Maybe it was because I’d just been reading the Smart Bitches’ rant on a recent Forbes article about working women, but something weird –make that nineteenth century weird– happened to me on Thursday.
Tuesday morning, I receive a call from a cooperative of free-range cattle farmers in the region who is looking to sell their meat and wants to drop off a sample of it for me to try out. Since I’m a great supporter of anything organic, I say I’m quite interested.
This being meat, and this being summer, they want to make sure I’ll be at home when they drop it off, so could they call me back Thursday around supper time, to make sure I’m there? They’d also like to explain how the system works. Since I think this is reasonable, I acquiesce. With me, so far?
Thurdsay evening, I get the call from this man from the coop.
“Will you be there in about twenty minutes?” he says.
“I also want to confirm that your husband will be there.”
“It’s our policy, ma’am, that we need to explain to the both of you about our cooperative.”
“My husband can’t be here tonight, so it’s only me.”
“Oh. Well, we really need to have your husband there. Is there another day we can come to see you when he’ll be there?”
“I’m the one who does the buying in this house,” I reply, with forced patience at this time. “All you need to do is talk to me.”
“I’m sorry but we need to talk to your husband.”
(At this point, I wanted to say: “I threw the fucking bastard out last week, okay? Now, do you want to talk to me, or not?” A blatant falsehood, as my husband is, as I write this, happily having a shower upstairs, but I was getting miffed.)
So, instead I say: “This was the only evening that was suitable for me for the next three weeks. If it’s not tonight, I guess you’ll have to call back then.” (Notice I didn’t say I’d make sure my husband would be there then.)
“Oh,” he says, “that’s fine. We’ll call you back then.”
Now, what is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with them? Do they assume I need permission from my husband to buy meat? What if I were single, divorced, unmarried, or in a same-sex relationship? Or is it that they trust their representative so little they believe that, if their reps saw a woman alone, they’d immediately assault her? Or that they’re so big and brawny (them being farmers, of course) that a woman alone will cry rape as soon as they set foot in the house? Oh, no, I get it. They’re so big and brawny (them being farmers, of course) that a woman alone will automatically turn into a hot ball of desire and jump them. It’s exhausting being a rep.
It’ll be a day when it snows on the Mountains of Hell before they get both of us in the same house. I guess that means they lost a sale.