Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am Woman hear me roar

I wouldn’t call myself a Feminist per se but I would say that I am pro-woman. Pro-woman in the sense that it makes me angry that the Country Club in our town doesn’t let women join. I’ve already tried to instill in Megan a sense of resentment of that fact and every time we drive by the Country Club, I remind her that they don’t let women become members which then triggers Jay to retort something like, “Well they don’t let men into Curves now do they?” To which I then say something like, “But it’s not the same thing.” And then I continue to sputter and stutter about trying to make my point until I realize it’s an effort in futility and then I just go back to sticking my nose in my laptop or doing something domestic like the dishes or making cookies.

I’m pro-woman in the way that I get giddy with excitement when I see women succeed. I love hearing stories about women breaking the glass ceiling and becoming Presidents or CEOs of companies. I love that the television networks rely on women like Jean Chatzky and Suze Orman to tell all of America how to better manage their money.

I love that the inventor of Jibbits was a stay at home mom who created them by accident and then ended up selling her company to the founder of Crocs for millions upon millions of dollars.

I was equally excited while watching Oprah the other day when I found out that the designer/founder for Jimmy Choo shoes was actually a woman and not some guy named Jimmy. Which in retrospect totally makes sense because if we are going to get real here, what man could think of such cool shoes???

And although I consider myself to be a Moderate Republican on the political scale, I have to admit there was a small part of me that thought it would be kinda cool to have a woman as our next President.

I say all this to set the scene for what I am about to describe as something that happened at a party that was sooo unlike me! Jay and I went to a Shrimp Boil party with some of his co-workers and their spouses to celebrate the end of the school year. The older I get, the less social I become so I typically plant myself in one central location and make conversation with whoever ends up sitting next to me and am perfectly content until I run out of things to say and experience the extremely awkward long pauses and then I excuse myself to go to the bathroom or to get another beverage. Thankfully Jay works with some really nice folks so I don’t have those long awkward pauses and it's rare that I need to excuse myself from the conversation. Which is nice because I mean, under other circumstances, with another set of folks the frequent excuses would probably cause people to think that a) I have a bladder infection because I excuse myself to the bathroom so often or b) I end up getting really hammered from excusing myself to get another beverage too often.

At any rate, at the latest party I sat next to the spouse of a co-worker and we struck up conversation. For some reason, we got on the subject of me traveling for my job and she asked which airline I usually flew. I started to gush on and on about how I sometimes fly American but if I have my choice, I ALWAYS choose United. Jay overheard this conversation and leaned over and said, “Yeah, but tell them why you like United!” So of course, I then proceeded to explain my neurosis about my affinity to United and the fact that the sole reason I enjoy United has nothing to do with the seats, pilots or service. It has to do with the audio programming and the fact that on channel 9 I can hear the conversations between my pilots and air traffic control. And for some reason, I find this particularly comforting because with my control issues, if the plane is going down, I want to be the first to know and I feel like on United, I get a leg up in this department.

The woman’s husband then happened to mention that she (gasp) works for American Airlines. So of course at this point, I felt like a total idiot because I unintentionally insulted her in a roundabout way. So after I took my foot out of my mouth, I used it to start back peddling and reiterating that it’s essentially because I’m crazy and neurotic that I would select United over American.

But then… it got worse…after I sufficiently back peddled, I attempted to detract from myself and turned the conversation back to her. And the first question that came to my mind started to spew from my mouth. And in that next moment, I was about to become the person I hated and complained about all the time. The person that is on par with the waiter who always gives the man at the table the check and would never dare to assume that the woman might be paying for the dinner.

“So…You work for American, huh? That’s so great. What do you do for them?” (…here it comes…) “Are you a… Flight Attendant?”

Ugh! I couldn’t stop myself. It was like watching a slow motion crash. Now I just hoped to God the answer was yes. But of course I couldn’t get that lucky. She responded, “No, actually I’m a Pilot for American.”

DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I opened my mouth and put my foot back in it. And let me tell you, it was quite a long hop on one foot to the bathroom!


carolyn said...

Oh my GOD that's me! I get nervous and say the wrong thing and try to fix it which is always a more wrong thing and then I can't shrink fast enough. I like to then get a fresh drink, hide in the corner, and put on my sunglasses. My sunglasses make me invisible.

Toni said...

That is a great story. Not necessarily great for you or for the woman you think you insulted but for me the reader.

I think we have all been in that situation more times than we care to admit!

Dette said...

OMG. I've been there, done that. And unfortunately, it still happens every now and then.

Like at book club when someone mentioned how "smart" I look with glasses.

How do you respond to that? "Are you telling me I normally look stupid?"

I know she didn't mean anything by it (she had the foot in mouth look on her face) and I just replied with a laugh and said, "I must look like a librarian or something, huh?"

Uh... come to find out... woman across the table is... a...



As my husband put it, "One stupid comment to follow another."

But with Miss American Pilot?

I almost think she set you up for that... So don't be too hard on yourself!

Ms Picket To You said...

I am literally standing at the (virtual) bar, cringing for us both, and getting you a drink. My God, if I haven't been there.

And PS: Like Carolyn, my glasses make me invisible too. It's awesome!

Jen W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen W said...

Carolyn & Ms Picket- Great idea! I've gots to get me some glasses!