I have a secret weapon. My brother was a mechanic and a tyre fitter. He would spend hours telling me what they got up to, so I am unusually well-informed in those matters. In fact when we had wound up being charged an excessive amount for a car service, I was the one who had dealt with it and had managed to persuade them charge a more realistic amount. I had never really felt affected by the boy’s club before my marrriage but from that point on the backslapping and sideways glances exchanged between men, have really annoyed me. Even more aggravating were the men and even occasionally women, who straight up ignored me as they talked to my husband as if I weren’t there. It is not macho. It is not bonding. It is just plain rude!
I have always enjoyed chatting to men and usually like male conversation, not all of us want to talk washing machines and recipes all the time. In fact you would probably be amazed how much I know about tyres and wheel-balancing. I was told to leave my ex to handle things but was not my way. I am not Penelope Pitstop. Mind you didn’t she secretly fix everything with a hairpin? My father was an engineer. I am totally at home talking electronics and software.
Nothing annoys and upsets me more than being expected to only mix with the women. Guys the next time you are with your partner and you notice a mate-introduce them to your partner.
Yes we might rattle on about children and washing machines sometimes but there is always room for a conversation about tyres in my life. My son shocked me once by announcing that the conversations me and my daughter had were boring. I was outraged, This was an individual whom I had calmly taught to build Bionicles and to whom I had listened patiently for hours, as he had gone on about the virtues of the various Toa.(skip through the swearing bit at the end)
It had never occured to him that this might have involved some effort on my part.
Still I am glad I do make that effort. I used to love watching a boys’s eyes light up when I would hear him read in school and he had realised I could talk dinosaurs, cars, lego etc.