Today I fixed my car bumper all by myself.
(I’m inserting an extra break so you have time to let that sink in.)
No offense guys, but you men are nothing special.
I can hear my friend Samantha in my head now admonishing me for man-hating. In my defense, I only say that now because I’m feeling pretty good about myself for accomplishing something I didn’t think I could do that is traditionally a guy interest. Today I have grease and dirt under my nails and on my shirt and ratty jeans. There was a streak on my face before I washed it. My hair is coming out of the elastic I put it up in before I crawled underneath my vehicle. I am thrilled most especially about the grease and dirt on my jeans. They already have massive rips in them–the real kind that were put there by use rather than some designer–and now I have matching stains to go with them. Normally I try to stay clean, but today I feel like the grime is a badge of honor, a testimony to my usefulness. It feels pretty fantastic.
Girls, guys are totally holding out on us. Everyone knows the best way to keep something from a woman is to keep it in plain sight. You see, we are nosy by nature and can ferret out anything in two ticks; put something right in front of us, however, and we develop a complete lack of attention. Even though men cannot seem to remember this when they lie, they remember it well when it comes to things like, oh, fixing things. There is an immense satisfaction to be had in handy things like mounting a coat rack on the wall or fixing your own car bumper. What is next? Changing my own oil? Maybe. After that? Rule the world? I think so.
And then I want a man to bring me a sandwich and a cold glass of milk.
Because I don’t drink beer.
Handyman satisfaction is not just for handy men anymore.
Who really needs men anyway? Oh. Right. That would be me.
But this haughty question came to mind as I was rejoicing in my usefulness today. And it made me think. I like to feel useful. Feeling useful means someone out there probably needs me. We are a society that looks down on people who don’t work. Why? Because people need to be useful to society, right? People who are not productive members of society are useless, unneeded baggage who need only to be shot and put out of everyone else’s misery. (That is the actual phrase people use, productive members of society; am I the only one who thinks this sounds terribly overbearing, like corporate America jargon?)
So is this need to feel needed something I actually feel? Or is it a learned need I have? Has society fooled me into thinking that I need to be useful to the rest of society, to be needed by someone, in order to be worthy of my own life? I often wonder how much of my personality is really what I feel and how much is what I think based on the pressures of the culture and society in which I grew up. I can’t understand a biological reason for this need except as a way to push people to survive in tribes before there were cities and the like. Maybe it’s part of our DNA to want to feel needed so that we can be the social creatures that we are, to–dare I say it?–be team players.
Other than that, I have no opinion.
Today I add change my own car oil to my bucket list.
On a completely related note, I find myself in need of a manicure.