Friday, January 26, 2007

Let Us Be Men

From the most disturbing conference talk I have ever read:

Years ago, when my brothers and I were boys, our mother had radical cancer surgery. She came very close to death. Much of the tissue in her neck and shoulder had to be removed, and for a long time it was very painful for her to use her right arm.

One morning about a year after the surgery, my father took Mother to an appliance store and asked the manager to show her how to use a machine he had for ironing clothes. The machine was called an Ironrite. It was operated from a chair by pressing pedals with one's knees to lower a padded roller against a heated metal surface and turn the roller, feeding in shirts, pants dresses, and other articles. You can see that this would make ironing (of which there was a great deal in our family of five boys) much easier, especially for a woman with limited use of her arm. Mother was shocked when Dad told the manager they would buy the machine and then paid cash for it. Despite my father's good income as a veterinarian, Mother's surgery and medications had left them in a difficult financial situation.

On the way home, my mother was upset: "How can we afford it? Where did the money come from? How will we get along now?" Finally Dad told her that he had gone without lunches for nearly a year to save enough money. "Now when you iron," he said, "you won't have to stop and go into the bedroom and cry until the pain in your arm stops." She didn't know he knew about that. I was not aware of my father's sacrifice and act of love for my mother at the time, but now that I know, I say to myself, "There is a man."

The end. Thanks, Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

For a whole year, this "man" let his wife do the ironing and then cry in her room, and didn't think to go do the damned ironing himself. And since she didn't know he was aware of her crying, obviously he never went in to see if she was okay, or kiss her better, or thank her for doing the ironing with her cancer arm. And then a year later, he says, "So...it hurts when you iron with your cancer arm, eh? WELL THEN IRON WITH YOUR LEGS, BITCH!"

There is a man.

16 comments:

Nicole said...

What a man! He'd rather eat no lunch and hear his wife cry than iron clothes. Hmmmm....

I suppose it shows some sociocultural differences between eras. The woman would probably be offending if her husband even offered to iron. Sort of like the glaring difference in the 1950's woman magazines. Woman, when you husband comes home, clean the kids and keep them quite, be sure not to bother him with your problems because he's had a hard day in the "real world". Hmmmm..... Now woman's magazines are all about how to leave your kids in a daycare, survive the 'real world' and get along with your ex-husband and his mistress. Plus, remember to work those buns and those abs!!! Hmmmm..... I'm not sure which era sounds better?!!

Kipluck said...

HOLY.

Krispy said...

I love you.

heatherlynn said...

i wondered also why he wasn't doing the ironing for her. i'm curious about socio-cultural differences across time as well. it's pretty fascinating. i'm not equipped to secularly judge the context or the intent without having opportunity to ask lots of questions to the people directly involved. i just know that someday married i hope to have someone who will be an equal partner and that we're both clear in our communication on what the definition of that means. someone i won't have to hide my crying from and that i'll have the confidence and comfort personally and in our relationship to ask for help. *curious what equal partner meant, if even considered yet, "back then"...the sociologist in me has an active brain right now*

Dainon said...

Yeah, what Heather said.

(Though Sara's made me laugh more.)

pillow talk said...

they should have just lived with wrinkly clothes. no tears, no missed lunch.

granolagirl said...

Awww, that man sounds just like an old man I know who shall remain anaonymous. I bet they'll be celestial buddies in the hereafter.

Shannon said...

Reminds me of a fight I had with Josue about the fact that I refuse to iron. We bought the stupid iron even though I told him I wouldn't use it, not EVER and he was so pissed. I told him if he wants something ironed so bad he has to do it himself. He thought that makes me a bad wife. I don't agree.

bestsariah said...

I don't agree either. You're not his wife. SINNER.

Shannon said...

And I may never be his wife if I don't do his ironing.
The milk might come for free but the ironing doesn't come at all.

Krispy said...

Free milk and no ironing? No wonder he hasn't married you yet.

Jason Randall said...

I'm not seeing the problem here.

Unless you incorporate option 3. Let him burn the cancer off with said iron.

or her complaining face.

... said...

My husband irons his own clothes. I love him so much.

Anonymous said...

I iron my craft projects.

Nicole said...

A good man used to be considered one who saved his money to buy his sick wife an iron. Now a good man is?......one who buys diamond earings?.........I prefer rings. Or one who writes love notes..... Or help bath the kids at night and read them stories. Or even know what the kids like to eat and help them with their homework.

Isn't it interesting how time has changed societies views. I wonder which version of man "cherish" your wife God meant?!

Krispy said...

Tag. You're it. See my blog for details.