my view

Just some of the many things I didn’t know

By LEAH CASNER
Posted 5/12/21

In the last couple of months, the River Reporter has asked readers to tell newcomers—me among them—things they ought to know but perhaps wouldn’t know to ask.

Before coming here, …

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my view

Just some of the many things I didn’t know

Posted

In the last couple of months, the River Reporter has asked readers to tell newcomers—me among them—things they ought to know but perhaps wouldn’t know to ask.

Before coming here, I hadn’t wondered if Pennsylvania allowed a right turn on red. Just hadn’t thought about it, until people gave me gentle hints when I was stopped at red lights with my right turn signal on. Truly gentle, a tap of the horn, not an angry pounding thereof. No one called me the C-word or advised me to get off the road permanently.

There are so many other questions, in every area of life, I should have asked.

To doctors: How long is this recovery going to take, anyway? Seems obvious now, but I was very young at the time and thought he was telling me everything I needed to know.

To editors: “Can I have more money?” The answer used to be “yes” and then became in the last decade, “I don’t think so.”

To a particular Staten Island car repair shop: When your tow truck happens to be at the grocery store parking lot just when I run my car into its store wall, causing a minor dent and air bag eruption, and I am so grateful you are there that I do not wait for the AAA towing company to arrive, will your repair shop then hold my car for SEVEN WEEKS and lie to my husband and me constantly on the phone when we ask about it?

To the job interviewer: If I take this job, in six months, will the consultants in the nest of cubicles one corral over decide this department would do just as well with a third less people, and the managers who hired me take the early retirement package, and the new acting manager be a complete psychopath who smells like a goat and is convinced the world is gaslighting her, so instead she gaslights everyone in the office?

Then there are questions to the universe that I don’t know exactly who to ask:

Why do men keep trying to tell women what women think, feel, want, without themselves ever having actually been female? A few years back, the internet was quivering in amusement at John Updike’s imaginings of a woman’s musings as she overheard her male friend urinating, green with envy that she, a lowly female, could not produce as emphatic a urine stream, but instead had to wait for her piss to trickle through her convoluted insides and drip slowly out of her urethra.

I can only think that Updike was trying to answer men’s eternal curiosity about why women took so long in the bathroom, and came up with an explanation that a poorly informed adolescent guy with no access to anatomy textbooks might have invented, without actually consulting a woman, nor, at a very minimum, ever hearing a women pee.

Some of my questions may be eternally unanswered, though perhaps not unexplained. Plenty of guys on the internet are eager to do so.

Leah Casner and her husband bought their home in Equinunk in 2019 for weekends and to retire to. The ability to work remotely made it possible for them to move sooner than planned. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Miami Herald, and Chicago Tribune, among others.

country life

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