Power Struggles

I came face-to-face with my own feminine power yesterday. It was really profound. It made me think about all the other demonstrations of power we use, but before I digress, let me tell you. I was on the phone with tech support. I think the guy was from India.

I lost count of how many times tech support put me on hold. He had to repeat himself often, as his accent was well-developed. He had to consult a level-2 technician. And I squirmed. Finally, he wanted to join me on my computer via remote-session. While he moused around, I told him I would have to put him on hold, and I went to pee. Yes, I left a tech support guy on hold so I could tinkle. And I felt POWERFUL! Some guy in another hemisphere was waiting patiently for me to answer a call of nature. It was profound.

In the future, I'll probably make a point of going potty before I call tech support. I don't know if I have the cajones to put a guru on hold again under such false pretenses. Yes, I led him to believe it was a client I had to speak to, rather than a commode I wanted to visit. Besides, I hate to abuse my power, wherever I find it.

Have you thought about all those little power plays? Do you ever get out of doing something for a man by using a vague feminine-illness excuse? That scares men...those woman-problems. Do you say "I'm hurrying" when you are taking your time? Men do it to us, too. If they want to get away, they know what to say they're doing so we won't want to come along. Whether it's fishing or camping away from water or going to a hockey game, they know how to ditch us without letting us think we've been ditched.

Can you summon tears to get what you want? I'm not good at this one: I don't cry pretty. My sister can cry a perfect tear from her big green beautiful eyes, and get her way. I cry and my nose gets red and runny and my eyes get puffy and no one is entranced by puffy gray eyes and a leaky nose. It just doesn't fly.

Some people can get what they want with sweet talk; other people behave so obnoxiously that others cave in just to be rid of them. Talented people might navigate between the two, but that sounds complicated to me.

You know those people who stand too close to you? Forever invading your personal space? Are they really so anxious to get near you, or is it a kind of exercise in power? I wonder. Maybe they just want to make sure you know they had onions on their burger?

And don't forget good old-fashioned, all-purpose guilt. Some moms have a talent for it. My Mom is pretty good at it, but it isn't the favorite weapon in her arsenal. If Mom plays the guilt card, she means business.

Since most of my job entails customer service at some level, I encounter the "do you really want my business" routine sometimes. I gotta tell you, folks. Be careful, because sometimes the answer is "No". If you won't play nice at the beginning, what would make me think you are going to sweeten up?

My youngest son had a power play to end all power plays. He had "the look". Oh, it was so cute! He'd look up at me (ok, it was a while ago when he looked UP at me), with his big round eyes in his chubby-cheeked baby face, and he'd give me the look.

How can you say "No" to a face like this? It wasn't easy. And by the way, yes. He usually did have a band-aid on his head. For some reason, he was top-heavy, and was forever falling down and bumping his head. We even got rid of the coffee table. Happily, he grew into his head, and quite handsomely, too. Now that he's standing on the edge of manhood, he found a new way to get to me. He calls me "Mommy." I know it's ridiculous, but it works. What can I say?