I’m used to this.  I’m married (that’s one).  We have three daughters ages twenty-one, nineteen and sixteen (that’s two, three and four).  Now a fifth has been added into the estrogen line-up…our French daughter, Delphine.  Delphine visited us as an exchange student four years ago and learned so much about American’s from the humble Ripley family that she decided to come back and visit us again on her own dime, er Euro.  Four years ago we were just coming out of the worst flooding in centuries, now four years later…the worst drought in close to twenty-five years.  When Delphine visits us again I wonder if she’ll bring us pestilence or locusts?

Anyway…having five women in the house is kind of tough on the resident alpha-male.  Number one…it’s harder than heck to get a word in edgewise with so many mouths running at such a fast pace…though rarely does any one of them ask me of anything that I might have a snowballs chance in Hades of knowing the answer too.  Wanna know how to change a flat tire, shoot a free throw, tie a tie, climb a ladder and get sticks off of the roof? Ask Dad.  Wanna know who has the lowest prices on handbags this weekend?  Ask any of the four resident females.

Don’t even get me started on their opinions of what I wear.  In a word, they’re ruthless.  I’ve noticed that they never have an issue with what I’m wearing whenever I have to move them into or out of a college dorm or when they require cash for something.  One of these days I will wear sandals with knee length white athletic socks while wearing shorts to their “move in” day at the University of Iowa.  My wife, God bless her, lets me buy my own clothes.  She intelligently picks her battles. I’m swimming in a sea of estrogen.

Just about the only time that I get everyone’s attention is when we’re on vacation and we end up not where we want to be…so I start driving to …”the northwest!”  Then everyone in the vehicle is all about “why are we going this way?!”  And I in my best Indian scout impersonation state “the sun rises in the east, sets in the west and our Holiday Inn Express should be rrrriiiiigggggttttt over this next hill.”  And KABAAM!!!  Low and behold, it’s there.  (It’s true…I’ve done this numerous times after getting us lost in the first place.  Still…it’s a gift.)

I really can’t complain very loudly about being the only male in the house.  Delphine is very quiet, polite and well behaved (so you know that she has to be from a different country and culture).  My wife moderates most of the “head-butting contests” that I and our daughters have from time to time (but when you have a skull as thick as mine you don’t lose too many of those).  And our daughters have taken after their mother and are excellent students and good people.  My wife is wonderful. She’s like many women, she cannot take a compliment.  When I tell her that she’s “hotter than a two dollar pistol” she just rolls her eyes and points out all of her frailties.  I suppose that’s just her being humble, but I love her nonetheless as I wrap my lovin’ arms around her as she scrambles in vain to get away.  The lady doth protest too much.

Don’t feel sorry for me…I’m real blessed.  Greatly and abundantly blessed more than I ever thought that I would be.  I’d continue to write but I need to walk through the living room and ask a bunch of questions to teenagers who don’t want to answer them.  Alpha male.  On patrol.  It’s what I doIt’s the way I roll.

My four females showing the fifth female how we “Ripleys” cut birthday cake. THICK. Delphine must like America…she had some more of her birthday cake for breakfast….and that’s as American as you can get.
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