You know what they say – don’t assume – because it makes an “ass’ out of “u” and “me”. Well, I think more to the point, it makes an ass out of you. Here is a small collection of my thoughts, in short letters to people who have crossed my path who have been downright insulting; and the sad part is that they probably had no idea that they were offending me at the time. Actually, their words were offensive to an entire gender. This isn’t something speaking to centuries past. It’s a reflection of society, today, still spotted with social stigmas of the past.
Sadly, I’m also sure that these “Dear Dummy” letters echo the thoughts of many other women who have been given questioning looks as if they really are the sole decision maker in their household, or if they can actually pay for something on their own without the help of a man.
Thank you to all of the men who recognize that we girls may not always be as physically strong, but our money is just as valuable as yours, and our decisions carry as much weight as anyone else’s.
To all of those men who have said things without thinking to a woman, questioning her worth, independence, opinions, or her decision to be single - maybe the next time you see us, be a “gentle”man, offer your help if you see us struggling to shovel heavy snow, open a door for us if our hands are full, be kind, treat us like ladies, but don’t assume that our father/brother/husband/boyfriend is around or even exists, or should exist, to reinforce us as capable women in life.
Dear Car Salesman When I was 23:
You could have had a sale. You could have sold me that zippy sports car, and I would have been one of your best customers that week. I was a young woman, but I had a good job, and I made enough money to make those car payments consistently. My credit rating was stellar. I didn’t need a cosigner. Why in the world would you ask me when I walked into the dealership if my father was with me, and then reluctantly give in to talk to me about what kind of car I wanted to buy with zero enthusiasm in your voice, assuming I wasn’t a serious buyer?
You have no idea how insulting that was to me. Stereotype much? I bet, if a young man walked into your dealership, you would have showed him all of the features inside and out on that car, and you wouldn’t have dared ask him if his father were there. You two would have been bent over the hood, chatting about revving the engine and taking her out for a spin.
I showed you, though. I took that 5 speed out for a test drive, and your mouth dropped when you saw I could shift gears. Then, I thanked you, and walked out, and bought my first Mustang at a different dealership that recognized you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a young lady by her youth.
Dear Upholstery Guy:
When you say you offer pick-up and delivery of a couch, I expect you to provide the man power to lift it out of my living room into your truck. I’m paying you good money for your service. Don’t ask me if I have a “husband” or “boyfriend’ who can help you with the heavy lifting. I just don’t know where to begin to tell you how much is wrong with your question.
Even if I did have a husband or live-in boyfriend, I’m paying you to do a job, not them. You shouldn’t impose on a customer to help you with your work when you charge them more for an extra service.
Secondly, in this day and age, it is very normal for a woman to live alone, on her own, without the physical help or financial support of a man. Don't you dare raise your left eyebrow at me when I tell you the only ones living here are me, my daughter, and my dog. I’m a proud single mom who owns her own home, pays all of her bills by herself, and chooses to enjoy the company of a man who does not share in my finances, home, or domestic life. Please do not make assumptions that there’s a “man” of the house. There’s only a “woman” of my house, and I like it that way.
Don’t assume that I have a “man around the house” who is too busy to fix things when they break. I called you because I’m not a fix-it girl, nor do I desire to break a well-manicured nail when things need small repairs. I hired you for your carpentry skills, not your comments. No, you can not borrow my husband’s hammer – but, you can borrow mine!
Dear Real Estate Agent:
When I walk into your office saying that I want to buy a house with my daughter, don’t question me when I fill out paperwork if there’s a second person’s name to put on the “spouse” line. When I put “N/A”, I mean it. I can read. Thank you very much for your attention to this detail because it showed me exactly how much I should be paying attention to a different realtor.
I run my own business and have better finances than most people. Repeat, “I” – not “we.” I don’t need a man to buy a house, or help me make a decision, or give me the “ok” to do something.
Unless you realize the cost of your words, you will feel a cost to your bottom line by losing sales.
If you have a story to share that sounds like mine, please comment below, or tag me on social media. :)