Paul and I went to Home Depot Sunday to pick up a number of items. The biggest one on the list was the filter for our under-the-sink water filtration system. We walk in, I see a couple of employees and I ask where the water filter replacement parts are. The guy walks us over to where they are displayed.
Paul had written the model and filter numbers down for me and I had the paper in my pocket. I had also called GE because they don’t seem to sell those filters any more so I got the new replacement number. The employee hands us the filters that match the new numbers and it becomes obvious that this was incorrect.
The Fax Paux
Had I been using my feminine brain instead of my masculine chick-in-charge brain, I would have realized the best course of action was to step back and let my husband take over. No such luck – I forged ahead discussing options with the guy. My husband started fuming – it took me while to catch on. Oh oh.
Emasculation is Not Pretty
Since the Home Depot guy was interacting with me – he was ignoring my husband. And that makes sense since I was obviously the person in charge – not such a good thing when your husband is standing right there. As a woman, in a man’s world, taking charge makes your man feel superfluous and unnecessary. Anyone want to volunteer to feel unnecessary? It’s not a good feeling and it’s really not pretty for a man.
My Nature and Family History
I am a chick-in-charge. Getting to 40 and being on my own, I had to be a chick-in-charge. It was a job requirement too because I worked in a very competitive field – marketing at a top consumer packaged foods company. And in all honestly, I come from a driver family where we are a bit bossy, speak up for ourselves and get our point heard if you catch my drift.
Fast Forward to Today
Today I’ve been married for nine years (it’s so hard to believe.) Having dated 30 men in 15 months to meet and marry my husband, I was more in tune with this during my dating frenzy. But in marriage, now that we are together, I can tend to forget that I need to leave room for my husband to be the man.
What is My Priority?
Being in charge at Home Depot? Is that really my top priority? It better not be if I want my man to stick around. Why couldn’t I have let him take over, step up and be in charge of the water filter? My nature is to step up and take charge, but it sure doesn’t suit his nature – at Home Depot. There are other situations where my nature is perfectly acceptable and he’d be fine with me being in the driver’s seat. But not in the man’s world of home building supplies.
Once the event was over, I took a step back to understand his perspective. I get it now. Of course it would have been better if I had gotten it then, in the moment, before I made him feel small and foolish. Before I pounced on his easily wounded male ego and pride.
Yielding the Right of Way
Allowing Paul to be the driver of Home Depot activities, is this really a big concession? No. Mostly he goes on his own which in hindsight is clearly a better option. I love my husband and to keep a marriage happy requires a series of compromises and adjustments. Giving way at Home Depot is a rather small concession in the scheme of things. After all, its tiring to be in charge of everything. I’d prefer to split the duties. What was I thinking?
After we made our purchases, I suggested we cross the street for a hamburger and french fries. He loves burgers and fries. But, I’m the decision maker regarding most meals so he doesn’t get that often in my quest to eat healthy.
It may be an old tired saying, but you can catch more flies with honey. I’m not really trying to catch flies, but I do want my husband to know that he is loved and very needed. He started smiling again when he saw how many fries were in the bag.
photo credit photos from PT