Yes, Virginia, there is a difference

I am adamantly opposed to gender roles. I believe that, in any situation, the role a person adopts–should it be *necessary* to adopt a role at all–should be determined by aptitudes and inclinations, not a person’s role in the reproductive process. As a parent, I have worked hard to give my children as gender-neutral an upbringing as possible, and to imbue them with the attitude that any path for which they have the ability is open to them. As a small child Daniel had and loved toys supposedly intended for children of both genders; Rachael has always been just as interested in playing some game involving mayhem and death as any of her male friends.

But it is an inescapable truth that certain things do lurk on our sex chromosomes that are different from things on the other flavor. And some of them are funny as hell. Here’s my new favorite:

Last night my mother sent this joke to all the women in our family (a group which is understood to include my brothers’ wives):

THE PERFECT DRESS

Jennifer’s wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement — not even her parents’ nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear and would be the best dressed mother-of-the- bride ever! A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father’s new young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother! Jennifer asked her step mom to exchange it, but she refused.

‘Absolutely not. I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I’m wearing it,’ she replied.

Jennifer told her mother, who graciously said, ‘Never mind, sweetheart. I’ll get another dress. After all, it’s your special day.’

A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress.

When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, ‘Aren’t you going to return the other dress? You really don’t have another occasion where you could wear it.’

Her mother just smiled and replied, ‘Of course I do, dear. I’m wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.’

When I read the joke, I laughed so hard that both kids came in from the living room to see what was so funny. I pulled back from the monitor to let them read. Rachael (who is 13) HOWLED. Daniel (one of the most perceptive people I know, particularly for that late-teens demographic) just looked bewildered.

“So where’s the punchline?” he said.

And that is today’s lesson in the real differences between men and women. 🙂

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