This may end up a little bit more of a rant than I’d like but I need to process it, so here goes.
I am so tired of being seen as strong and able to do thing alone that other people just couldn’t do.
I am so sick of married friends saying things like “I could never do x, y or z without my husband” right after they’ve told me that of course I don’t need a man to do something and I should stop thinking like that.
I am tired of “but you’re such a strong, independent person!”
It’s out of necessity and I often wish I had the luxury of not being strong and independent.
This rant is brought to you today by an email I got from an acquaintance. Not a friend, but an acquaintance with whom I have many mutual friends and a friendly relationship. She got married about five years ago, fairly young, in her mid-20s (at least young for this part of the world). She and her husband recently got a dog and she was writing for advice because, while her husband was out of town on a business trip, the dog got sick.
Now, I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who is worried about the health of a pet. I’ve been there and it’s scary and you feel so helpless. But the way she phrased it: see if you can figure out what might have driven me crazy:
Owner: “Can anyone recommend a kind-hearted vet in the area? My husband is out of town and our dog won’t eat so I’m so worried.”
[a lot of advice follows]
Owner: “It’s just that with my husband gone, I’m scared.”
Her friend: “That’s a lot to deal with when your husband is gone!”
Another friend: “What a great owner you are holding down the fort while your husband is gone!”
Owner: “Yeah, it’s just hard because my husband is gone. But he comes back tonight so it’ll be fine.”
First friend: “How scary when your husband is gone!”
To my credit, I was able to give my own doggie medical advice without saying what I wanted to, which was that SOME of us have to deal with health scares (canine and human) on our own without husbands! And that it would probably be scary for her with or without her husband, unless her husband has magical doggie-curing powers! And that she maybe needs to stand on her own two feet and deal with things, yes, even when her husband is out of town for one night!
But the reality is that I’m jealous. I don’t want to deal with all these things alone. And even though I’d probably make myself throw up if I ever said it out loud, there’s a big part of me that wants a magic husband that makes everything less scary when he’s around.
This person has told me before that she is impressed with how strong and independent I am. I don’t want to be. I’m tired!