I like to think most of us Minnesotan’s are a nice bunch of folks. Always willing to help one another and all that but today I found out that maybe, there are some of us that lack the Minnesota Nice gene.
Last night I debated what vehicle to drive to work. Did I want to take Big Bertha which I had never driven and wasn’t too sure how I was even going to get up into her as she is a very tall truck and I have a very heavy butt which makes hoisting myself up precarious at best. I have worked two winters already at the place where I was going and I had never gotten stuck in the parking lot so I took a chance and took the Matrix.
My first inkling that it was going to be a whole different ballgame came as I was trying to get up the hill by Starbucks. That hill has given me a few heart-stopping moments before but last night was a real joy. I got half-way up and my tires started spinning and I was going nowhere fast. I am not the best backer-downer in daylight on a flat surface so the thought of having to back down a slippery hill with the possibility of sliding right onto Hwy 53 was making me clench certain unmentionable parts in fear. So I did what any fear-crazed person does in that situation….gunned it and burned rubber and sllllloooowwwllyyyyy burned my way up the hill. (If my husband is reading this….I am just making this part up for literary excitement….honest….really….).
The parking lot was looking quite snowy and I debated where to park. I must have lost some brain cells in my death-defying ride up the hill cause I parked in a stupid place so I would have to back out instead of backing in so I could just pull out in the morning.
I watched it snow all night from my window at work and about 2am the plow guy comes and starts his weird way of plowing and with each spastic pass, I could see the snow building up behind my car. I shoulda taken Big Bertha.
When my 12 hour shift was done, the plow guy was STILL plowing (never have I seen anyone take as long to plow a smallish parking lot as this guy….he must get paid by the hour and I swear he plows with his eyes closed) and I went out hoping for the best.
The plow guy was sitting in his truck by the entrance. Waiting for more snow to fall? Napping? As I walked by, I had an idea that if I went over to my car and in a theatrical way looked at it all snowed in, he might take pity on me and come and help. Either he is dense or my acting skills suck as no matter how much I gestured and threw up my hands, he still sat in his truck.
So now what? The snow is up to my knees and I have no shovel. I do have a sturdy piece of Tupperware that I could use to scoop the snow but since I am a heart-attack waiting to happen, I figured it would be my last resort. So I started pushing the snow with my feet. I got a perverse thrill pushing the snow onto the freshly plowed spots. I was secretly hoping he would come over and yell at me for messing up his work but he was probably happy to have more hourly work to milk.
Thankfully the snow was pretty light and it moved easily but I am not used to using my legs like that and soon I was huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf and my heart was pounding. I know that by looking at me you would think I was the Poster Child for Healthy Living (not!) so I figured either I would croak or I am in better shape than I look so I did the best I could while gasping for breath. I even took my scarf off my semi-bald head thinking that maybe he might think I had had some chemical treatments and feel guilted into helping me but nooooo.
Once I had kicked a path for my back tires, I got in and tried to back out. Ya, sure. Tried to rock it. No go as I had not thought to move snow from the front of the car. So it’s back out to kick away more snow.
As I am a vision in my black cape, black pants, black gloves and huge multicolored scarf (all I needed was a scythe to complete the look of Death), I glance over my shoulder and see a young man in a car and guess who is pushing him out of his parking spot? Mr. Plow Truck man. I am dumbstruck. How can he be helping a young man who wasn’t even in an inch of snow and he watches a fat, bald, old woman up to her knees in snow feebly attempting to kick the snow away from her car?
Now those of you that know me, know that I rarely display the famous VanWave temper (my sister, on the other hand, has reduced grown men to babbling babies by unleashing it….love you sis 🙂 ) but this was just too much for me. I stood at the back of my car with my hands on my mega Kardashian hips and gave them a look that said, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Unlike Auntie Em, I was going to tell him what I thought of him in no uncertain terms and I was getting my VanWave on (for you that don’t know, my maiden name is Van Wave and the family has a legendary temper) when he saunters over. In the few seconds it took him to come over, I had an inner battle rage…..do I rip him a new one or do I do the “helpless” woman shtick? My evil twin, Roxie, wanted to rip but my “I am too tired and just want to go home” side prevailed and I sweetly/but secretly sarcastically asked him in he had any suggestions. To his credit and much to my relief, he said he would try to move the snow behind the car and with two swipes of his plow he had removed most of the snow (he couldn’t have done that 20 minutes and four years off my life ago?). I got in and tried to just back out but the snow around the rest of my car was still too deep and so I just spun my tires. He very kindly went to the front of the car and pushed me until I was able to get out.
I thanked him profusely as any Minnesota Nice person would have done all the while thinking, “Didn’t your momma teach you better than to let a woman do what I had to do and then have to give you the old “hands on the hip” move before you felt it necessary to help me?
What has happened to old-fashion manners? My husband would never allow a woman to dig herself out if he could help her. And may God strike him blind if he ever sat and WATCHED a woman struggle.
Have we as women made the last two generations of men this way by our shouts of EQUALITY? Have we “equalified” ourselves out of acts of kindness by men? Have we “thrown out the baby with the bath-water”?
I am all for equal pay for equal work. I believe that MOST jobs can be done equally as well by either sex. But I feel men 50 and under no longer view women as the physically weaker sex and because of that don’t readily come to the aid of a damsel in distress. I know some of you younger women are stroking out over my opinion but think about it. Women have less respect now than we did back before we were liberated. It sickens me to see how the entertainment industry has prostituted women. For the price of “Fame”, women are degrading themselves in droves. Where is Gloria Steinem now? Why is there no outcry from feminists over the sexual exploitation of our young girls. Violence against women is only escalating. And why not? Just listen to the lyrics of most songs. Just look at the performances of women singers. The message being sent is that women are just chattel and of no real worth except for sex.
WAKE UP YOUNG PEOPLE. Someday soon you too will be parents and what kind of society do you think you will have to bring your little girls up in?
WAKE UP WOMEN. We worked so hard back in the 70s for respect and we have less of it today than we did back then. We need to take back our dignity and our worth.
WAKE UP PARENTS. Teach your sons that women are worthy of respect and protection. Teach your sons that women are not just sex objects to be used, abused and discarded. Teach your daughters positive self-worth. Teach them that acting like sex kittens will get them nothing worthwhile and could get them hurt.
WAKE UP SOCIETY! Do you see what kind of young people we are molding? We have kids punching and killing people for sport. (Want to see where we are headed?? Watch the movie, “A Clockwork Orange”)
I started this post about Minnesota Nice and ended up on a soap box…..sorry.
As Denny Anderson used to say at the end of his newscast, “Be Nice”.