I never realized how hard it was to be a heterosexual male until this week. The burdens they carry, the patience they have, the strength they develop. Don't get me wrong, as a Gay man I love women. However, as a gay man I can love women "in theory" or "in small doses". I don't live day in and day out with one. So while I respect and adore the feminine sex, I can do it from a safe distance.
That is until I decided to take my mother and aunt to Spain with me for a week. I'm not complaining, their company was extremely enjoyable and the two of them were quite content to "do their own thing" most of the time. Also, because they were "women of a certain age" they went to bed shortly after dinner(12AM by Spanish standards) which allowed my husband and me to enjoy Spain's nightlife without a Maggie Smith type nearby.
So I started the week of my vacation in Sevilla, Spain. As we walked though the cathedrals and museums I began to notice a few things about the men around me, not the gay ones, but the straight ones. The first thing I noticed as the day progressed, is that at some point, the woman had handed over her purse, "so she could tie her shoe" or "adjust her skirt". The man, being a gentleman, initially held it like a smelly fish. As the day progressed, I would notice that the purse had found itself held snugly in his armpit while the wife/girlfriend would become unencumbered and begin to accumulate more. At that point I was a proud gay man and thought, "geez, I'm glad I don't have to lug one of those around."(purse not wife) The guys became completely indifferent to the purse. In fact, I almost expected guys to go up to each other and say something like "I love the bag, where did you get it?"
The second thing I noticed about hanging out for long stretches with women is this compulsion to shop. This excitement when one approaches a small shop full of bright things, don't get it. I don't understand the need to go into every single store. Worse, was the need to show the guy "the cute thing for aunt Mary" and his fake acknowledgement that it actually was cute. He doesn't really care does he? I mean I'm GAY and I don't care.
The constant flow of information, judgments and critiques of every woman around them. "She's fat, look at that outfit, I love\hate her shoes, outfit, etc. etc.". Men are invisible at this point. I mean, the straight guys are scoping out the women and the women are too. It's simply exhausting.
Finally, the constant lugging. Women are incredibly adept at acquiring and then just asking "can you hold this for a minute" and two hours later you're carrying her purse, the shopping bags full of crap, leftovers whatever. You're loaded down, and you're expected to carry it, even over your objections.
So at the end of the week I found myself carrying a purse, listening to the endless flow of communication of feelings, fashion sense, and physical complaints, looking at gewgaws, and lugging luggage that grew heavier by the purchase. I could only salute my heterosexual brethren in their duties to their women. Because, being a straight guy with a woman is a lot of work.