I don't know where I was the day they handed out essential female traits and abilities, but I am missing a few biggies:
Applying eye-shadow. Invariably, I leave the vanity looking like Rocky Balboa after the big fight.
Gift-wrapping. I've taken to lying, and say that the boys insisted on doing it themselves.
Anniversaries. I've forgotten my own. Twice.
Walking in high heels. Thank God they don't breathalyze pedestrians. I don't walk - I weave.
(If you combine the eye-shadow with the high-heels, it's a scary picture.)
But my biggest feminine deficiency is this:
I cannot multi-task.
The ability to simultaneously execute multiple tasks and mentally organize competing information.
Our supposed trump card in the battle of the sexes, and I am holding deuces.
It seems unfair that I should miss out on this and still have to turn the map, but there it is.
The one exception to this rule is radio.
I love radio almost as much as I love books because it does the impossible:
It allows me to do - and think about - two things at once, provided I don't have to look up.
(Just ask my kids, who often find themselves talking to the back of my head.)
For this reason, my iPod remains fully stocked, at all times, with podcasts of my favorite programs.
With podcasts, the tedium of scrubbing pots, unloading dishwashers, chopping vegetables, and even exercising, is (almost) lifted.
And that time, spent on unavoidable chores, is not wasted, because I am learning something.
A not inconsiderable consolation.
Here are two of my favorite shows, with a small sampling of recent stand-out recordings that can be downloaded.
Happy listening. (And doing.)
The Book Show, hosted by Ramona Koval
"The Book Show is ABC Radio National's home for the discussion of everything relating to the written word. This daily program will explore the many worlds in which we find readers and writers, publishers and booksellers, playwrights and lyricists, bloggers and journalists, book illustrators and type designers - all working with words and the medium of language."
Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross
"This one-hour program features Terry's in depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts" on a range of contemporary issues. Its Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights."
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