Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

I Still Don't Understand
by James Glaser
July 18, 2008

Yes, once again I am going to write about women, and you would be right if you said, he is going to get in trouble again. It happens every time I try to explain how women think. I think I have it, but never really do. That is because their thinking changes, and I bet her thinking is changing right as I write this.

A couple of days ago, Wanda was telling me she was going out to dinner with this friend of ours who we have gone out to dinner with several times before. Every other time we went as couples. Wanda and I, and this friend and her husband. Well, this time it was a dinner during which the women needed to talk business. So I said, Why don't you tell her husband to come along, and he and I can sit at a different table, and the two of us could have a good time talking to each other." I was going to say that this way the two of us could actually talk about what we wanted to, but I was too smart to do that.

So, yesterday morning as I was leaving for the studio, Wanda asked if I had some clean clothes to take along, and like a dummy I asked why? Well, duh, to change into for dinner. We weren't going out to any place nice, just a chain restaurant that makes sandwiches, and I was going to eat with a guy who was remodeling a house. The women were going to be on the other side of the place, so if the two of us looked bad, they could just pretend they didn't even know us. What the heck, I grabbed a clean pair of pants and a nice shirt. I have to tell you I had clean clothes on when I left the house, but I am a wood worker and my clothes do get dusty.

Dinner was great, just a sandwich and chips. Like I said, we have gone out to dinner with this couple two or three times, but this time that guy and I got to talk together. I found out he retired from selling logging equipment and supplies to loggers and saw mills. He was a wealth of knowledge about where there were small mills I could buy lumber at. We talked about that, his remodeling project, my woodworking, where to buy tools in Tallahassee, and what kind of screws hold best. Guy things.

Now this was so cool. In the town I lived in in Northern Minnesota, there is a man named Otis Hahn, and his brother down near Duluth invented something called the Hahn Wood Processor. It is something like a skidder, a huge piece of logging equipment. Well, this guy knew all about it, and so we talked skidders, skidder tires, trees, timber, some sort of pine tree they grow down here that you can harvest in 16 years, and a bit about Australia, because that is where this guy came from. Just a whole meal of guy talk.

Then the ladies came back and sat with us, and we fell into talking about families, in-laws, children, and grandchildren. We knew that was going to happen, but the two of us decided that we got along well, and he is going to stop down and see my workshop.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot this. This guy sold band saw blades, and gave me a little class on how to buy the best ones. Which was real nice since I am using a band saw almost every day.

I really have no idea of what two women talk about when just two of them sit down to eat, and truth be told, I don't care all that much. I just hope Wanda had as much fun as I did. I can talk to Wanda for hours and do all the time and enjoy the heck out of it. But this meal tonight was a real treat. Essentially it was just two guys shooting the breeze after a day at work, talking shop. It was very relaxing.

I found out that it doesn't matter, North or South, guys talk about the same things. I have no idea of what that guy was wearing, and I bet he has no recollection of what I had on. Guys don't really care. I can say the coffee was good, the price was fair, and chair was comfortable.

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