“Honey, did you look at my tire?” I questioned my husband last night.
“Yup. Fixed it,” he mumbled, as he was trying to watch a hockey game and do some research on his tablet.
“What? What did you do?”
“I fixed it,” he repeated.
“Well, I mean, did you just air it up, was there a hole in it or did you replace it with my spare? What?”
“Don’t worry, hon. It’s fixed.”
“Well, I need to know if I need to keep airing it up or if I should get my tire replaced.”
“It will be fine. It’s as good as new.”
My husband likes to play this game. Sometimes I don’t think he wants me to know his secrets. This way, too, I can maintain an image of my husband as the “man who can fix anything and I don’t know how he does it.” For perhaps, if I know what he did exactly, I could repeat it and fix it myself, or worse yet, have someone else do it.
Yup. That has to be it.
Men do like to save a damsel in distress. It’s good for their egos.
It wasn’t always this way.
I am a pretty self-sufficient woman. I was raised on a farm. Farm girls drive dump trucks at 13 years old. . . tractors. . . combines. I’ve built an outside jungle gym, laid tile and installed a sump pump. I have my own Harley (well. . . if he’s going to have one).
It really isn’t my fault.
My mother was German. And Polish. My dad was Irish. There was nothing she could not do.
For Pete’s Sake.
This independence in a wife might be something a husband brags about from time to time. But, deep down, if I really were to dig, I wonder how much damage I’ve done.
My husband has confessed before that really, he didn’t think that I needed him.
“Oh honey,” I’d reply, “Of course, I do!” in my don’t-be-silly voice.
“For what?” he’d probe, seriously.
“Well, um, I need you to change those yard light bulbs when they burn out. There is no way I could ever do that!”
That really was not what he was looking for in a list of things I needed him for.
In my attempts to do all and be all, whether trying to pad my own ego or prove my worth, I’m pretty sure that I’ve squelched some of the “saving” that a husband sometimes needs to do in order to feel his own self-worth. I don’t regret my efforts, but. . . I do regret not giving my husband more opportunities to feel like he was needed more.
So, I’ve softened a bit.
There is a sweet space in between being an independent, self-sufficient woman and honey-I-need-you- 24/7.
Finding the essence of this place has been a difficult journey for me.
But, I’m learning.
Now excuse me, my husband needs me. He’s burning hamburgers. . .