Friday, March 2, 2012

He's a Guy

Rita Arens, a BlogHer crony, posted pictures from Branson's tornado today (which I am reposting here for you; thanks, Rita, for allowing the denizens to share).

They aren't random photos; her husband was staying in a motel across the street from this scene.These are his tweets.

He was calm; she was a wreck.  As I've noted here in The Burrow before, it's much easier to be the one in trouble than to be sitting on the sidelines, helpless.  It's even worse when you are far apart, when you can't be right there to make the phone calls and do the work yourself.

Her husband had to get home.  His car was not cooperating with the plan.
That's pieces of Shoney's where his rear window used to be.  Sigh.....

Not surprisingly, AAA and the insurance company and the glass shops were more than slightly over-whelmed with requests for assistance.  He needed to leave, so he did. Covering the destroyed window with paper and duct tape, he drove home.

In my experience, this is not an unusual reaction.  The men in my life have done the same thing.  Come back with me in time.....

TBG was in Louisville, Kentucky for a one day business meeting.  He flew out in the morning and planned to be home for dinner.  He'd be leaving the next day for Washington, DC, but that didn't matter. A happier traveler might have gone straight to the Big Apple, but he sleeps in his own bed whenever possible, and that night was to be no exception. 

Unfortunately, the weather and United Airlines conspired against him.  His plane was delayed, then cancelled, then the re-booked plane was cancelled, then he began to lose interest in the whole scenario.  No one, no thing, no storm, no clerk was going to keep him from seeing his family that night.  No way.  No how. Even if his family was 6 states away.

He rented a car, bought a 6-pack of Diet Coke and a box of Swisher Sweets, and set off for home. Home was in Chicago, then, and he was determined to get there in time to nap, shower, change clothes and collect the packet for his meeting the next morning.  My job was simpler: armed with a road map of the United States, I began calling airports along his route. searching for a flight that would get him home to us. There are a lot of airports between Kentucky and Illinois; I know because I spoke to each and every one of them  This was in the early 1980's, before the internet, before reliable cell phone reception, before communications were instantaneous and helpful.
He ended up driving the entire way.  He would not let them win.  He had a plan and he was sticking to it. 

He's a guy.

So is my brother.  September 11, 2001 found him and his wife in Cairo.  There is a lot of water between Egypt and the United States; walking home was not an option.  Their daughters were being cared for by friends who were happy to keep them until the wanderers returned; there was no rush.  Yet, cancelled flights and and circumstances and someone else making travel decisions for him was unacceptable. 

As I said, he's a guy. 

Joining the long long lines at the airport, their choices were limited.  Their bags went one way and they went another - to Frankfurt and then to Dallas/Fort Worth - on the last two seats to anywhere on the right continent. 

They were in the USofA, and that was a good thing.  Unfortunately, their home and their children were in Maryland.  Once again, in that week after 9/11, flying was out of the question.  As my brother made the requisite family phone calls ("Dallas....Dulles....whatever..." groaned his weary voice mail) his wife tried to locate a rental car.  Fabulous woman that she is, she found the very last one in town and they were off, driving across Texas and other assorted states. 

He's a guy; he wasn't taking no way or wait a while for an answer.

I don't have any stories of women of my acquaintance being propelled to make these same choices
I am wondering if that is coincidence or, perhaps, another window into the soul of the men in my life. Either way, here are three examples of the same behavior.  You do the math.


  1. My husband flew to Frankfurt the morning of September 11. I was seven months pregnant with my first daughter. I worked in the Communications group at AOL and we had TVs on all the time. So we saw everything happen. I remember the chaos and being scared because I was by myself. So I went to my friends house. I couldn't get hold of my hubby for hours. Frankfurt was on lockdown and no flights were coming back to the US. My hubby had to stay in Frankfurt for an extra week. I remember being so relieved when I met him at Dulles airport. It was really eerie for there to be no planes in the air except for fighter jets.

    There was a team of network engineers in California for AOL and they lived in Virginia. They couldn't even get a rental car to get back home; so they bought a Surburban and drove it back to Virginia from California. AOL paid for the car and then sold it. It was the only way those guys could get home.

    Don't you just love how resourceful men can be when they set their minds to something? LOL.

    Have a great weekend.

    Megan xxx

  2. Ha! When my husband was in North Carolina on 9/11, he just refused to return his rental car and drove all the way back to Kansas City. I've learned to be more go-with-the-travel-flow from him. :)


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