Y’all can call me the little lady

By Mir
June 7, 2013

Otto and I enjoy a fairly egalitarian relationship, I think, which is mindfully arranged through cooperation, compromise, and the fact that we both really like each other and try hard to be helpful to one another rather than being lazy or assholes. I don’t see us ever writing a marriage guide, or anything (“Step 1: Don’t be an asshole. Step 2: Remember Step 1!”), but it seems to work pretty well for us.

Sure, I do the bulk of the cooking, but that’s because I’m home a lot more often than he is, and also because I really enjoy cooking—NOT because I’m female or because he can’t or won’t cook. (He does cook, just not as often as I do.) And yes, he seems to be chief bed-maker, and I’m not sure why, although it may possibly be related to me not giving a crap about whether or not the bed is made. Stuff like that. Also, Otto is in charge of Fixing All The Things because he’s good at it. And I am in charge of beating the children because it poses fewer legal issues. Etc.

And it used to be that when it came to things like arranging for a plumber to come or, say, getting the pool company to finish fixing the pool (STILL LEAKING, THANKS FOR ASKING), we would take turns handling these issues. But eventually we gave up and now Otto handles all of that, on account of my pretty little head can’t be bothered.

Oh, I know I’ve talked about this here, before. Any time we have any sort of “service professional” come to the house, they want to know if my husband is home. Because I’m just a girl! Busy baking pies! And if they need something, it’s not possible that I could assist them, because everything is up to my husband! I can’t be expected to KNOW THINGS, I am just here to cook, rear children, and be ornamental. (Uhhhh… possibly Otto should be looking for a refund. I’m pretty much only 1 for 3 at this point.)

Did I have encounters like this in New England? Occasionally, sure. But EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME, here in the south. Every time! There’s this weird deference to “the husband,” which makes me doubly glad I didn’t spend my single-mom years down here. I’m pretty sure I would’ve ended up in jail.

Anyway! Lo it came to pass that our home owners’ insurance price was jacked up for some reason or other (nothing we did, just a “yearly adjustment,” thanks, where they adjust something being shoved somewhere you really don’t want it, if you catch my drift), and Otto said to me one day, “Hey, I think it’s time to shop around for coverage again.”

“I agree,” I said. “Let me know how that goes.” This is NOT because he is male, but because I am lazy (just to clarify).

Otto commenced comparison shopping for insurance, which involved doing things like getting online quotes. This, of course, leads to VULTURES DESCENDING in the form of earnest phone calls to the house from insurance agents. In fairness, they call and ask to talk to Otto because Otto is the one who put in our information and his name; I have no problem with that. And really, I have no desire to deal with insurance agents, so when the calls started coming from Earnest J. Vulture of GiveUsYourBiz Insurance Company I was only too happy to say HANG ON, LET ME GET MY HUSBAND FOR YOU.

In the course of wading through this particular issue, one company gave Otto an online quote—which they then emailed to him, as well (this will be important in a minute)—before Earnest J. Vulture called. The online quote was fantastic, much cheaper than our current policy. Otto was so impressed with it, in fact, that he told me about the savings before the agent even called. But then Earnest called and lo, the numbers he quoted Otto were different.

At first, Otto thought perhaps he was confused. But the system had sent him a copy of that quote, you see, so he had it IN WRITING and so was able to shut Earnest down when he INSISTED that no, the numbers HE was giving Otto were correct, blah blah blah. Being a practical kind of guy, Otto was only too happy to forward the quote email to Earnest, who continued insisting that Otto had input something incorrectly (he had not) or something else had changed (it hadn’t).

It appears that GiveUsYourBiz Insurance Company—a giant, national corporation, by the way, not some tiny local place—is practicing a basic bait-and-switch where your online quote is super-low so that you give them your contact information, and then they have an agent call you to explain why that number wasn’t correct but you should give them your business, anyway. [Side note: Does that actually work? Like, ever? Because it just fills me with rage and I’m having trouble imagining the person who’s all, “Oh, you lied to us and it’s going to cost twice as much? Well… okay, then.”] Otto was unimpressed with Earnest and told him that we’d think about it and get back to him.

