Sunday, 7 March 2010


If men are indeed from Mars, then that planet is no place for the faint of heart or delicate of spirit. I say this because of an incident that occurred last summer when Dan had just arrived from Iraq. Hannah had come bounding into our room the first morning of his return. She was so happy to have her daddy back and was jubilantly getting Dan up to speed on all the news of her very busy new life in Texas. While she basked in her father's attention, I studied her animated face, noting how endearing her smile was. She had lost her front teeth around Christmas, so by now, they had grown in, making her look like one of those adorable, animated Chipettes. I interrupted her happy chatter by saying, "What cute teeth you have!" Dan asked to see them and upon inspection, declared, "Man! You could cut a tree down with those things!" Stunned by the insensitivity of his remark, I quickly glanced at our little girl to gauge her reaction. The hurt look on Hannah's face and her sudden silence were ominous. She quietly removed herself from the bed and walked out of our room with all the dignity and aplomb of a lady. I hissed at Dan, "Why would you say that to her?" He defensively retorted, "You started it!" Trying to explain that my comment was a compliment while his was tantamount to calling her 'quasimodo' in girl-speak was futile. I quickly followed Hannah and found her face down on her bed crying. I tried to explain to her very delicately and with all manner of political correctness that men are babbling lunatics when it comes to communicating with the fairer sex. Dan came in and apologized profusely, devastated that he had wrought such distress. I explained to Hannah that if Daddy were to have made that statement to another male, it would have been thought immensely cool. So cool in fact, that the hypothetical male might even have tried going out to see if he could indeed, chop a tree down with his new assets. This made Hannah giggle and hopefully innoculated her against all future male "compliments".

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