Monday, December 10, 2007

A Pox on Bossy Old Men!

I'm getting ready to leave for Christmas holidays at my Grandparents' house tomorrow, and this involved picking up some new wiper blades at WalMart and filling up on gas. I decided to switch out the wipers at the gas station since the filling overhang was about as sheltered as I was likely to get! So I fill my tank, top up my windshield washer fluid, and get to work on the wipers. I pop the old ones off, and get the first one on with no problem. I have a bit of a brain fart with the driver's side and am sort of standing there looking at it when this 60-something man pulls up in a white Buick and decides that I need his help.
"Here, let me get that for you, young lady."
"Oh, that's okay, thanks! It's just been a while since I did this last, but I got the passenger side, so I'm sure it'll be no problem."
"No, no, let me have it."
So I give in to him, and he tries to put it on. And tries. "Hm, did another little piece come with this?"
"No...but the other one worked fine. I'll get it, don't worry!"
"Hmm..." Fiddles some more. "Well, I think you have the wrong one, here."
"No, I don't think so, I checked the little product guide, and this is the one they said for the 2003 Honda Civic. Please sir, I'm sure I can figure it out, I'll be fine, you just go on."
"Hmm...do you have the old one?" Digs it out of the trash. "Hm, I see, I see." Fiddles, fusses, and eventually gets the old one back on. Great, I think, we have now regressed five minutes.
And then he gets the old one back on somehow. "Hmm," he says (yes, he really did say hm that much.) "Well, I seem to have got it on," (No, really?) "But it shouldn't be moving like this." He slides it back and forth. "You need the one with the screw here." Points. "Where did you get this?"
"Wal Mart."
"Well, you keep this package here, and you take it back to them, take it to their...what's it called?"
"Automotive?"
"Yeah, their automotive department, and get them to help you out there."
"Right...well, thanks sir. You have a good night, now."
"Yup."
So he leaves, and I pull my car forward because some poor woman has been behind me waiting for the pump. I get out, go pay, then head back to my car. I have a look at the wiper, take two seconds, and pop it on properly - as I'd been wanting to do since about one minute into the man's effort. I shake my head, get in the car, and drive home.
But it bothers me...it pisses me off to know that he never would have stopped if it were a young man there. It's my car, and even if I don't know how to do it, then I want to follow the instructions and get it done so I'll learn! It's not the offer to help that bothers me, though. Heck, that even happened last year, albeit with a much younger man, in the WalMart parking lot. The difference was, when I said, "No thanks, I'm okay" to the younger man, he listened. Chivalry is the offer to help, chauvinism is continuing to push your way of things on me after I've refused it. My need to be kind and polite, especially with the fish symbol on the back of my car, overrode my annoyance at the gas station, but now that I'm home? I'm a bit peeved at the man. So anyway, a pox on bossy old men!

PS - Speaking of old men, just of the non-bossy variety...hi Grampy! ;-) I'll give you guys a call when I leave town in the morning (probably around 9 or maybe 10) and keep you posted as to my trip. I'm stopping in Van for a while to visit a friend, but I'll let you know when I get on the ferry, too! Love you! And see you tomorrow!!! :-D

1 comment:

Tirzah said...

I hate it when people are so insistent on helping when you say no thanks. It's enough to make a person scream! You handled it well at least! :)