Z: Am I a girl?

She: No more than usual.

Z: Compared to how I used to be, I’m really very manly.

She: You shave.

Z: I know, right?

She: Where’s this coming from?

Z: The 30,000 sixth-grade graduation events we attended this week. Other than graduation itself, I was the only dad present at all the other celebrations.

She: Come to think of it, you did stick out as one who lacked estrogen.

Z: I was the only bull amid the daisies. A steely hulk in the company of magnolias. A …

She: Yeah. Like that. Especially at the pool party, where — aside from the kids — there must have been at least 20 moms and you.

Z: Where did all the men go? Are they so easily frightened by a sixth-grade pool party?

She: One dad did show up for our after-graduation lunch.

Z: We were sitting at two tables — one filled with boys, and the other with all moms, grandmas and me. He came late and sat at the table with the boys.

She: His loss.

Z: Am I missing something? Was there some secret message that went out telling all the dads that they weren’t supposed to go to these things? Did all those men meet at a bar somewhere?

She: Not that I know of. Maybe they were all so emotionally overwhelmed by their children graduating from elementary school, that they stayed home and binged on Ben & Jerry’s and Oprah.

Z: Yes. That was probably it.

She: I don’t always describe you as particularly evolved, but you are very comfortable in the company of women.

Z: Why wouldn’t I be?

She: No reason, but a lot of men run for their lives when they see a bunch of women together.

Z: I’ve never understood that.

She: No, as a straight guy who did a lot of musical theater, you probably don’t.

Z: Seriously, why would a guy want to wrestle on a sweaty mat with a bunch of sweaty other guys when he could dance around stage with a bunch of hot girls?

She: When you put it that way. But is that what was happening at the pool party? I missed that part.

Z: Besides, women are a much better audience for my jokes.

She: It’s true — some of those giggles you get are probably actual laughter as opposed to nervous sniggers.

Z: Plus, I get huge points for being the only dad manly enough to hang out with all the moms.

She: Huge points from who? Koss pretty much ignores us whenever his friends are around and I’m usually too busy talking to the other moms to pay attention to you.

Z: The moms are so impressed that I showed up and their husbands didn’t that they totally appreciate my jokes. Nothing makes for a better audience than a woman who’s comparing you favorably to her no-good husband who’s probably home on the couch spilling potato chips and watching the Golf Channel.

She: Sound strategy. So this is why you attend these events? To get laughs?

Z: Yup. It used to be to get dates, but that would be awkward now.

She: Maybe that’s why none of the other dads are showing up. They know there’s no payoff.

Z: Not to get sincere on your butt — and this is purely peripheral — but I also kind of like seeing my kid at these things. There’s something about observing him in his natural habitat that I get a kick out of. Sometimes, like at graduation events, it even makes me a little misty.

She: Ha! I was wrong. You are a girl.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Tell She and Z what you think by emailing leslie@lesliedinaberg.com. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns. Follow Leslie Dinaberg on Twitter.