Saturday, May 08, 2004


I work in an office that deals with about 35,000 criminal affidavits in juvenile felony cases a year. Juveniles. I'm not talking about the job here, just the fact that our office (intake felony) has a bunch of educted, strong, hard working people doing a difficult job well.... and mostly they're women. It's sort of like all the years that I taught school: there are a few guys... four in my case here, to be precise... but mostly women... young, mixed background, but all college graduates, many multi-degreed professional women.

Now, under normal circumstances that is a great thing for yours truly. An old toad like me is very much in heaven when he can drag a herd of these babes out to lunch and have restaurant waiters give me the "Who's the old pimp?" look. Ah... if they only knew.

Of course, most of these ladies are my daughter's age. And... none of them are looking for anything but lunch (thank goodness). But I've noticed that as time marches on, I have slowed down to the pace that has definitely left me behind. Take TV shows for example.

That TV show "Friends" was the most striking example I've seen lately.

All the ladies in the office put together a group to watch the last show the other night. I mean... they made a BIG deal out of going out after work to a local watering hole, getting slightly wetted, and then they weeped their way through a TV show that apparently was important to them. Then they came in the next day and talked all day about it.


I confessed to Elaine (The Redhead) that I had never seen the show. She pointed out to me that she very rarely has seen me watching TV in the first place. True. But this show was obviously important to these co-workers of mine and it concerned me a little bit that I was so far out of the loop.

At that snippet both the Redhead and my daughter (can there be a more unkind as well as unbiased pair?) laughed in my face. Elaine also pointed out to me that Friends ran opposite a show that I have occasionally watched (CSI) so I never had a chance to see the thing in the first place. She calls it "touchie feelie" TV. Then she pointed out the Tee-Vo doodad that she had put in so that she could oblige me with CSI while taping (or whatever the thing actually does) Friends. Really.

"Is it any good?"

"Well, I like it but I suspect that you won't."

"Really? Why?"

"Well, CSI is a bunch of cop stuff and leaking corpses and scientific hoopla that guys eat up. Friends is just young people being friends."

Kathryn agreed.

So I got my family females to instruct me with a short lesson of pre-recorded Friends video. They were right. I didn't like it.

Sorry. I thought it sucked. At least the last show did. It wasn't bad, it was just slightly lame to me. People don't really act like that unless they're on TV. At least guys don't. Mostly guys sit and watch stuff and drink beers in silence while they do "together" stuff. Only girls do "together" stuff.

Like I said... I don't watch much TV. And apparently what I do watch is so carefuly vetted that I'm trapped in gender definitions before I'm even aware of making choices.

And... absolutely none of the ladies I work with even tried to explain the final episode of their favorite TV show to me. When I asked what they were doing the previous night the two that were eating lunch with me were surprised that I might even be curious about it.

"Oh, it was just a girl's night out. You wouldn't get it."

They're right. I don't.