The Breakfast Table

We’re All Dogs

Dear Jh:

Speaking of the Jewish gentleman who just left the room, there goes Barak. I don’t know how many more cycles of this doomed marriage I can stand to watch.

One of the many reasons I hate John Gray (besides his strange, cushionoid face and hostile smirk and self-delight) is that he has encouraged people to think, along with the dimmest “feminist” essays, that women are all X and men are all Y, whatever those things might be. It seems to me that, as the social-science folks say, it is the case that the difference between members of any one group is greater than the difference between groups. I know I have more in common with Almodóvar than I do with Margaret Thatcher. And Madeleine Albright has more in common with any number of men than she does with Ellen DeGeneres (or maybe not: ambitious, clever, making the best of what life’s dealt them in a male-dominated world … never mind, clearly sisters under the skin). I don’t think women are cozy and monogamous and men are dogs. I think we’re all dogs, frequently, and most women who have the resources love their children and care for them, even when that requires some sacrifice, but that hardly makes us heroes, just mothers.

I don’t worry as I should about the cows in Vermont (Mad Cow Delight, from Ben & Jerry’s?) or even about your apples. I live in the heart of Connecticut and still know more about Rick Lazio’s unctuous cuteness and Ed Koch’s politely-sort-of-out-of-the-closet life than I do about composting and growing blueberries.

I think so many people who were (or should have been) aghast at John McCain’s frequently-to-the-right-of-the-Sun King positions fell for him because he was, on the surface, such an unpretentious man’s man. (A man’s man who dumps a supportive and ill wife but, hey, there are slim pickings in the Authentic Man department.) The Perfect Storm pretends to offer us that, but those boys can’t hold a candle to Spencer Tracy’s persona (never mind his long-suffering wife, never mind the private whinefests, we shouldn’t have poked around back there, anyway). I have felt some of that pull toward McCain myself, except when I was forced to read about his actual positions on things. And yet, even then, I thought, the man he is now would not desert a friend–and I don’t know who, if anyone, currently running for elected office I could say that about.

Apparently still hmpfing.

xo Amy