When My Love Returns from the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old to Care? Summary

Lewis Grizzard

When My Love Returns from the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old to Care?

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In the world of Lewis Grizzard, men are intimidated by hair dryers, hamburgers with mushrooms, computers that telephone, and feminists. Grizzard, however, fights back. He throws away the hair dryer, scrapes the mushrooms off his hamburger, telephones the toll-free number to complain about harassment, and regularly turns feminists purple by indicating that women should be able to do everything but vote and drive.

Even when Grizzard cannot immediately react verbally or physically to the pretensions and fads of a yuppie urban society, he takes careful note of a situation, later to relate it in painful detail. He prints the full menu of a White House dinner he attended, appropriately capitalized, but notes that President Ronald Reagan stumbled over the cellist’s foreign name, from which Grizzard infers that the president himself might have been more at home at his predecessor’s honest American party, complete with beer and Willie Nelson.

Similarly, Grizzard uses an account of the invasion of the men’s room by women at Atlanta concerts to reiterate one of his major themes: that there are differences between men and women which feminism cannot and should not erase. If his love takes a long time in the ladies’ room or shops compulsively, Grizzard would rather satirize her feminine faults than have her assume the character of a man. The popularity of Grizzard’s eight previous books and of his syndicated column, even among people who do not agree with his social and political opinions, must be attributed to the American delight in a contemporary Will Rogers who reminds an upwardly mobile generation of the rustic wisdom it may have discarded in its climb.