Anyway, those are the things I'm good at. The list of what I'm not good at is a work in progress, but I'd definitely place men right near the top. I am not now, nor have I ever been, particularly good at men. I like them, I even keep one around the apartment in case of emergencies (that would be Johannes, father of my 6-year-old, protector against future squirrel invasions), but I can't pretend that I'm totally at ease with them—at least not in the same way I am with women.
It seems to me that there are women who are women's women and women who are men's women. Lauren Bacall always struck me as a real man's woman. Glamorous, seductive, but pretty no-nonsense at the same time—the kind of dame who could smoke, shoot pool, drink everybody under the table, and still get up early to go fly-fishing without ever once chipping her nail polish. Bacall gave as good as she got, and what she got was Humphrey Bogart.
But she's not the only one of the girls who was one of the boys. Ava Gardner, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Shirley MacLaine, Rosalind Russell, Angelina Jolie, any one of them could probably call your bluff in a high-stakes game of Texas Hold'em or change a flat tire without batting an eyelash or grab a rifle and go off skeet shooting.
I don't know what a skeet is or why anyone would want to shoot it. I don't know how to gut a catfish or loosen a lug nut, or flirt in a way that doesn't lead a guy to wonder if I might need to be institutionalized.
In my heart, I'm Lauren Bacall throwing Bogie the perfect To Have and Have Not exit line, "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and...blow." But in my apartment, I'm still me and the exit line is more like "You know how to take the garbage out, don't you, Johannes? You just separate the recyclables and...go."