The caveman needed some enlightenment, but he went fishing

February 11, 1997|By Susan Reimer

I WENT TO see Rob Becker's one-man show "Defending the Caveman" and left thinking that my husband should put Becker on retainer. No man is more in need of defending right now than my own personal caveman.

That's because he and I had a date for that show and he stood me up. Scheduled an out-of-town business trip. On our anniversary.

Is he Rob Becker's poster boy or what?

I planned this evening of fine dining and theater -- women are always doing the planning -- because I felt like 14 years of marriage in the current national rush to divorce merits more celebration than saloon food and a movie at the local multi-plex cinema.

Since my own personal caveman is not fond of live theater unless the actors are wearing uniforms and concentrating on some sort of ball, I thought this would be the perfect compromise.

Rob Becker in jeans and a T-shirt marching back and forth across the stage at the Lyric Opera House announcing that men are not idiots is just the ticket for the man who refers to intermission as "halftime" and who, after a performance of "Miss Saigon," said he thought there should have been more about the war.

Anyway, I purchased four tickets so that my own personal caveman would have the commiseration of his longtime friend, Steve, and I would have the company of Steve's wife, Diana.

Steve and Gary have been friends since college when they were regularly unsuccessful with women together. Diana and I brought them into the world of love and family, but we have often felt more like we came between them.

But we agreed that these two friends would certainly enjoy hearing, for two hours, that we were wrong in all our harsh judgments of them. We also felt that they might gain some insight into why it is they are so often in trouble with us. They agreed to go so they would not be in trouble with us, and Diana and I said this was a good start.

Well, I remember the day I married this man like it was yesterday, but it appears he would have trouble remembering it even if it was yesterday. Marking things down on a calendar has always worked for me, but that requires a calendar and my husband doesn't have one so he double-booked himself into a trip to Wisconsin to research a story about ice-fishing.

Fall in, I said when he told me.

As you might imagine, Steve's commitment to the evening's entertainment disappeared like chips during a football game, to use one of Becker's favorite themes. So I gathered a car full of women and off we went to hear a defense of the very behavior we had just witnessed.

In one of the great juxtapositions of all time, my own personal caveman was spearing sturgeon through a hole in the ice about the same time I was getting dressed to the nines for an evening of theater. Exhibit A in defense of the caveman. I only wish Becker had taken questions from the audience.

But, as we learned from the O.J. Simpson trial, every accused is entitled to the best defense money can buy, and Becker's explanation of how a man's mind works was worth every penny. I learned that men are not wrong, they are just different, and it is a shame my own personal caveman was not there to witness my epiphany because now I can deny it whenever it suits me and more's the pity for him.

My own personal caveman returned from his business trip last night and I am sure he believes that the hurt feelings that resulted from his scheduling misstep have passed, and all will be well when he comes down to breakfast this morning.

And opens this newspaper.

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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