MEN ARE a hoot, aren't they? They always assume that when something a woman
is using is not working, it must be because she is doing it wrong.
One morning, I stopped at a local convenience store and went inside to use
the ATM. I swiped my card through several times, but received no response. One
of the men who worked there noticed this and came hurrying over, no doubt
thinking to himself, "ah, another woman who doesn't know how to use a simple
I looked at him and asked "is this machine working?" He smiled at me the
way I would smile at a child and said "of course." He then proceeded to take my
card from my hand. I started to inform him that I certainly know how to use an
ATM card, but thought better of it. "I've got a few minutes," I thought, "this
could be fun."
He swiped my card through once. Nothing. Now his brow furrowed. He swiped
it again. Nothing. "Huh," he mumbled. He then took my card and rubbed it
between two of his fingers. I have to admit, I didn't think of trying that. I
waited to see what would happen now that the card had been shown some
He then informed me that the machine must not be working. "Well," I
thought, "it's official. It's been verified by a man."
It wasn't the first time. Last year, I pulled into a service station. After
swiping my credit card, I lifted the nozzle and tried to pump the gas. It
wouldn't start. I tried a few more times, but got nowhere. Of course, there was
a man observing all of this and, before long, he ambled over and asked if I
needed some help. "It doesn't seem to be working," I told him.
He smiled. "You probably swiped your card too quickly," he informed me.
Hmmm. I found this hard to believe, since it wasn't my first time, but I
trustingly handed him my card and watched as he repeated the whole process. It
turned out that there was something wrong with the pump. Of course, I was
grateful that there was a man on the scene to verify this.
When I was in my early 20s, I immediately stepped out of the way, thankful
that a man was there to take care of the situation and certain that he could.
By my late 20s, I grew resentful of this attitude and became very nasty at the
sight of a "get out of the way, I know how to do it" man.
Now, I just find it all so funny. So when I'm having trouble, when I just
know there's something wrong with the machine and a man comes running, I stand
back and enjoy the show. After all, these days, laughs are hard to come by, and
I'll take mine wherever I can get them.
Besides, they're all so cute.