed, and I didn't think much of it. Then one evening in January, Janine's car got stuck in front of our house, sticking out into the road. She called me out from the house to help her push it. We pushed that car away from the curb from all possible angles on the hood, but it wouldn't budge from that one little icy patch it had created. We then decided to take the wisest course of action; we called Neen's fiance and asked him to come over and fix it.

No sooner had Ben arrived than he nonchalantly walked up to the car, pushed it from the back over the curb and out of the tricky spot. WHAT?! How did he know that? Again, didn't even look at it.

It was then that I realized what was going on. Both Ben and my date had acquired the same skill that neither my sister nor I could achieve. This must be a lesson from secret man classes!

For those of you who aren't in the know, secret man class is where guys go to learn those skills we assume are so easily acquired by the male population such as pushing cars out of snow, matching the correct nuts and bolts together without having to dig through every drawer and try every one, and how to cook meat with fire.

There are also of course, secret women classes. Here we learn how to tell the difference between chartreuse and emerald green, how to tell what fruit is good quality at the grocery store, and how to tell precisely how many more bay leaves are needed to make a pot of stew taste just right.

In my research on these two under the table institutions, I have begun to accumulate a thesis on their possible curriculums. So my question to the blogosphere is:

What skills come naturally to you from secret man/woman classes? What have you noticed your spouse it naturally good at that you simply cannot fathom?

Perhaps one day I will understand this phenomenon, but in the mean time, I will just collect stories, call my brother-in-law when my car is stuck, and advise guy friends on which are the good oranges to buy at Superstore.


lindakredd said...

Thanks, Elena, I love reading your blog. Hope to see you this spring/summer when you visit. Love Aunt Linda

Kylie Groft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brendan said...

Well, Kylie is somehow extremely talented at easily glancing at the food in our kitchen and knowing what meal can be made from it.

She can tell the difference between a yam and a sweet potato when I swear there is no difference.

Kylie Groft said...

Brendan can get furniture of all shapes an sizes down narrow and poky stairwells without banging up the walls. It's amazing!