Be the man you want to marry
And there is one piece of advice I’ve given my daughter.
Be the man you want to marry.
It’s very easy to take the default position once he’s put a ring on it, to let him make the big purchases, fix the plumbing, put together the kids’ toys. But what happens when he decides to jump the marriage shark?
There are many good men out there, don’t get me wrong. It’s just a fact that some men keel over unwillingly or unwittingly, from heart attacks as my 35-year-old police officer neighbor did, right there at the kitchen table eating breakfast. He still had the spoon in his hand.
His widow had no clue how to live without him. She didn’t even know where her husband did the banking.
When my husband left, I realized how much he did, simple things, like changing the furnace filter. I barely knew where the furnace was. I had never cut the grass, blown the snow or changed a tire. I certainly hadn’t learned the art of the dreaded Allan key.
I was reminded of this by my friend Brian yesterday, who talked about the first of my many birthdays we enjoyed together. He asked me what I wanted, and I told him that I needed tools. I didn’t even have a hammer. Slowly over the years, I learned the crafts of manhood, like painting a room, putting together children’s toys, getting the car repaired. I wasn’t always successful. I remember one time, I put together a desk for Marissa and a few days later, the cat jumped on it and it folded like a deck of cards.
But I’m very proud today that I have learned how to live independently, even though, thanks to Scott, I no longer have to do so.
So I was puzzled by a survey in today’s paper that revealed the majority of women still leave the car buying to men. It’s another indicator that things haven’t changed much in our society. I’m pleased to note that it was my daughter, Marissa, who did all the buying for her family car. She got the loan, checked out the best deals, got the proper warranties. All this because I’d convinced her to apply for a job in car sales; needless to say, she knew the drill better than any other hombre there.
The next car we purchase will be one recommended by my husband Scott, not because I’m deferring to him, but because he sells cars for a living. He knows the biz through and through.
But I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a car on my own, if I ever had the money, which is always the problem. When you’ve been a single mother, your credit rating invariably has taken a beating. Loans officers don’t recognize support payments as income so unless you’re working full time, you don’t have a chance in buying a car.
There’s that stigma, rearing its ugly nob again.
I learned some hard lessons over the 10 years that I was a single mom.
You become fearless; you have no choice.
And I’m happy that I’ve instilled in my daughter some of the single mother values I’ve learned the hard way.
Independence shouldn’t be a dirty word for married women.
It should always be something to hold in your back pocket.
Because men always leave, one way or another.
They’re either out the door, or they’re planted. Either way, do what Lady Baden-Powell taught you — be prepared.