You said it, Peggy Lee.
I enjoy being a girl.
Confession time: I’ve noticed recently that there is a part of me that I like to hide and pull out only when convenient: my XX chromosome. For a woman who grew up a slight tomboy with three older sisters, moved around, Mary Tyler Moore-d my way in the big city (New Orleans, not Minneapolis), refused to call home (because that’s what independent women do!), became a single mother and was at one point convinced that I absolutely could raise a son without a husband… I sure do turn to the “oh jeeze, I’m just a little old girl, what do I know” act whenever I don’t really want to do something.
Take today for example. Ding-dong, someone is at my home. And it’s like, 2:30 and I want to walk over to get Hank from school and I am not interested in whatever anyone has. So I open the door and Comcast guy is standing there.
“Well hello, ma’am, I’m Comcast guy, and I’m just visiting homes today to see if blah bleee da blurb bleebity blah blah blah.”
Now, I’m thinking, go away. Unless your Comcast offer comes with $10,000 cash and guaranteed safe liposuction rear-and-belly reducer and the Lego Deathstar (because I am not spending a house payment on that toy, no matter how much the boys want it), forget it! Go. Away. Now. But for some reason, I — Marney — the woman who is never short of creative words to let people in on what she is thinking — cannot just say it.
“Oh, you know, my husband, he takes care of all that!” I say. I may have even twirled my hair when I did it. And you know what? It worked. Off Comcast went to the next house while I slipped on my sneakers and headed out the door.
I did the same thing last week with the people who wanted us to use their lawn service. “Oh, jeeze, I don’t know WHAT my husband would want.” And the guy at Sears trying to sell me a refrigerator, when all I was doing was looking because ours works just fine and dandy: “Well, I doubt my husband would let me even have a new fridge.” LET? I really said that! Then there was the time the guy at the gym tried to talk me into getting a personal trainer: “Oh, gosh, I don’t know if I can do that, my husband takes care of the bills.” Uh…. no he doesn’t. Jim doesn’t even know where the checkbook is, let alone how much money is in it or what bill is due when. The list of things I am perfectly capable of doing yet still rarely do include:
- killing a spider
- carrying something heavy
- anything involving electronics
- hanging a picture
- changing the furnace filter
- being the driver on an extended trip
- settle a hotel bill
- anything involving automobile maintenance, including changing wiper blades, getting a new battery or picking out new tires
- killing spiders (worth a second mention, because I really am not afraid of spiders)
Remember — I am absolutely CAPABLE of these things. And there was a time when I wouldn’t just say, sure I can do that, but rather, I would INSIST that I do it. I remember when I was younger, thinking, I don’t need a man! I can do this all myself. And you know what? I think I could. For God’s sake, I managed to kill roaches that were flying at me in New Orleans with my bare hands, but I scream “Jiiiiiimmmmmmmm!” when a tiny little house spider is on the wall. I don’t know, just something about having a husband who will also do these things is so….
I use my husband’s perceived dominant XY as an excuse to cling to the perception that XX is meek and cute and just a GIRL. I fear that the sisterhood might reject me for it. I mean, all those years and all those fights for equal rights, and I won’t kill a damn spider! When the truth of it is, I LIKE chivalry. I like having someone who opens my doors and kills those pesky spiders. And it works to my advantage, as well. I can do things like look at a new car or browse the aisles at the Home Depot for paint samples or light fixtures, and when someone approaches me I’m all sing-songy and “ooohhhhhh, I’m just getting ideas” and they leave me the hell alone! Who doesn’t love that?
It’s not one way, either. There are plenty of things Jim can do that he just doesn’t: laundry, making beds, cooking. But I actually like doing those things, too. There are plenty of times when he can pull out the “oh my wife makes that decision” card to get out of making a choice. And not too long ago, realizing that I did indeed have to have a toilet that flushed, I fixed the snapped stopper in the tank. Even though we all know that’s man’s work.
I think I am overall a fairly strong person. But when it comes to using what the good Lord gave you….
When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curl,
I float as the clouds on air do,
I enjoy being a girl!