Saturday, June 13, 2009

Re-visiting the gender being kind to the opposite gender idea

I thought I'd comment some more on what I said 2 posts previous about how men are usually more helpful to me and women more helpful to James. My sister-in-law, Jan, emailed after reading that post and told me this is what happened when she took her car in to be serviced. I hope you don't mind me using you in my blog, Jan. She said:

I told Phil I wanted him to go along as I was tired of having to deal with the service people there. I had pulled in to the service area and Phil parked his car and walked up to the van. I was explaining what service was needed and the service guy checking me in was giving me the usual patronizing condescending attitude they all seemed so good at. He saw Phil, stopped talking to me, and told Phil he would be right with him. I wished I had brought a tape recorder. He immediately ignored me, talked directly to Phil, who told him exactly what I had about the service needed. His whole tone of voice, body language, was different when he talked to Phil.

I've heard this kind of story many times and I can't believe it still happens. What difference does it make who tells what's wrong with a car? My guess is that the majority of men who take their car in to be serviced don't know a whole lot about the car either. We all just like them to run well, right?

I've had similar experiences with my building projects. There are some men who question me about how I did something, almost challenging me. They refuse to say I did a good job. I doubt they would even if they thought I did do a great job. Then there are other men who are generous with their praise and have asked my opinion about how to do something. They've even asked for my help. Some even brag about my work which is an ego builder, of course, and always welcome.

I like the idea of reversing roles. James does all our canning and freezing. He's gentler and sweeter than I. I do more building and repairs than James. An old woman once remarked that we had things backwards. I thought that was funny. Maybe I should gather some stories from people, like the one Jan told, and write about them. And maybe some about nice ways they were treated even though they were the opposite sex. I bet I could come up with some good ones. Anyone care to share?


  1. That guy, James, is a traitor to his gender. It's good he's hiding out in the woods. Don't you know we men have to hang together and speak tough because it's the only way we can overcome our insecurities? RRRRRROOOOOAAAAARRRRR!!!!

  2. I bought a 100 year old four-family building when I was single. The real estate agent for the owner tried to talk her out of selling the house to me because a single woman couldn't take on that project. Good ol' Marjorie sided with me. When rehabbing the house, I had a contractor who refused to walk through and bid the job unless "my husband" was present. Somehow I managed to finish that project without that contractor...or a husband. By the way, I have a husband now. He likes to clean the bathroom AND cut the grass. I must be a lucky girl.

  3. You ARE a lucky girl but not just because you have a husband that cuts the grass and cleans the bathroom (that's great though) but because you could take on that rehabbing job without the help of a man. You showed that realtor, did't you? Okay, you're lucky for a bunch of other reasons too.