Well. The Earnest J. Vultures of the world are not so good at taking no for an answer, it turns out. Earnest called the house a couple of days ago while Otto was away at a conference, and he asked for Otto. “He’s not available,” I said. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“Oh, is this Mrs. Otto’slastname?” Earnest inquired.

“Sure, let’s go with that,” I replied, both somewhat amused and also, at that moment, in the middle of making dinner and corralling children and not really paying a lot of attention. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, ma’am,” began Earnest, “I’ve been speaking with Otto about your insurance needs, and I understand that he’s really trying hard to find the best possible price, but here at GiveUsYourBiz Insurance Company we’re MUCH more concerned with making sure that you have enough coverage for your family. You wouldn’t want yourself and your children to not be protected, am I right?”

“Uhhhh… okay?” At this point I was standing in the middle of the kitchen waiting to see where this was going to go. (Nowhere good, clearly.)

“Anyway, I was just hoping,” and here his tone became conspiratorial, “that perhaps you could talk some sense into him for me. You want to be protected, and that’s more important than cost.”

At this I actually laughed out loud. OH MY LANDS! PROTECT ME, OTTO! WITH YOUR MANLY MONIES! This did not seem to be the response Earnest was seeking, so eventually I stifled my giggling to a point where I was able to mutter something about how we’d let him know if we required his services.

He thanked me (though in truth, he sounded a little disgruntled) and we hung up.

I called Otto. “Hey Otto!” I began. “Did you know that PROTECTING ME is more important than any pesky concerns you have about MONEY!”

“Oooooooo… kaaaaayyyy…?” replied my ever-patient husband.

I filled him in on the conversation with Earnest J. Vulture. And you know, Otto is a slow-burn kind of guy. It takes a lot to make him mad. But apparently this phone call was the straw that broke Otto’s back. Much to my surprise, my husband began ranting about how tired he is of people treating me like I’m stupid and/or not an equal partner in our relationship. He may have suggested that this is why the south lost the Civil War, I’m not sure. And then he wrote a STRONGLY WORDED email to Earnest:

Mr. Vulture –

Please remove me from your contact lists – we no longer have any desire to work with you on sourcing insurance for either our home or autos.

I understand that, as someone not from Georgia, I probably need to just accept the 1860s-era condescension towards women – but I haven’t yet. [Some bragging about my relative self-sufficiency and career awesomeness here has been redacted because Otto is cute but this part made me laugh.] Trying to play on some suburban house wife fear of not being protected while I shopped for the lowest price insurance is beyond reprehensible.

I’m not going to lie; Otto is pretty sexy when he gets all riled up like this. I mean, I would’ve been okay with just losing Earnest’s phone number, but no, he was going to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT with this dude.

Shortly thereafter, this response arrived:

Hello Otto,

I don’t recall a negative or derogatory conversation, and there was certainly no disrespect intended. My lovely wife was in my office and overheard me and she was surprised by your comments below. Just the same, welcome to Georgia.

Earnest J. Vulture

Um. Good to know that HIS wife wasn’t offended. (She probably thought he’d done a VERY GOOD JOB of protecting her and the rest of us silly girls from the big bad world, even.)

This made my brain hurt. Maybe if I bake a pie, I’ll feel better…?


  1. Erin

    “My lovely wife”!!! OMG. I just… ::splutter::

  2. Jean

    This made me laugh so hard. Mir, you were so much kinder than I would have been with this guy. My husband would have put me on the phone so I could rip Earnest a new one lol :)

  3. Amanda

    Can you get insurance from GiveUsYourBiz Insurance Company directly online? It’s pretty common for them to offer a lower price directly than through an agent (because the agent has to be paid for the business they bring in). I dislike agents anyway, so it’s a win-win for me to go directly to the insurance company, cutting out the smarmy sexist insurance agent.

