Monday, September 19, 2005

Big Sam Needs to be Needed

Well, Big Sam is not what you'd call mechanically inclined even at the best of times. In fact, the mechanical inclination he's most prone to is the inclination of the reclining chair immediately prior to the Remote lifting motion, immediately prior to the deep sigh of relaxation marking the end of a long day. But he works hard at his job and it's not a particularly rewarding job at that, what with the immigration getting to be so bad and so many of them speaking little or no English, which is somewhat more than annoying even if Big Sam does have a working knowledge of Spanglish.

So when he does get inspired to do something around the house it's worth it to let him do it, even if the cans are still rolling off the shelf he put up at an angle steep enough to serve as a skateboard ramp. There's nothing like doing something for his woman that makes a guy feel more like a MAN, if you know what I mean.

So when Big Sam offered to check the air in my car's tires Saturday last, I knew it was time to bow to his superior ability and get out of the way, and certainly not mention that the Arco station down at the corner would let you pump all the air you needed for a quarter. If he wanted to put air in The Heap's tires using only a bicycle pump, it was time to step back and admire his biceps.

Which is exactly what he did, and exactly what I did.

Let me tell you, it's worth letting the boy sweat a little for you. The look of pride on his face as he wiped the sweat off his forehead with the piece of dingy terrycloth rag I'd handed him (the good rags were in the wash) was worth the tongue biting, worth sacrificing the can-do attitude I am prone to in my sinful nature. It was even worth the damp hug and extra laundry.

That got me to thinking once again. It got me to thinking that maybe all the women who told their men, "I can do it myself", and the pretty young things who brushed with a disdainful sniff past the boys holding doors for them had maybe broken something inside our men. Broken something pretty serious and hard to replace, because it don't come factory standard, broken the sense those boys and men had of being needed. When we women don't need our men and the things they offer to do for us, the sturdy leather a man is made from cracks like a pump bellows allowed to dry out from lack of use.

It's pretty obvious to me that a man who's not needed by some sweet woman is a man without purpose or anchor. Is this what we want our boys to face as they become all grown-up and out to build their own homestead? Women who shove them aside and act like they don't care if the boys stay or if they go?

Girls, I guess this post is directed toward you. We've raised you to be strong, to be able to compete.

Oh, how wrong we were.

Maybe the guys don't do it our kind of perfect. Maybe we could do it ourselves better, at least some of the time (usually less often then our inflated self-images believe). Maybe a lot of foolish thinking things.

I can't fix all the maybes in life, not by a far sight. But I do know I thoroughly enjoyed that look in Big Sam's eyes, the straightening of his back, and the sweaty hug that said, "You need me, and I need you".

How true.


Anonymous said...

Oh, what a beautiful post. Thank you for that loving reminder. God bless, Stephanie Seabrook

Mrs. Blessed said...

Fantastic post! God bless you and yours,

~~Mrs. Blessed