Because men don't seem to need any. I'm a detail-oriented person, and I've often wondered how on earth men can go through life so oblivious and uncaring of all the millions of details that make up their world. I guess it's because, on their original planet, everything falls into place with absolutely no effort.
That's strange because, here on earth, it takes a lot of effort for details to fall into place. Not that men notice.
Take, for instance, my Indiana Jones. I love the man to death, but sometimes I think he'll be the death of me. Recently he and another pastor got together and decided our churches should compete in a month-long campaign.
We were out with another couple from our church when Indiana enthusiastically explained the plan. They wanted to kick off this campaign with a joint picnic/early evening service one Sunday night at a park halfway between our two churches. The other church would provide the meat, and we would bring the sides.
Clearly, Indiana was pleased that they had hammered out the details. Vicky and I looked at each other across the table, and I silently agreed that she should go first.
"What kind of meat?" She asked. "That might make a difference in what sides we would fix."
Indiana shrugged. "Probably hamburgers and hotdogs."
That shrug means it wasn't discussed. He's just putting his own spin on things. Now it was my turn.
"What about buns? Is that part of 'meat' or 'sides'?"
Indiana looked blank as he admitted he didn't know.
"What about condiments?"
"Who is bringing beverages?"
"Are desserts included in sides?"
"I guess I can send the other pastor an email," Indiana decided. I could tell he didn't want to. He doesn't want to worry about details. In fact, later on he just told me we should plan on bringing all that extra stuff. To him it was an easy way to deal with our questions without his having to bother anymore.
But there's a problem with that line of thinking. Guys see the worst-case scenario here that everyone brings everything and we have more than we need and everyone's happy.
Women see that, if we bring desserts when they already made desserts, we risk sending the message that their contributions aren't good enough. We also worry about irritating ladies if they spend time and effort on something, only to find out it wasn't really needed.
As the picnic drew closer and I
badgered asked Indiana for clarification, he confidently asserted that we needed to bring buns and condiments as well as sides. We planned for some desserts, but it was implied that those would be coming from both churches.
The day before the picnic, Indiana called me while I was at the grocery store to let me know that our church was responsible for bringing all the desserts.
The day of the picnic I found out we were having pulled pork and hotdogs. No need for the lettuce, tomatoes and mayonaise we brought. We definitely could have used more cole slaw. There were enough desserts, but judging from the way they were picked clean, a few more brownies wouldn't have hurt.
We had more 2-liters and buns than we knew what to do with. In fact, we ended up taking home most of the ones we'd brought because the other church also brought plenty. Both churches provided plates, plasticware, cups and tablecloths.
I made a mental note to call the other pastor's wife next time, but I didn't have time to dwell on it because this month it's our church's turn to host the local pastors' fellowship. Having never been to one (seeing as I'm not a pastor and all), I asked Indiana about the meal we're supposed to serve after the meeting.
He thinks he's usually eaten some sort of chicken at these luncheons.
Make sure there's desserts.
We should probably have a vegetable.
Plan for 20. Or maybe 50.
Perhaps I should just make reservations for this luncheon.