September 18, 2005

Saturday Morning in the Suburbs

We had two cords of firewood delivered yesterday morning. I've got to say, dealing with men who sell firewood is always an interesting experience.

The process of finding someone to purchase logs from was not easy this year. I left messages in five places before I got a response. This particular woodman, the one who actually deigned to return my call, seemed typical of the breed: a slow talker and a bit of a hick. I inquired about price, he quoted me one a bit higher than I expected. I asked if the price included stacking and he said, "Aw, I'm 75 years old. My knees just don't work the way they used to! I'd like to stack it for you, but I'm just not up to it anymore, sir."

That's right. He called me sir. Now I'm not unused to being mistaken for a man on the telephone. Yet I had clearly identified myself as Suzanne both in the message and when I answered his return call.

Anyway. Wendy and I can handle stacking. So we agreed on price and set up delivery. Saturday morning, crack of dawn. Well, not exactly dawn. But "sometime before 8:00." Same diff in our world. I rolled myself out of bed and threw on some clothes when Dudley bayed loudly announcing the man's arrival.

Woodmen can be chatty. I learned quite a bit about this man and his wife, specifically their health issues, in the ten or so minutes he was at the house. I listened politely and nodded in sympathy. He asked me what I do to stay in shape. "I stack wood," I said, chuckling. He looked at me funny. His large truck dumped a humongous pile of logs in our driveway, I paid him and we said our goodbyes.

As he climbed into his truck he said, "Tell your husband I really appreciate his business."

Now there are so many ways I could have responded to that statement. I could have jumped up and down and shouted, "Hey dude, my husband is my wife!" or said, "Yo, mister! Whose name is on that check in your pocket?" or "Jane, you ignorant slut...." Wait. While a fun flashback, that one doesn't apply to the clueless woodman driving down our driveway.

Instead, I just smiled and waved.
Some battles just aren't worth fighting.



A said...

Man. I tell ya, before I lived in the south, I don't think I realized just how many people still live in the early part of the 1900's. I can totally see this guy, and I love how he obviously believes he has to do his business with your 'husband' instead of the little lady of the house.

I had my hair pretty short a few years ago, but all my traveling through no-man's land in the Midwest quickly broke me of enjoying my hairstyle. The girls were wild over my hair in St. Paul, but I was in the process of moving to WV and so had to take a few trips between several states.

The shocked stares in the bathroom mirror as I emerged from a stall, the people who actually tried to stop me from entering the women's bathroom, hell, the stares in general.. I tired of it really quickly. Admittedly, I am somewhat boyish-looking with short hair, but I have a noticeable chest, a fairly feminine voice, and am really not all that manly.. I couldn't figure it out or get over it.

After I moved, I started to grow my hair back out because I couldn't deal anymore. Even so, when it was in a short-but-awkward stage, an old guy I was waiting on called me 'sir'. Ugh.

I know I shouldn't be upset or offended, because really, what's the big deal? But I dunno.. something about having my gender mistaken irks me.

Anonymous said...

I still think you're sexy as hell.

WenWhit said...

FYI That Girl, Suzanne is far sexier than you will ever know.


Eyes for Lies said...

Old lordy, that guy WAS a hick!!

weese said...

I have experienced the same thing.
I come out of our lovely suburban home, dishtowel in hand, kids toys in the yard - and am asked - Is your husband home?
I suppose I can't really fault people for generalizing when there are only two other gay couples in town.
Admittedly - sometimes I play with people like this. And it could go either way - I could play up the 'woman of the house' role.
Or - freak them out with ..."no, but my wife is - shall i get her?"

Katie said...

Okay, my first reaction to this was, "TWO FULL CORDS?" Jesus, S, what are you going to do with that much wood? Seriously! I know, have a few fires, but sakes alive!

When we moved into our first house, I had Partner order wood and she ordered a "cord"-- as I told her to do, but neglected to tell her say "face-cord". She went to Minneapolis for the weekend. The FULL CORD got dropped off and out I went to stack it up. A full cord.

I kept thinking, "We're going off the grid!"

Seriously. TWO FULL CORDS! I am duly impressed.

ellipsis said...

From a grits-eating southern girl: Suzanne,your grace impresses me. You could have wasted your breath and risked becoming tacky but you let it go. You're right, sometimes it just isn't worth it. Stay cozy by the fire with your girl.