Being divorced twice and having also gone through a messy live-in relationship breakup it’s very difficult at times to not buy into the pervasive bitterness of many single women.
I work hard to ensure that I take responsibility for my own part in our relationship failures. To examine myself and how I got myself into such difficult situations, not just once but three times.
However, there are days when I have to admit to thinking that all men are idiots. I see some of my friends being hurt by men who have never grown up, that don’t know how to communicate, that expect their wives to be their cook, cleaner and nanny, that see taking care of their own children as ‘babysitting’ and I wonder how the human race survives.
Then, once in a while, I come across a male/female relationship that works. That may not be the typical, or always equitable but works for those concerned.
What I’ve observed over the years is that it often isn’t the big stuff that causes the problems. People seem able to agree to disagree, to compromise on the big stuff like where to live.
It’s the small stuff that seems to cause the problems. Which way you hang the toilet paper, the stereotypical issues with whether you squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom or the middle…
For me, I always felt loved in a relationship when my partner did small things for me. Not because I couldn’t do them for myself, but because they knew that I didn’t like doing them.
I’ve written before about the five love languages and how acts of service have the most value for me.
I’ve now been single for a year and a half once more, and most of the time, even in my current house-bound situation there is little that I can’t either do for myself or arrange for others to do for me.
My teenage next-door neighbour, but one, cuts my lawn to earn extra money.
A friend who usually goes to the farmer’s market each week picks up gluten-free bread for me.
While I’m not currently capable of much I can listen (well read) and support my friends through difficult situations at a distance.
I have been able to read and edit documents for people, slowly.
However, today I found myself in a situation where my first thought was for a man to help me out! In this modern society, where the glass ceilings are being smashed and women can do pretty much anything they want to, wasn’t that an odd thought?
Especially, as a woman whose relationships have failed, in part, because I don’t tend to wait on the men in my life to do things for me.
I ask, or appreciate it if they do things for me, but if they don’t do them I just get on with it myself or find other ways of achieving my goals.
One of the things that I find most frustrating is when people say that they will do something, and they don’t.
So I will rarely place myself in a position anymore where I’m dependent on somebody else for anything.
I am staunchly independent.
BUT… today there was a mouse! On the floor, in my garage, behind the back wheel of my car.
Thankfully, it was already dead (I’m not even thinking about how it was already dead).
Also, I’m very grateful that I hadn’t let the dogs into the garage with me as I’m pretty sure that Kai would have picked it up to give to me.
So I spent the next few hours trying to work out what to do with this dead mouse.
My first thought – was to just leave it! Not a great idea. While I’m not going out much I do have to go out for blood work tomorrow so Kai and I will be venturing out. I do not want him giving me a dead mouse!
Then I ‘phoned’ a friend. Actually, I sent a text message, or ten!
A fairly lengthy discussion later and I had a plan.
The problem was that I can’t get down to floor level right now, without help or support to get back up.
I’m also phobic towards rodents, insects, and snakes. I used to cope with them reasonably well as long as I didn’t need to get too close then I watched Harry Potter. After the glass cage disappeared and the snake escaped to talk to Harry I was finished.
I also had to make sure that both dogs were safely away from the situation.
It took me a few hours to build up the courage to deal with it but with the help of newspaper, garbage bags, a snow shovel, and some garden tools the dead mouse is now wrapped up securely inside my garbage can and thankfully, my can is now out by the curb as it’s pick-up day tomorrow.
I am so pleased about that timing as otherwise I’d be panicking until garbage day. Every time I took the trash out I would be worried that the mouse would not really be dead and would be coming at me when I open the lid.
I then spent the next 30 minutes being physically sick.
I really, really, really do not do well with rodents – dead or alive – with the exception of Mickey Mouse!
So right now I’m feeling pretty proud of myself that I did manage to cope with the dead mouse.
I am definitely not thinking about the fact that mice rarely live alone, or how it ended up in my garage, dead.
I will be making sure that all doors to my house are completely shut at all times, that I actually wear shoes in my garage so should the worse happen I won’t have a mouse running over my bare feet and that I am carefully watching my dogs mouths before letting them back in the house after they have been outside!
I’ll also be investing in a trap.
I’m also going to be thinking about why my instinctive reaction was to think about needing a man to deal with the problem.
Realistically, of the three serious relationships that I’ve had. The first and second would both have picked it up but waved it in my face and scared me with it. The third would have said that he’d deal with it and it would still be there months later if I hadn’t dealt with it in the interim.
So it’s not as so my experiences are that men actually act as the ‘protector’, the ‘hunter-gatherer’ of old.
Yet on some level, is that what heterosexual women are still looking for?