    YAY Otto! And thank the stars I don’t live in the South.

  4. Kyre

    I’m a lesbian and even I wish Otto was my husband. Swoon!! Nice work, Otto!

    • js

      I love this! And I’m totally Team Otto, obviously!

    • Jennifer

      Laughing hysterically at Kyre’s comment. Me too. Meeeeeeeeee too.

    • CuriousCat

      LOL! That seriously has to be the BEST compliment Otto has ever gotten on here!!! And, he’s gotten a lot of compliments!

    • Frank

      Best. Compliment. Ever.

  5. Barbara

    Aw, bless his heart.
    Or something like that.

  6. Therese

    Love this! Even the attitude is the same when a woman goes in to buy a car without her husband. And I think that is pretty true no matter what region of the country you live in! Yes, Mr. Car Salesman, I am quite capable of deciding if I want this particular vehicle and if I can afford it. And when the paperwork, my husband will come in and sign them :)

    • Therese

      When the paperwork is COMPLETE I meant to say!

    • Jessica (the celt)

      Ha! This reminds me of this story from “Not Always Learning” (part of Not Always Right): http://notalwayslearning.com/the-slow-and-the-delirious

      I’m always looking things up and talking to all the mechanics I personally know before I let a local mechanic do anything to my car. One of my uncles always lets me know how long something should take, too, because I’ve had mechanics try to rip me off on time. (They are always shocked when I know that something should take one hour and not three of labor. Shocked!) We have a really good guy now, though, so I don’t have to worry about it as much. He hasn’t tried to rip either one of us off EVER. A good mechanic is hard to find. :(

  7. Kim

    As a lifelong southerner, I totally get what you are talking about. However, this mentality isn’t reserved just for the south.
    My husband recently took a job in Arizona. Part of the interview process, he stated that the kids and I would not be moving for a minimum of 2yrs. Kids and schools and houses to be sold etc, etc. Plus, he would be on a 90 day probationary period in the beginning, so why jump the gun on anything. For the time being we will just work out the distance issue. No, it’s not an ideal situation, but we’ve been through worse.
    So, less than a month after taking the job and being in Arizona, he came home for a few days for our son’s high school graduation. When he left, we didn’t have a return date, and I was a bit upset. When he went to work the next morning, the company owner asked how i felt about this situation. My husband said I was handling it all as well as could be expected, I was just a little upset that we didn’t have a date that he’d be coming back to visit. The man told my husband “She needs to get with the program and realize this is happening whether she likes it or not. The sooner she moves here the better it will be for everyone” *blinkblinkblink*
    There was another situation where, the company owner had told my husband if I had any questions or concerns to email him. I had no intentions of every doing that, but a situation came up that needed to be handled and my husband wasn’t able to do it due to work and travel. So I sent a well worded, polite email. What I got back was a condescending, pat the little lady on her pretty little head, reply, that didn’t even answer my questions
    The comment about me getting with the program didn’t go over well with my husband, and the email reply sent him over the edge. Let’s just say, I’m glad I didn’t sell any houses or pull kids out of schools

    • Mir

      Oh my gosh, that is awful!

    • meghann @ midgetinvasion

      My husband is military, and we are doing something similar. I think he’s had people tell him things like “Your wife needs to get over it and move up here” more than once.

      Isn’t is great that all of these people who don’t even know the details know how to run our lives better than we do? *eyeroll*

  8. Mama Bear

    We have a family farm, in the upper midwest, I am a half “owner/operator” of said farm. I can run the equipment, order parts, pay the bills, decide on purchases, etc. When any of the local companies call for information or to visit about whatever, they ask for either my husband or myself. Now, whenever some thick accented southern boy calls, they always ask for my “Husband, the farmer.” I reply I am half owner and I can help them. MANY times the gentleman on the other end replies “I’d rather discuss this with your husband, Ma’am, is he available or can you give me his cell number?” (Or some variance of …) Let’s just say that these companies receive NONE of our business. If I do hand over the phone, my hubby lets them know that they have just lost our business due to their stupidity.

