This morning I asked my dad to tell me some things about his dad, my grandfather. I had been thinking about how much I remembered my grandmother smiling, talking, laughing, working, but very little about my grandfather. I wanted to know what his sense of humor was like, what his frustrations were, what mattered to him. Strangely, my dad could not think of anything specific to tell me, but he was willing to think about it and get back to me.
As I retreated to a chair in the corner to empty my inbox (groan, 3000 emails 20 at a time…) dad and my husband started talking. This has happened before because the two of them have some things in common that they like to discuss. Of course I am not saying that these are the only things men talk about – I am not privy to much of that, nor do I want to be. Here are some things that they love to talk about:
– it starts with my husbands plans to fix my daughter’s situation getting hay for her horses, talk turns to trailers to haul things
– machinery, specifically things that have been used in the past and abandoned out in machinery graveyard
– machinery, how it was transported to far away farms
– machinery, at what age they learned to use it
– machinery, near accidents that people had with it
– hay, machinery used to make it
– hay, how much faster it could be made as machinery improved
– combines (as if you could not guess, a combine is a machine)
– straw, and what they used it for
– machinery, how a tractor was made from a truck and what it was used for
– rocks (?) and how you get them out of fields, presumably with a machine
This conversation lasted at least an hour and they both enjoyed having a chance to talk and share stories. And I realized as I listened from my hidden vantage point that I was witnessing something important about men, and their differences from women. I’m not sure exactly what that was but it has something to do with machines… just sayin’.