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Don't give me that tone: Equality in the green onion patch

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Catherine Idzerda
June 8, 2012

The Tall Man has done much of the gardening this year.

He’s retired, loves to weed and turn compost, so it’s a perfect fit for him.

The thing is—how do I put this tactfully?—since he already knows everything, it’s impossible to tell him anything.

That’s not quite a fair statement. It makes him sound arrogant, and he’s not. It’s that his spouse has must be wrong since…well…she’s his spouse.

You’re all familiar with this phenomenon. It usually stems from one of two sources.

First, there’s the Groucho Marxian attitude of “I don’t want to be a member of any club that will have me.”

Translation: If my spouse picked me, his or her taste can’t be that good. Ergo, he or she can’t know anything.

Second, there’s the evolutionary curve/you’ve got a tone problem. Women’s lives have changed radically in my lifetime. And while I’m generally treated like an equal in the world, when I’m at home the evolutionary hardwiring takes over. Man hunt, sit on couch. Woman gather, then nurture couch man.

Well, dearest, I can’t gather if you plant the green onion seeds a half-inch down. Trust me on this one. They won’t germinate in the dark—at least not in that kind of darkness.

But for some reason, I can’t covey this information without having a “tone.”

Really? What tone is that? The tone of a person who is RIGHT?

All right, maybe I have a tone.

Remember the workday this Saturday at Rotary Gardens. It’s from 8 a.m. to noon with a doughnut break at 10 a.m. Come for part of all of it. They’ll appreciate it, you’ll meet fabulous people, and none of them will have “a tone.”

Today’s ad lib: Cathy’s tone is __. Fill in the blank with the appropriate adjective. Points given for originality and kindness.



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