    • Mir

      I like your husband. ;)

  9. Rocky Mountain Woman

    oh honey, you have no idea. try living in UT as an independent SINGLE woman…

    i do believe it may be against the law!

  10. Jill

    I feel your pain but have the opposite problem. My husband works a ton and so household stuff is left to me. He calls it the glory of an “overeducated, underemployed wife”. I collected bids for a new HVAC system and, even here in Southern CA, one of the guys said that if my husband had any questions, he could give the guy a call. I threw the proposal in the garbage in front of him, thanked him for his time, and suggested that next time insulting a customer was probably not the best way to get business. Off to bake cookies.

    • Brigitte

      Ooh, I’m (being home) the one in charge of all that stuff too! *I’m* the one who sets up hubby’s accounts, health insurance, work, banking and everything.

      But if some insurance or web site difficulty or whatever pops up, they can’t possibly work with lil’ ol’ ME!

    • Jean

      The mind-boggling thing to me is he probably had no clue he WAS insulting you.

    • Alice

      Ditto – it baffles me that people don’t think this is rude until they get called on it, and even then, they don’t understand. I’m in Florida, and ran into a window vendor pull this on me (AFTER taking up a fair bit of my time). They said that they could schedule an appointment to come out and discuss the details, but they’d need to have ‘my husband’ present, and flat-out refused to schedule it if he wasn’t going to be there.

      When I asked them if they’d refuse to come out if a guy’s wife couldn’t be there, they got rather confused, and the whole ‘living in sin, and we both own the house’ bit just broke things apart even further. I can’t believe so many of these places are still in business.

  11. becky

    And that is why I no longer live in the Midwest. (Although I still run into it occasionally here in Cali, it is much less frequent than it was in Mo.)

    I think I would have been angry enough to hang up on Mr. Vulture. I always think of the best thing to say AFTER the conversation. Of course.

  12. Nancy

    A year ago I researched, test drove and chose a car to buy (with my very own, hard earned money). I let my husband do the negotiations because he’s good at that and I’m good at other things. When I went in to sign the papers and pick up the car my husband stayed home with the kids. Of course they tried to upsell me on warranties, extra features, etc and when I didn’t go for it, the sales guy suggested that we call my husband. We made the phone call and my sweet husband soon had our 3 year old on the phone and he was coaching her to yell, “Give it to me for FREE!” (Ha!) I’ve never had papers signed and new car keys in hand so fast in my life!

    • Mir


    • mamaspeak

      This made me laugh so hard.

  13. js

    So, I am very short (5 feet, even) and look very young. I say this not to brag, but because of the amount of times solicitors have come to my home and asked if my Mom or Dad can come to the door. It’s ridiculous.

    The whole service professional industry seems filled with these guys who like to call me “honey” or “sweetie” far too often for someone not at all related to me. Then add being a bride to that mix and you’re treated as though you’re clearly too addle-brained with all those big, bad wedding plans to know that your catering guy is trying to screw you. I’m just sayin’.

    • Djurdjica

      Yeah, I’m 32 and still have this happen sometimes. I’ll take it as a compliment while I still can, though I do end up laughing in their face.

  14. Brenda

    Wow. That’s just ridiculously sleazy. Welcome to Georgia, indeed. But it makes me like Otto even more.

  15. abbeyviolet

    I live in Oklahoma and was raised here, but in between lived in DC (where I was magically transformed from country girl into city lawyer). Upon my return to OK, I decided to start using the system to my benefit. I am often “unable to make decisions without my husband” precisely when I want the person to leave me alone. It works much more magically than my just saying “No, thank you.” It does come with a tiny bit of guilt though as my husband could not care less about who mows our yard or fixes our roof.

