Or What to get the Woman Who Needs EVERYTHING
There are women in the world who take great pride in being willing to learn anything and everything they can to better their situation. Women who only need to be shown a thing once to figure it out, commit it to memory, and then never need to be shown again. Women who are glad to be self-sufficient, who love not having to send up a cry for help every time something goes a tiny little bit wrong.
And then there’re those others. Those who wear helplessness like a badge, wave about their incompetence like it’s something to be proud of. I like to think of myself as a member of the former group, so those in the latter drive me utterly mad.
I had a roommate once who couldn’t change a tire. I know, sounds utterly clichéd, but she couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. She said that she didn’t need to change tires—she could just smile cutely at passersby until someone stopped to do it for her. Some nice, big, strong man. Hey, I have nothing against big, strong men—some of my best friends, you know? But didn’t this plan have a few gaping holes? What happens if no big, strong men wander by? What if someone stops with more than changing a tire in mind? What then? I wound up growling and shouting until she buckled and allowed me to show her how to change a tire. Again and again, until she had it down. She may have still been an idiot, but at least she was an idiot who wasn’t going to be at the mercy of whatever came down the road.
Or so I thought. About a year later, I was driving down the road when I saw my then ex-roommate. Flat tire, side of the road. Was she changing it? No, she was leaning prettily against her car and trying to wave down some big, strong man.
Why would she do this? Why would anyone prefer helplessness over competence?
I have another female acquaintance who holds her inabilities as points of pride. “I’ve never changed oil in a car and I never will! I don’t even know where the DIPSTICK is!” I could tell her where it is, but she’d probably be insulted. Ask her where her air filter goes and she sniffs and reminds me that it’s not her JOB to know that. But it’s worse than that—it’s not just automotive things, it’s ALL things. This woman brags that she can’t do much of anything—she can’t fix a loose screen, she can’t hang a picture or follow software prompts, she can’t DO anything . . . not if she can find someone else to do it for her, anyway.
What IS that? What would make anyone think that helplessness is attractive? I had one friend (another helpless Nelly) explain that “men like to feel needed.” My answer to that? Who wants to date a guy who’s okay with being manipulated like that? It’s one thing to not be able to do something. It’s another to pretend not to be able to in order to impress someone. Again, who’s impressed by inability?
Well, I’ve decided that what I’m going to give those women in my life who need EVERYTHING is a whole bunch of NOTHING. Can’t get that cable box set up? Read the directions. Need that printer installed? Pop in the disk and follow the prompts. Because I’m not doing anyone—them OR me—any favors by continuing to do it all for them.