Does Your Husband Want Metric?

In re-reading the article “CAVEAT EMPTOR” I thought about how often women–and especially OLD women–are victims of unscrupulous dealers.

In the old days, when buying cars, furniture and appliances, nearly all the sales staffs were male and I would always ask to have a saleswoman, which usually resulted in being told there weren’t any saleswomen. I knew that there were plenty of capable women who could sell cars, furniture, and appliances, but those were COMMISSION SALES jobs so men usually had them, while women were assigned to non-commission sales. I was very pleased when I saw that a local car saleswoman was ranked Number One, but unfortunately, it is not a car dealership we would use.

I wouldn’t consider making a car purchase without the guidance of my husband or brothers, although I consider myself to be rather wary and would probably not be taken advantage of, but my brothers and husband are just smarter than I am about SOME things! I asked Norman to go with me to choose Gerald’s camera, because I am abysmally ignorant about it.

I went to Sears to buy a tool for work and I told the salesman exactly what I wanted and the salesman asked, “Does your husband want metric?”

I said, “My husband doesn’t want anything; the tool is for me.” He said, “Wow, that’s amazing; I haven’t met any women who know about tools.” I said, “NOW you’ve met one!”

2 thoughts on “Does Your Husband Want Metric?”

  1. Sue, here is another comment that your blog entry made me think of, although it is a bit more personal, but not in a risque sort of way:

    I grew up in a conservative fundamentalist environment wherein it was expected that men be the head of the house and so on (I’m not sure what I mean by “and so on,” but it seemed to feel natural to add that.) But through life experiences, college (likely the actual college also had a role in this), a desire to be more “equal-thinking,” more tolerant and waiting until nearly fourty to consider marriage with somebody (giving me more time than average for some of these factors/desires to “work” on me), I developed an idea of how I wanted and hoped that marriage would work for me and a future partner; I called it a 51/49 relationship.

    My idea was that whichever partner had the most experience in an area then that partner would hold the 51 in that area, but unless that extra one percent was actually needed they’d essentially operate as a 50/50 relationship. What reminded me of this in your blog was your mention that you let Norman decide on which camera to buy because he knew more about cameras than you – so he held the proverbial 51. In my house, for example, no matter who I married for the most part, unless I married a Physicist with a Nobel Prize, I’d hold the 51 with regard to calculators [because they’ve long been a hobby of mine and I’ve learned – self-taught, if necessary – how to work all the functions on dozens of different kinds and types of calculators; it is certain that I know more about them than the average math major (ask me to cite some examples, if interested), so if my future partner needed to buy a calculator and if it was a major purchase – perhaps a ten-dollar calculator wouldn’t matter, and we couldn’t together narrow it down to just one, I’d make the final decision. Does that make any sense? (I was really into the idea and could not only provide more examples, but cite implications, possible problems, and real benefits to the 51/49 idea, if interested.)

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I did finally get married and, well, it didn’t work out very well, likely because I neglected to marry someone as open- and equal rights minded as myself, but – rather – married a somewhat conservative fundamentalist, though not necessarily by choice (and not necessarily for the first reason you might have thought), and that is part of “my story” and, I guess, part of why I am currently a wandering wonderer, or vice verse.

    Oh, the most important part of the 51/49 idea was that to avoid conflict, in case of potential conflict, there was someone to fall back on in whatever area to make a final decision, if necessary.

  2. Sue, I really liked your blog entry, perhaps because I have long been a promoter of Equal Rights (but, not necessarily Women’s Lib, BTW, because sometimes that organization, in my opinion, went too far past equal rights, though that may have been necessary to overcome all the eons when there wasn’t anything legally akin to equal rights, so that, eventually, a more healthy balance might be achieved).

    Moreover it reminds me of a summer college job I once had as a Successful Farming fieldperson. [I’d have a list of names and addresses by county in Ohio and/or Pennsylvania, would go get a room in the county and a county map from the county’s court house (often from the county surveyor’s or engineer’s office), visit all the current and nonsubscribing farmers, renew, or sell them new, subscriptions and take crop and cattle statistics so their magazine would be tailored to them – at the time there were one million plus subscribing farmers in the US and the magazine came in several tens of varieties, each dependent upon what combinations of crops and/or cattle that were relevant to each farmer.]

    And here’s why your blog entry reminded me of this time:
    * There were households where I’d talk to the husband, or the wife, and he, or she, would be the reader and/or the money manager and would renew, or subscribe,
    * There were households where I’d talk to the wife, or the husband, and she, or he, would make me seek out the other, to sometimes have to give my spill all over again, because the other was the reader and/or money manager, and
    * (best case scenario, and what seemed to me the more happily married couples) there were households where I’d talk to one of the spice (“my” plural for spouse, BTW) and they knew and understood each other well enough to know whether to renew or subscribe without a consultation with the “other half.”

    [Of course, there were many other combinations of the make-up of how the couples “worked,” such as one where, say, the male farmer decided whether to renew or not, but the female farmer was the one who paid, and so on, added so as not to give an oversimplified idea of what being a fieldperson was like.]

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