My roommate once asked me if I knew anything about adding air to the tires on her car. I promptly told her to call one of her guy friends because car issues always resulted, for me, in a phone call to my father or my good friend Jim. She said something about wanting to be a strong, independent woman, so in an effort to help a sister out, I told her everything I knew about low tires, including which places she should purchase a tire if airing it up was not successful.
Impressed by my knowledge of important details such as the PSI being listed on the driver’s door, she begged me to go with her and help her out. I sighed, then caved, and we headed out to the nearby gas station. I think I was still mumbling something about her calling her guy friend, and she–ever the optimist–said we could handle it.
Even though I’ve never actually done one myself, I knew how to air up a tire. Later, I considered why I pushed so hard for her to call a guy. It’s not like I’m incapable of taking care of minor auto issues–a fact I proved that night. And I certainly don’t call guys to help me out when it comes to a lot of other areas.
I think the reality is that, as a single woman, I’ve had to do a lot of things on my own. I’ve bought and sold a house, negotiated job contracts, planned trips all over the globe, and helped navigate healthcare options for my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. There are few stones left unturned.
But that’s just it: I want to leave a few stones unturned. I think deep down I fear that the longer I’m single, the more independent I’m becoming and the less desirable that is to a guy. So I leave car repairs as an unturned stone, an area where I’m less inclined, less skilled. And that’s kind of ridiculous.
As Christian women, we’re often told how the Godly men that we’re waiting on are protectors and providers and want to take care of us. As I embrace my late thirties, I find myself torn between wanting to be that strong, independent woman that my roommate talked about and being the girl who still longs to be protected and provided for. I think it’s possible to be Godly and be both, but there are times when I see one start to overshadow the other in my life. It’s a fine line.
Recently I returned from a trip to Spain with some college friends. There were 2 guys and 2 girls on the trip. Upon arrival to Madrid, there was a lot of chaos and we ended up with the 2 girls in one taxi and the 2 guys in the other taxi. The only problem was that the guys had the paperwork with the hotel address on it, and we had nothing other than the name. The guys also spoke much more fluent Spanish than the girls, so it was just an ideal situation all around.
After about a 20-minute taxi ride during Madrid rush hour, we realized that our driver was having difficulty finding our hotel. I was beginning to get a little panicked because I knew that I really had no other information to offer him. A few minutes later I came to my senses, regained my self-confidence in my ability to problem solve, and we eventually arrived.
When we met up with the guys, one of them told me their protective instincts had kicked in and they felt terrible that we ended up in a taxi without their help. I told him not to worry about it that we had traveled without guys before and we would’ve figured something out. But to be honest, it was so nice to know that someone wanted to protect us and was concerned for our well-being. As a single female who is always trying to take care of herself, it was kinda nice to know that someone besides my father or my brothers was protective of me–even if it was something as simple as a rogue taxi ride.
I know that God’s plans are so much greater than my issues with strength and gentleness or independence and vulnerability. His sovereignty will bring a relationship into my life if/when it is the right time, and I’m pretty sure I’ll still be in the throes of sanctification and won’t have my femininity figured out. In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on my self-awareness and discerning the motivations behind things like not wanting to air up a tire.
Because I’m quite certain it could not have been related to sheer laziness…