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Mark to Sue 6

Sunday, April 20

Dear Sue:

             We're into our usual Sunday routine. Kayla is next to me reading, occasionally interrupting to ask what certain letters spell. Wes is on the computer, navigating games of strategy and espionage. Cole is outside practicing jump shots, taking a short break from work on a school project. The Sunday paper sits in front of me, waiting to be rifled through, and the first load of laundry is in the machine. The hastily prepared lunch is over and I have decided to pause between laundry loads and have a cup of coffee and a cookie, and write to you. It's not unusual to find me up until 2 a.m. - your letter was sent around 4 a.m. We've become creatures of the night, next we'll lose our vision and develop radar, but the transformation becomes complete when we hang by our tails and spread our wings to fly!

            I get a thrill reading your letters. You are a splendid writer, but it's more than a clever skill you've acquired. There are things that come from within - natural and creative. My head buzzed with images as you described your excursion into "the wilds". What a gift you have! I enjoy your special blending of "commodity" and "delight" (form and function -- saying more with less). Did your interest in literature begin when you were young? Did anyone in your family encourage you?

I          I've seen that particular brand of female condescension you mentioned in the last e-mail. I don't think I was a house-husband before, but back in college my sister used to tell me that I would make someone a good wife one day. I vacuum the high traffic areas of the house each day - not to relax, though. I just want to stay one step ahead of the debris. No, I didn't think you were sounding sexist - I'm flattered that you would think about the changes I underwent. I don't think people associate tenderness, delicacy and fine motor skills with manliness. Men's intuitive abilities, depth of feelings, sensitivity and flexibility are practically nonexistent. I guess we are to blame, because we don't drop our guard, show our tenderness - or cry. For the most part, we appear pretty one-dimensional.

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