    • Katherine

      I’ve got to admit that I use this to my advantage as well. I’m in GA, only about an hour from the lovely Mir, but I don’t have this issue all the time, but it does happen plenty. When I tell them the hours that my husband is available (late), they usually find that they can deal with me. Or I find someone else.

      I bought our last car, by myself. I did tell the salesman that I needed to phone my husband to consult, mostly so I could have a few quiet minutes to myself and to confirm jointly that we were getting a good deal.

      My husband can’t really deal with arranging things during normal business hours, so I have managed dealing with plumbing, replacing the roof, fixing the stove and dishwasher and replacing garage doors. It’s not that I am better at it or prefer it (I’m lazy and would rather not, but they need doing).

    • meghann @ midgetinvasion

      I’m guilty of this, too. Especially when someone shows up at the door trying to sell me something. I know it just perpetuates the problem, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to deal with it any other way.

    • suburbancorrespondent

      I do the same. It’s remarkably easy – when I wish to get rid of a salesman – to look down demurely and say, “Oh, gosh, I’ll have to have my husband figure that out. He does the books here.” I say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

      • Celeste

        Hey, I’ve done that myself. But that’s why sometimes the salesman wants the husband there when he makes the presentation. And why my widowed mother, who lives with me, was told to bring me when she went for a “hearing aid test” (AKA hard-sell hearing aid appointment disguised as a hearing test).

      • Nelson's Mama

        I’m guilty too. The good old boys that think that way are usually pretty easy to manipulate with a little old southern charm.

  16. Alison C

    Bwah haha! “My lovely wife”. Not patronising at all.
    This just made my weekend.

  17. Kati

    I had a man try to flim-flam me when the Chinese drywall “crisis” occurred here in Florida several years back. I was home for the summer (I’m a high-school chem teacher), so was outside when a “drywall investigator” tried to convince me I absolutely needed a (pricy) inspection ASAP to protect my health and the health of my children. I told him I knew we didn’t have Chinese drywall because our metal hardware hasn’t tarnished, and our wiring was fine. He tut-tutted me, saying that it could take a while to “develop.” I explained to him that I had a chem/bio degree, so had faith in my assessment. He actually said, “We’ll, chemistry has changed a lot in the past decade.” I laughed and told him that the conversion of hydrogen sulfide into sulfuric acid hadn’t changed in, well, ever. He then tried to give me a business card “for my husband.” I refused, telling him that he (my husband) stuck to engineering and trusted my expertise when it came to chem and bio. He got red and left.

    I don’t think the salesman was best pleased with me. Bless his heart.

    • Meri

      “Chemistry has changed a lot in the past decade.”

      Wow. That’s just amazingly ignorant.

  18. Joan

    I live in Georgia, too, but I ran into this same BS when I lived in Louisiana and Texas as well. What gets me about it is every woman I know is primarily responsible for taking care of this kind of thing in her household or shares that responsibility with her husband, and every one of them has complained about it.

    Back when I lived in Texas, I once took a scruffy-looking mechanic friend of mine with me car shopping. He looked like he could barely afford his clothes, much less a car. (Not a dig; he just doesn’t care at all about how he looks.) But still, every SINGLE car salesman spoke to him instead of me. Several of the car salesmen ignored me completely and spoke to him even after we’d both said I was the one looking for a car. Made me so mad I wanted to kick somebody.

    • A Different Kind of Zoe


  19. Cheryl

    Several years ago we had a very bad hail storm come through our small town. We needed all new windows in our house – thanks to insurance, we got them. We had the one and only window store guy come out and give us an estimate for what we needed, and he explained some new window options that we might like. We decided after he left that we really wanted to change the dining room window to the exciting new option he had offered, and I drove over to his office the next morning to let him know. He listened very carefully to me, and then went behind the counter, and called my husband. Yep – right in front of me he asked him if he was aware of the upgrades I was asking for. Fortunately, my husband was stranded at home cause I had the car and could not come down and harm this man. We cancelled the order right then and there, and had our windows replaced by a company a couple of towns down the highway. Was actually cheaper (once they heard my story) and was very easy for them to fill the order as we had all the measurements from the first crazy guy.

