Dedicated to my dad & husband.
For our family movie night recently, we watched Mirror Mirror. Michael said, “I see why you like this movie. The princess fights for herself.” This brought on a discussion about princess movies, being a strong woman, etc. My daughter is now old enough to find these topics interesting. I may have gone off a bit on my soap box and said some things along these lines:
“Women should not just sit around as helpless damsels waiting for their prince to come and save them. Of course, a man should be willing and capable of saving his princess. In fact, he should be willing to swim through shark-infested water to bring her lemonade - or whatever her heart desires!” (Actually, I should just add here that any guy who dates/marries my daughter dearest better be willing to do all that and more. She is VERY high maintenance and he should know that up front).
I’m not apposed to princess movies. Little girls have an innate desire to be beautiful and wear pretty things and be sought after. However, I’ve never been particularly fond of the usual story line where the prince comes in and saves the day.
So last Thursday I was driving home from work. The car broke down. It lost power and I just barely made it into a parking lot. While waiting for Michael to arrive, I called my mechanical-genius dad to see if he had any insights. He first joked about me “finally needing dad” then asked if I had looked in owners manual and checked something-or-other under the hood. “Ummm... no, Dad. I haven’t gotten quite that far yet. I’ve only had time to eat a snack, check my email and update my Facebook status to reflect my current situation while I’m waiting for Michael!” (Not my exact words, but the truth).
Then it occurred to me: I was being that princess! I was sitting there helplessly waiting for my man to come and rescue me. Pathetic. Maybe I should have paid more attention in my auto mechanics class. Maybe I should have taken my dad’s advice and learned a couple of things about cars.
So I managed to find the little lever thingy that pops the hood and had the owners manual open when Michael arrived. That way it looked like I was doing something and I wouldn’t look quite so pathetic to my children.
The car had an electrical problem diagnosed by my dad and Michael. There wasn’t really anything I could do without a jump start.
I was humbled and decided that it is okay to need someone else’s help (even a guy)! In fact, I believe men have an innate need to feel needed. Rescuing their “damsel in distress” helps them feel manly and stuff.
I also decided that I should educate myself on some car basics - especially If I’m going to preach to my daughter about a woman’s strength and independence. (Truth be told, I don’t even how to hook up jumper cables! I would no doubt electrocute myself.)
So ladies: Be strong. Be capable. But don’t be afraid to need someone else. We all have different skills and resources. Everyone wants to feel needed sometimes. And if it makes your guy feel more manly, well then...
You may just both live happily ever after!