I glimpsed an awesome scene in my future this morning. We were late for school, as usual, and I suddenly remembered that the gas gauge was so close to empty our arrival anywhere beyond the neighborhood Circle K was improbable. I detoured towards the gas station and pulled up alongside a pump.
My ten year old son, Levi, immediately unbuckled and leapt out of the car. “I’ve got it, mom,” he announced. “Your credit card, please.”
At first I was stunned. Sure he’d reluctantly helped me fill up the gas tank in the past. But on all of those occasions, his willingness to even unscrew the gas cap came with a heavy sigh and insolent eye roll. Today he was actually eager to fuel the tank.
I handed him my credit card and watched with awe and admiration as he swiped it, entered our zip code and selected my usual gas grade. After filling the tank and returning my card, he hopped back in the car and buckled up, ready to hit the road and head off to school.
It was then that I had my vision. In just a few more years, I will never have to fill up my gas tank again. I have two strapping young boys whose father extols the virtues of gentlemanliness and chivalry. They always want to help me carry in the groceries. They fight over who gets to wash my car. They wouldn’t think of allowing me to walk through a door I had opened all by myself. And suddenly it hit me. This is great!
After all those years of waiting on them hand and foot, feeding them, bathing them, carting around an overflowing amount of parent paraphernalia and stocking my purse with a virtual grocery store of healthy snacks and drinks, I was going to be free — and soon. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was only a matter of time before I would take my place as rightful Queen of this family. Never again will I have to carry my own luggage on family vacations! No more lugging in backpacks and awkwardly arranged school shadow boxes at the end of the day. No. I was finally going to be treated like a lady, not a work horse.
I shared my epiphany with my husband this afternoon. He grunted something judgmental about feminism and Betty Friedan. “I’m a post-modern feminist,” I quipped. “I believe that chivalry and feminism can peacefully co-exist. Besides, I’ve never advocated that women should have equal rights. Rather, it’s always been my belief that we are entitled to special rights.” And then I smiled coquetishly and waltzed away humming a noted feminist tune from that good ol’ Rogers and Hammerstein musical treatise on equal rights, “Flower Drum Song.”
“I’m strictly a female female
And my future I hope will be
In the home of a brave and free male
Who’ll enjoy being a guy having a girl… like… me.”