    I do the bulk of our people-dealings, and have learned over the years that I am gonna get my head patted by a lot of patronizing men. They then get to learn that they just lost their business opportunity.

  20. BethRD

    I might have already told this story here, but last year I went in to the local tire store to get new tires for my car, having called ahead to confirm that they would be able to get the tires I needed that day. When I got there, the man at the desk insisted, absolutely insisted, that my husband had called, had asked questions about what kinds of tires they had available, and they had answers for him but he hadn’t gotten back to them so they couldn’t put tires on my car. MY CAR, with the registration in my name and the keys in my hand. I got so frustrated that I eventually called my husband to get him to confirm that he had made no such phone call (because of course he hadn’t) and it was just as I was putting him on speaker that the desk guy realized that maybe they had TWO customers coming in that day with Mazdas of my make and year, and maybe the guy with the tire opinions was the OTHER customer. You think? You think that the person in front of you to the keys to her own car might have the right to buy tires for her car, and might furthermore have more of an idea what her husband did or didn’t care about than you do, jackass? The guy who had been talking to me slunk in the back and didn’t come out, and the other employee who helped me was apologetic enough to mollify me and I wound up buying my tires there after all, but ye gods.

  21. Brigitte

    So, how protected and safe will you be when all your family’s money is gone into the over-priced insurance policy, huh, huh!?

  22. Sherry

    When I lived in Oklahoma, I dropped my car off at the dealership to get a recall checked. I asked them to take a look at the brakes because my steering wheel shimmied when I braked. My husband dropped me off to pick it up and went to park his car. The service guy told me my rotors were no good, they had ordered some new ones, and would call me when they came in. When my husband walked in, I repeated what the service guy had told me…then it hit the fan:
    Service guy: I didn’t say that.
    Me: Yes you did. You said the rotors were bad, you had ordered new ones, and you would call me when they came in.
    SG: No I didn’t. I said you just needed your rotors turned.
    (Stunned silence all around the waiting room.)

    I snatched my keys, went home, called a brake place, explained what the car was doing, and the guy says, “You just need your rotors turned. Bring it in and we’ll get it fixed for you.”

    THAT is how you do business!

    • A Different Kind of Zoe

      This literally made me laugh out loud SO HARD. Still laughing as I type. Thank you! I needed that. I wish I had a dollar for every time it was made clear my boobs would get more respect if they were situated between my legs. Geez.

      • Frank

        “I wish I had a dollar for every time it was made clear my boobs would get more respect if they were situated between my legs.”


  23. Karen Chatters

    I’ve been in the ATL for almost 20 years (hell) and I can’t get over the way I get treated by service people. The number of times someone says, “Do you want me to call your husband?” or “Do you need your husbands permission?” makes me want to VOMIT.

    Once I had some guy come out to give me an estimate on something. Twenty minutes or so later his boss shows up who “just happens to be in the neighborhood.” They were belligerent that my husband wasn’t home. I was pretty pissed that they tried this at all and they seemed surprised when I told them to NEVER contact us again.

    But seriously, what’s wrong with people?

  24. April

    I left Maryland 3 years ago and have lived in India, a couple of Caribbean islands and currently Alaska for the summer. This is for my husband’s job and didn’t know what to expect in each place. Well, I’ve experienced quite the opposite! In India I was often left to have the final say with purchases and decisions. I’ll admit it’s probably different region to region and class to class, but I was nonetheless surprised. When someone came to our house they straight asked for the Madam of the house. I’m pretty sure because they knew the wife handled house hold affairs and would ultimately be making the decision. In the Caribbean when we let the shop keeper know we were local and not tourists they stopped paying attention to my husband and dealt with me only. I’m not a pushy person or aggressive, you could probably put me in the introverted/shy category, so this always took me off guard. I haven’t been in Alaska long enough to comment but just the other day the owner of the stores my husband manages asked to take my husband out, if it was alright with me! HA! I don’t even know what to think about that.

