The Little Lady of The House

by Lori Dwyer on August 17, 2012 · 9 comments

If there is one thing that does not fail to irritate me and get on my nerves like skin down a cheese grater- if only because it hurts- it’s when well meaning people assume I have a husband.

But of course, why wouldn’t they? When I’m young and reasonably ok looking and kind of intelligent and what on earth is wrong with me…?

Anyway. At risk of sounding like a bitch– men are, by far, the worst offenders when it comes to this. The thought of my neighbor refusing to tell me whether or not my dog was dead, asking continually if my husband was home… that one still kind of stings. Who knows, it may even be the residual catalyst for the reason the whole thing pisses me off so intensely.

The Really Huge TV that we won not long ago- while awesome- has this problem of refusing to pick up the TV channels I rely upon to keep me sane here; ie, ABC2 and ABC3. Thinking this may just be a way to break my son free from his technology obsession, I put up with an ABC–free zone for a whole four weeks.

And by that time I had had just about eeeee–goddamn–nuff of my children whinging and could not get the Antennae Man here quick enough.

It’s just a pity that the Antennae Man was such a… well… douche.

Antennae Man happened to show up (four hours late, but hey, who’s counting?) on one of those exceptionally rare days when my kids are in daycare and I actually have company. Company of the male–type–date variety.

(Nobody get too excited… male–date–type company lasted the residual three weeks before f*cking off again. For that reason and others, we’ll call him Mr Few and Far Between– Mr FAFB for short.)

Antennae Man was convinced that Mr FAFB was in charge. Every word Antennae Man spoke, he addressed to my date. Mr FAFB, being a pretty cool guy, politely deferred all questioning to me, and made it ridiculously clear that not only did he not live here, he had no idea and nothing beyond a polite interest as to what was going on.

The little lady of the house is not impressed.

And he made this point over and over. He made it clear when the Antennae Man first tapped on the front door, and again when he returned from gallivanting on my roof to discuss pricing. Even as the Antennae Man stood tuning the TV, chatting away about how cool it is with it’s wifi connection, and I answered every question he asked with responses such as “I won it through my work” and “Pretty cool, hey? It’s all mine!”; this guy still could not direct his conversion toward me, the little lady of the house. Not when there was a big tough man who obviously knew more about the household finances and basic geeky devices in place than I could possibly be expected to.

I actually can’t think of a more effective method of making me seethe with frustration and hurt and a sense of impotent unfairness. It’s childish, I know, but it almost feels like I’m doing all of this hard work without getting any of the credit for it.

Now, allow me to disclaim myself here– it’s certainly not all men, and it doesn’t happen on a weekly basis. Just every now and then. Incidents that are far enough removed from one another for it to shock me somewhat when it occurs, but that happen just often enough that it always feels familiar. And it’s not always blatant douche–baggery the way it happened to be with Antennae Man. Sometimes it’s for far more noble and acceptable reasons– like my neighbor, who simply didn’t want to cause undue distress to a female if he didn’t have to. (Feel free to argue the potential ramifications of that particular sentiment to women and society amongst yourselves, if you wish. I’m too tired right now, but you never know– I may come back to it later.)

Whatever. Regardless of the sentiment behind it, the whole phenomena still never fails to annoy me. I’m blaming that post-feminist über–woman generation I grew up in. (And more on that coming soon,  too.)


On a totally different note- how awesome are these iFriendly ISGloves from Fiett…? I know. See you Monday, jellybeans… wish me luck. I’m in the ACT for the government workplace bullying review today.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

sarah br August 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

what an arse…!


Salamander August 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Meh. You and me, Lori – and all the other chicks with kids in daycare – we made PEOPLE. Ha. Take that, Antennae Man. We made freakin' humans. In our SLEEP. Betcha no toolbox in the world could help with that one :)


Sharon @ Funken Wagnel August 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I cop it too and it drives me batty! We had an air con repairer come out on a Friday afternoon. My man was out. He REFUSED to believe me that there was indeed something wrong with the air con. He kept talking about wanting to get to the pub for Fri night drinks, well I'm sorry you're here at this time after we've waited a whole week for you to show up!

