Sacred. Well, not really, but yes, a beauty salon is the place where we go and spill our guts to the stylist who makes us beautiful. Come in Raggedy Ann, mini girl-talk therapy session while getting foiled or a blow out, and then you leave looking like Cinderella, or Jasmine, or Snow White without about 5 lbs. of emotional baggage you just dropped on your stylist. She’s in there sweeping it away right now BTW.
I sat under a dryer waiting for my blonde bombshell color to develop, and because I was relaxed and alone for the moment I closed my eyes, and started taking in the white noise of our “sacred” place. Some top 40 music, lots of water and dryers, but most of all chatting. You could be chatting with the same stylist you’ve had for years, or unloading on a brand new one that you just met.
You know you do it. We all do. My stylist is the ONLY living person who knows if I have any grey hairs at all. I told her not to even tell me. That’s a bond my friends. Do not take these bonds for granted.
That being said, I sat under my dryer and caught the conversation of the stylist and customer closest to me. My eyes were closed, so for as far as they knew I could have been asleep. There was no anger, malice, judgement, or complaining from this lovely customer, but her words shocked me nonetheless. She just sat there telling her stylist that her husband was pretty much useless unless a light bulb needs to be changed. She went on to describe that she’s in fact the handy one in the marriage, and if she cannot do it they simply hire out.
What struck me was the absolute nonchalance of her words. It was like she was stating that she was going to buy bread at Whole Foods today, and maybe wash her Audi on the way home.
My questions are as follows: (Gonna make some of you mad here, but I know that, and I also don’t care as this is an OPINION blog).
1. As the woman appeared in her late 30’s, early 40’s I assume (could be wrong) that her husband is around that same age. How in the world does a man that age get through life and be so “useless” (Her words, not mine)? I have a theory on this, but that’s for later. Look for THEORY in all caps further down.
2. WHY would any woman marry, or get past the first few months of dating a man that is “useless”. Useless based on her conversation and my interpretations would be someone who cannot change a tire, cannot change the oil on their vehicle, cannot replace a broken toilet, cannot unclog the kitchen sink, cannot install ceiling fans, and/or light fixtures. I could go on forever, but you get my drift.
Let’s be honest about a few things here. Women can do all of that stuff themselves. We can learn, and do all the same stuff, but why should we? If you prefer to be single is it because other than sex you can take care of everything else on your own without dealing with “Useless Man Baby”, and his “man cold” that rivals the pain of natural childbirth?
I am getting to my theory now.
I’m late 40’s, as is my husband. Our grand-fathers generation (GOAT’s moving forward in this blog) was the last generation of men who were 100% taught by their fathers how to not be a “Useless Man Baby”. Their fathers taught them how to work on cars, small engines, how to build a house from the ground up, how to build a vehicle from the ground up. Our grandfathers were of the “Greatest Generation” and proceeded to come home from war and make sure their sons grew up to be the kind of men who could provide, and take care of their family. Their sons, and/or male relations are Gen 1’s.
After multiple conversations with wives of our GOATS, Gen 1’s, and their Gen 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s here is what I hypothesize.
Gen 1’s taught about 75% of their son’s and/or male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. Gen 1’s which would be someone my father’s age, born in the late 40’s early 50’s. These men also went to war to fight for our country, and came back teaching their sons and male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. My father was Grizzly Adams and MacGuyver all rolled into one. He too could take a toothpick and a stick of gum out into the jungle and build a shopping mall. I was fascinated watching him build, create, fix, and just plain keep things working right, and our world together. Stability, safety. Two very strong words when describing what it’s like to live with a man like that.
Gen 1’s held back a little or were riddled with PTSD, and they imparted about 50% of their useful knowledge onto their Gen 2 sons, and male relations. This is where you start seeing the disconnect. Gen 1’s are able to get maybe 50% of their Gen 2 sons, and/or male relations to take an interest. Sure, things are getting a little more electronic, and digitized, but that lawnmower can be fixed, and yes you sure can put up an 8 ft board-on-board privacy fence around your back yard over the weekend with a buddy. Hell, flat tires are virtually unchanged in the way they are removed and replaced with a new tire.
Gen 3’s are our generation. Born in late 60’s, early 70’s. Things get a little tougher here for multiple reasons. The herd of “Useful Men” has been culled. With only 25% of their sons, or male relations receiving any teaching, skills, common sense, problem solving abilities, and/or how to change a broken load leveling system on a 1991 Ford Expedition with just some hand tools and a friend with beer holding a drop light and playing music. Gen 3’s have about a 10% chance to get just one survival skill ingrained into their sons heads that doesn’t involve just calling 911. Gen 3’s are seeing first hand that if it’s not something that AAA can handle, and how do you call a tow truck again??????
The Gen 4’s are in trouble. Gen 4’s are those born in the 80’s, and 90’s. These highly educated, or digitally engrossed men are the newest generation of “Useless Man Babies”. We are looking at maybe, and I’m being generous here, a 10% ability to take care of themselves, much less a girlfriend, wife, and/or children. Not only do they suffer from almost complete lack of courtesy which should have been ingrained for the past 4 GENERATIONS into their brains, but they do not even stop to offer assistance. Been there. Been ignored as an out of town female driver in a ball gown no less, on the side of the highway with a flat, in the dark, could not get the lug nuts loose to get the tire off, and you guessed it. 200 cars drive by, and 2 hours later I’m calling a tow truck.
Let’s wrap this OPINION post up by saying a few things.
* I understand why more and more women in their 30’s and up are saying that marriage is not a viable option for them. They can have children if they want, have careers if they want, and change their own damn tires if they want. (NOTE: must have lug wrench, check your trunk ladies, don’t just assume)
* Why would any intelligent woman want to have children with, or try and build a life with a “Useless Man Baby” unless you are assured that you have a Gen 3 or higher. You will be planning on building your life on low hanging DNA. Do you want your sons to be the 5%?
I know some of you are going to be insulted cause I just told you that your man is the untaught, uninterested Gen 3, or Gen 4. You know if me saying it out loud puts you in a bad place then just take a deep breath and regroup. You already know it, and have just accepted that you love him, and it doesn’t matter that you wear the pants in the family, and have to go check your vehicle and see if you have all the proper tools to replace a blown out tire. Jack, lug wrench, good spare…….
My daughter is a Gen 4 and I’m horrified at 90% of the boyfriends she has. Useless. Just freaking useless. How am I supposed to just let her ride off into the sunset with one of these “Useless Man Babies” when I know her father will end up coming to rescue her, and HIM, when things go south.
Guys, get your shit together. Take a course on some common sense things that up your percentage of usefulness. It’s not the 40’s or 50’s anymore. You have to bring more to the table than a paycheck. That’s not ALL we need you for. Remember, we women are getting paid too, and we are telling our confidants how useless you are. We cannot help it. Break the cycle. Ask your Dad, or grandfather for some help if they are still around. Use your resources. YouTube and Google. Seriously.
Basically, if you cannot be the man she needs you to be, sit the hell down so she can see the man standing behind you.
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