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Throw a man into the mix

I knew it was true, but I didn’t know how true it was until we went on an economy football trip with the family.

Throwing a man into the mix of things changes everything.

After a cold night at the football game in Parachute, Colo., with 20 layers of clothes, we checked into the Holiday Express. Two queen size beds, four of us: me, my two daughters and my son-in-law. My Sweet Al was sick, so he stayed home with the dogs.

In the room my son-in-law went to the thermostat and fiddled with the heat. I saw him do it, but it didn’t register until the next morning what he had done.

That night, we talked about the game until we all went to bed. During the night, I got colder and colder. I didn’t want to wake anyone, so I quietly threw my coat on the bed. Then, I got up and threw my sweater on top of the coat. Then, I got up and put on my robe. I was still cold, so I put my jacket over my robe, then I put on my gloves and Pirates wool scarf round my neck.

By morning, I had all twenty layers back on me, and everything in my suitcase was thrown over the bed. I didn’t sleep a wink, but I was careful not to wake anyone.

We went to breakfast the next morning and my daughter said, “I feel horrible. Look at me, I’ve never looked so bad. I didn’t sleep. I froze all night.”

“You were awake?,” I asked. “I thought everyone was sleeping.”

Then my other daughter said, “I was cold, too. I slept with my head under the covers. Look at my hair.”

I told them, “You saw how many clothes I had on when we woke up, and I was still cold.”

My son-in-law, who was looking like a million dollars, said, “I slept just fine.”

On the way home, we stopped for gas, and when he got back into the car, he asked, “What were you talking about?”

We said, “About how cold we were. “

“I guess I’ll never hear the end of it.”

We said, “You better believe it. You made us all cold. Now we are all sick, and look at us.”

The difference between men and women … what’s that all about? Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I told the activities director at Wyndham that I had a man in my painting class. She asked if that was good or bad.

I said, “Really good.”

Throw a man in the mix and he changes the dynamics of the class. I have more fun teasing the men. They are usually great sports.

The man is probably there because his wife made him take the class, or he has a secret desire to paint. He comes to Pagosa and dares to touch his feminine side because he doesn’t know anyone. He’ll have a great time. The class is more fun when a man is thrown into the mix.

I heard years ago that when a company has a secretary pool, if they have a lot of gossip, complaining or backbiting among the women, they will bring a man in and put him in the middle of the secretary pool. The whole dynamic changes; the women quit complaining and they get cute and flirty.

Final brushstroke: Believe me, the night we all stayed in the motel room at Parachute, we had a man in the mix with us, and none of us woke up cute and flirty.

Artist’s quote

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” — C.S. Lewis.

Readers’ comments

It happens to all of us. Send your comments to betty@bettyslade.com.

This story was posted on October 17, 2013.