He didn't really even look at the air con properly. Then, my man came home. Told him the same thing I had said was wrong. So he looked at it and fixed it. Argh!

Another time, my man had been looking at cars. He'd been getting calls from dealerships, etc.. Then, we both agreed now wasn't the time to be changing cars. So anyway, the dealership guy rang and I answered.

I told him we were no longer interested as we decided it's not the time. He said, 'well I'll call your husband later'. I said, 'first off, he's not my husband, secondly, there's no point because I just told you we're not going ahead with it.'

He went quiet and angry. He said, 'and when was this decided? Are you sure he knows? Can I just talk to him?' and I said, 'we BOTH have decided, nothing's going to change it, goodbye'. And of course he made sure to call the 'man of the house' to check. Grr!

I've been treated as though I'm invisible when getting carseats fitted, when we've been buying tech gadgets for me, the list is never ending.

I feel for you, Lori. I can only imagine how much harder it is.


Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Best of luck with your meeting today.

Ugh, you know, I've had to deal with similar crap from day one. The thing is, not unlike you, I'm short and cute AND female, and I think that for some (read: many), that reads as helpless, clueless and in desperate need of being wrapped in friggin' cotton… ARGH! People get annoyed with me for snapping at them, but they don't understand just how demeaning, frustrating and hurtful it is to be treated like this.

Sorry for the rant, but just know you're definitely not alone in being supremely ticked off at being treated differently just because of your gender and/or how you look. HUG!!!!

– Crystal


E3Writing August 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

When the guy and I go car shopping, they always assume he's the one to talk to. Even if I say upfront that we're buying a car for me. Luckily, my guy always sets them straight first thing now, even if the car is for him – talk to her, she's holding the money ;)


Joy August 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I went into the building store to buy some flooring, and no less than 3 store employees walked past me, and smiled. Not one asked if I needed help. Finally, after hanging around for quite a few minutes, someone came out that I knew, asked if I'd been helped, and I was DE-lighted to say, no, not yet!! I did buy flooring there, but only because the next option was 200 km away.

Now, had I been obviously waiting in the housewares section…


Stinky August 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I hear you, that bugs me to hell and I am ALWAYS aware of interactions that would be different if I were not female. Have also found certain 'cultures' are classicly notorious at this (racism? No, observation and awareness).

Same, Sheri Bomb – when I bought a new computer recently, spent about 20mins in the store and had to go ask for the info I needed on the specs. Mr Stinky came in when I actually went to buy it, to check some hardware stuff, and you would have thought it was HIM buying the computer! yes I know next to nothing about computers but come on! I was the one waving my credit card!


Sheri Bomb August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I HATE that! Makes me seethe too! I went into a JB Hi Fi once ready and willing to buy a laptop. I wandered around on my own for a while looking at all the different options and none of the sales guys even acknowledged me. Then my bf at the time came into the store and caught up with me and they were falling all over themselves trying to get a sale. Fuck off.

Reply August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

Bah, bugger tradie sexism. I guess the best thing to take away from experiences like this (and you have to look for the good in it or it's just too bloody frustrating) is that its cool that cases of sexism like this ARE so 'few and far between' (see what I did there?) that they really rile you up when they happen.

Its like when I moved out of my old rental house and I went to the hardware store to get some stuff to do the needed repairs myself. The dude who was showing me where the stuff was was like 'oh to do use this, you will need one of these.." and I replied that I had one at home in my toolbox. He looked really weirder out and asked, "you have a toolbox?" Yes, I have a toolbox. Yes I'll be doing this myself. It's not essential for a man to do this stuff, a lady can complete similar or even oftentimes the VERY SAME tasks a dude can!

(Oh and all the best for the review today!)


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