“Men Are the Noisiest Things”

I interrupt my commentary on the events of April 1975 in Vietnam to comment once again on the differences between men and women. I was caught up short the other day when a woman friend asked me what I do in the bathroom.

I had gone to master bathroom to take my medications after eating dinner—I can’t take them on an empty stomach. As usual, I opened the medicine chest, took each pill, put the pill container back on the shelf, and closed the door. Then I looked in the side cabinet for the capsules that come in jars so large they won’t fit in the medicine chest. I took those, put each jar back, and shut the cabinet door. I had spilled some water on the floor when I drank from the plastic cup in a holder by the sink, so I looked for a dry rag in the cabinet under the sink, wiped the floor, and put the rag in the laundry hamper, and closed it. Then I left the room and shut the door firmly behind me.

My friend was in the hall. She looked perplexed. “Were you having a fight in there?” she asked. “What on earth was all that crashing and banging?”

She went into the hall bathroom and closed the door. I stood listening. Not a sound.

As she pointed out later, we men make no attempt to keep the noise down. We stamp around, slam doors, bang into walls, and drop things in place without a thought. For reasons I don’t understand, women go out of their way to avoid conspicuous noise.

I thought back about what I had done in the bathroom. Yes, I closed each cabinet door firmly, dropped bottles and jars back in their place, slammed the laundry hamper to be sure it was properly shut, and pulled the bathroom door closed to confirm it was engaged. That all seemed like the normal things to do.

Not from her point of view. She folded her arms and shook her head. “Men Are the Noisiest Things.”

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