  25. Grace

    Wow Mir. I heart Otto.

    I am and always have been the primary breadwinner and lately I’m The Decider too, for a lot of presumably manly stuff. My husband will tell contractors and sales people that he can’t help them and they have to call “The Wife” for directions on that stuff.

    I actually was talking with a contractor once who asked to speak with myhusban. I said “sure, Honey he wants to speak with you” and handed him the phone. He said to the guy “I don’t even understand what you are talking about. You have to talk to The Wife” and handed the phone back to me. (“The Wife” is what some of the sales people have called me when talking to him, even when I am right there)

  26. Lisa

    We once had a company put duct work and a furnace into our home. My husband was handling the contractors but their work was less than satisfactory. He finally threatened them with me! He told them they might want to listen to him and do what he was asking before the had to “look into the mouth of the lion”. I got home, they took one look at the look on my face, and fixed the problem. :)

  27. Betsy

    I recently was looking for a new car and drove about 40 miles to a dealer. I knew what I wanted, had done my research online and was ready to purchase. The salesmen actually asked me why I had driven (all by my little self) to their dealership when there was one closer to my town. HaHaHa- no sale.

  28. Elizabeth

    Gah. My 74 year old Texan father-in-law lives with us and I deal with this attitude every.single.day. Until I don’t and directly confront the misogyny (or bigotry– it’s not just women, applies to other races and classes, too). Odd how when my husband is in the room, the attitude isn’t expressed.

    Thank God for the Ottos and other men in this world who have made it into this century. And while you’re thanking, say a prayer: We just moved and the new doctor assigned to the FIL is a young-looking Hispanic female. He finds out on Wednesday.

  29. Jen

    My parents lived in east Tennessee when my dad was at UT. My mom worked as a secretary at a law firm, putting him through college. Ohhh, the stories I’ve heard, for they were Yankee interlopers. One about throwing a guy out the window if he slapped her on the ass (yes, these were the 60s), and finally having ENOUGH about the Civil War and declaring, “WE WON.”
    We left right after he got his degree. Can’t imagine why…

  30. Heather

    I read your post this morning and laughed. This afternoon I had a repairman in who I called and who I talked to on the phone. He gave me options for a repair. I picked one. He looked at me and said, “Are you sure you don,t want to call your husband?” I paused thinking of this post. He said, “I suppose you don’t have to….” in a tone that implied I’d be really stupid not too.

  31. Chuck

    Well bless my stars! Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it. Seriously, do people still treat each other this way in the 21st century? I guess it’s a good thing I no longer live in Texas but I don’t know if the Midwest is a lot better or not since it’s not something I ever experience personally as a single guy.

  32. Lindsey

    You’ll only feel better if you bake a pie and then eat it! All of it. Except for one slice, which you’ll send me. :)

  33. Meri

    Pie waits for no one. :nom:

    I’ve got my own share of idiotic stories, too, up here in MA. There’s a reason I took my dad with me when I bought my first car after college. It’s awfully fun to smack them down sometimes by spewing out rules and regulations and demonstrating that I know way more than they do.

  34. Laura

    WELCOME TO GEORGIA! Hahaaaaaa!

  35. kapgaf

    Is it of any consolation to you that the French do this trick too ? When my husband needed a new car, I went with him – he knows nothing about cars and couldn’t care less. The company that got our custom was the one that didn’t automatically reply to him whenever I asked a technical question. How come companies haven’t woken up to the fact that they lose business because of their antequated attitude ? And I’m not in the least surprised at how Oscar dealt with the situation – he’s the best (well, except for my frog).

