Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Benefits of Being the Weaker....


Men and women are different.  It's true.  What works for one - does not necessarily work for the other.

Men tend to use their strength.  They power through the board room, they muscle the ball across the field,  they intimidate so that no one will encroach.  That's fine for some.

I find, however, that there is no shame in being the weaker.  I loved the days when I had my own personal "expecting" parking spot at the grocery store.  I cherish the fact that I can quickly retrieve 40 bags of mulch at Home Depot because a helpful employee is loading my SUV.  And I unapologetically declare my latest feat: Pre-Boarding.

As a family of six, pre-boarding ended with the demise of the stroller.  I admit, I stretched that scenario as long as I could, finally leaving the beloved stroller behind when my youngest turned five.  But today I was traveling without my stronger half, without my man of muscles, without my stud of steel.  As I glanced around at the fully booked flight and scanned our combined ten carry-on bags (five wheeled bags and five rather large-ish "personal" bags) I knew that this would not just be a luxury request, but a necessity.  Zone 9 just never fares well in the overhead storage department.

I approached the men behind the counter and put on my best acquired southern charm.  "I was wondering," I said, "since I'm traveling alone with my four children, if you would let me pre-board."  First rule of sales:  Smile.  Stop talking.  

"I guess so," he said.  "Thank you so much," I replied.  But when the other gate attendant failed to call pre-boarding, I knew I had to resort to quiet confidence.  I lined up myself, the four kids and the ten carry-ons behind the handful of business class passengers.  When I reached the the gate, I kindly stated that the other attendant had told me I could pre-board.  "Well, I'm not going to say no," he said.  I kindly thanked him and proceeded down the runway.

This, my friends, is the the power of being the weaker.  I am quite sure that my husband (or most men for that matter) would never ask for the help he most imminently needed.  He would, however, graciously bow to a sweet damsel in distress.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Men and women are different.  And different can be good.

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