Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Be an Independent Woman (for Realsies)

A Mother Life

Recently, I was told that I'm a “feminist” blogger. This was news to me. I didn't set out to be a “feminist” blogger, and I don't see myself as one. The mantle has been thrust upon me. Maybe because I don't blog about cooking (don't cook), or my kids (don't have any), or beauty tips (don't need any), or whatever else it is women are “supposed” to blog about. Household hints, or crafts, or gardening – whatever this mysterious topic, I'm beginning to suspect it's only supposed to be interesting to other women, and then only on the most non-threatening level.

It's true I've said some things that have made some men uncomfortable. Not all the men, of course, just the ones who suspect I might be talking about them. I blog about all kinds of sh*t, and only about half a dozen of the fifty-some posts I've done so far have anything to do with men or their behavior, but you know how it is, ladies – dare to suggest that a testicled individual may be anything less than utterly perfect, and you'll be heaped with scorn, branded a foul-tempered unf*ckable dried up old hag, and sent off into solitary exile in a cabin in the Yukon. Figuratively speaking.

And if you think that's bad, try telling one not to interrupt you.

But, I digress. I was going to say that, no matter what I set out to be or how I see myself, I am, nevertheless, apparently a “feminist” blogger. If you're going to have a mantle thrust upon you, you may as well wear it gracefully.

So, in the interests of feminism in blogging, I'm going to share with you ladies (and fellas, what the hell) the qualities and skills, that, in my opinion, help to make women more independent. Here goes:

Earn Your Own Money

This one probably goes without saying. You can't be independent if you don't have any money, unless, of course, you live in some sort of tribal society where the barter system is used. If so, good luck being an independent woman, because you're probably a commodity yourself.

Unless you're an Amazon, in which case, you should be writing this for me.

Fix Your Own Car

Okay, I'm not saying you should be able to take the whole car apart and put it back together again. This is a complicated procedure requiring various and sundry tools, and I'm a reasonable person. But you should know a little bit more about the car than where the gas goes.

The gas goes here. ~ Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

Learn how to check your engine oil and tire pressure. Don't let a man see you do these things, however, because he will laugh and make some snarky remark along the lines of “I've never seen a woman check her tire pressure before,” and then you'll have to say, “I've never seen a pig who could speak before.”

It's also good to know how to change a flat tire, since these things tend to occur at awkward moments, like when you're driving on a creepy mountain road in the middle of the night in an area with no cell phone service. Life's a b*tch like that.

Alternatively, avoid mountain roads like the plague. ~ James Tanch, Jr.

I also know how to flush a radiator and change its pipes, change the engine oil and filter, swap out brake pads, change spark plugs, and bypass the starter solenoid on a 1977 Dodge Sportsman RV.

I learned all of these things the hard way, by taking several cross-continental road trips in a series of broken-down, rusted-out sh*tboxes.

Pictured: The Hard Knocks School of Auto Mechanics. ~ Jeremy Holmes

Learn to Throw a Punch

Or karate, or something. It's almost inevitable you'll be attacked at some point.

Punching is especially good for b*tch-fights. The other b*tches will be slapping, so you'll have the advantage.

Do Your Own Home Repairs

Most home repairs are fairly simple. Hanging a shelf or plastering a hole in the wall is not rocket surgery. If you're an adult, you should be able to assemble that bookcase from IKEA without blowing anything up. I've had boyfriends who didn't know how to reset a tripped circuit breaker (or change a flat tire, for that matter), so it's just as well you figure out these simple home-repair matters for yourself. Your life will be easier, and it'll save you calling the electrician over a burnt-out light bulb, like a roommate of mine once totally did.

I wish I'd been home to see that. 

Open Your Own Jars

Of all the obstacles in my life as an independent woman, it's the godd*mn f*cking jars that get me every time.

F*cking jars.

Honestly, I don't what it is. Maybe my hands are too small (unlikely), or my grip is too weak (very likely), or my upper-body strength is lacking (possible). Whatever it is, for some freaking reason, I always freaking struggle to open the f*cking jars.

Maybe women just aren't meant to open jars.

There are tricks to it. You can tap the side of the lid with a spoon, which loosens it up, I guess. If that doesn't work, you can run cold water over the lid. That makes the glass contract, or something. If that doesn't work, you can scare it open by cussing loudly and threatening to smash it.

Smashing the jar is cheating, but the jar doesn't know that.