  36. Kim

    Lawsy, did you miss your cue to have the vapors?

  37. Dorothy

    My husband was a lifelong farmer and when he died four years ago I was in the same situation. When it came time to sell off the farm equipment, the farmers/buyers would contact my son or brother-in-law. They both finally had to tell these men this wasn’t their farm or their equipment. They would have to deal with me, the little wife. It still amazes me since most of them have wives who know as much about their farming operations as the men do. Welcome to Texas.

  38. nicole

    Our mortgage account rep was like this last year when we were buying a new house. Drove me bonkers, since I’m the one that manages all the finances. Sure, you can ask my husband to locate all the necessary documents but you’ll get a blank stare and lots of blinking in return until I step in and gather all the requirements.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to a mortgage the best deal is the best deal so we still went with him. Luckily it was a short process so I didn’t have put up with the “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it” attitude for too long.

  39. Rachel

    I remember this problem when we lived in TX. I haven’t run into it in MA. In fact, when shopping with my now-fiance for his new car, the salesman kept asking me what I wanted. Ummmm… we weren’t engaged, I was never going to drive this car, I had no opinions, but he kept asking. I’m a single mom, and never got any questions from any service people about contacting my husband, etc. I do look forward to being able to shove some of the responsibility onto my fiance when we get married, though.

    My ex-sister-in-law was completely her idiot husband’s lovely wife. When my niece was in the car with me & my ex-mil, the niece asked, “Did Grandaddy say it was OK for you to buy this car? Daddy picked out Mom’s car.” My ex-mil said, “NO, I make my own choices for which car to buy!” She was definitely in charge. I was appalled that a child was being raised in the 21st century thinking the husband made all the decisions. Wow.

  40. Cathy

    Same story here in Miami — if you are a woman and dare take your car to a mechanic, call for plumber/AC repair/misc. home repairs or even sign up for a GYM MEMBERSHIP without your husband, you’re treated like an idiot.

    One mechanic tried telling me my tires were “loose” during a routine tire rotation and wiggled it back and forth to demonstrate… but it was only because the tires hadn’t been tightened into place. I told him to finish the tire rotation (rather than argue that he’s a con man/idiot) and he refused to take the car down until I agreed to a bogus repair!

    I told him I’d call my husband to “talk about the cost” but instead told him to join me in person to yell at the mechanic. When my rather brawny (and brainy!) husband showed up in his military uniform, the mechanic retracted his words and the tire rotation was completed, the car lowered down and the tire rotation and oil change were comped by the manager in about 3 minutes.

    I hate having to resort to that because it makes me feel like a powerless delicate little woman even though I’m NOT. But when someone is literally holding your car hostage, what else can you do? Sigh.

  41. Holly

    It use to be that the only time I ever experienced the “don’t worry your pretty little head over this, darling” phenomenon was when I dealt with customer service centers located in the US or when traveling in the US.

    This? Doesn’t generally happen in Canada. Or at least it doesn’t happen to me or any of my friends. I was raised in a small town in Ontario, have lived and traveled throughout several provinces and now live in a large city. And I’m in my mid-30’s and only got engaged last year. So I’ve had a ton of experience to base this on.

    Got a new neighbour last year, a transplant for southern US and I can’t even pretend to like him. He’s such an ass. My fiance hates how he treats and would rather avoid him but handles all communication with him because he worries I’ll explode one day and beat the crap out of him.

  42. aimee @ smilingmama

    My parents have a story they love to tell about getting life insurance when my mom was a stay-at-home mom, they were essentially broke and had 3 very little kids….the insurance guy wanted them to buy some huge policy that would basically set my mom up for life, pay for our college, etc., which of course they couldn’t afford, so they guy started playing the “but don’t you want to make sure your wife and kids are cared for if you die…” card and my dad replied, “She’s young and pretty and if she doesn’t remarry within a few years then that’s her problem!” That sure shut him up! They’re still laughing about it now…probably 30 years later!

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