Tuesday, September 13, 2016


If you don't believe that gender discrimination exists today in America, then you obviously are not married-with-a-vehicle.

I am convinced that automobiles, household appliances, and all things electronic not only differentiate between male and female users, but these things alter their performance in favor of males.

Earlier this summer, after loosing close to a quarter of my body weight in sweat when I mopped the floors and cleaned the bathrooms, I told my husband the air conditioner was not working up to speed. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe I didn't really sweat quite that much. But my point is: the house was hot.

When my husband got home, he checked out the air conditioner. Everything seemed to be working fine. And it actually did seem to be cooling okay, after his inspection. At least for a little while.

Then summertime cranked up the heat and humidity again. Ummm, nope, the AC was most definitely not working. Either that, or I was having one long-lasting hot flash.

Eventually, the AC forgot that it was supposed to cool when The Man was home, and not cool when it was just The Woman. Or maybe it forgot that my husband was due in from Memphis. The AC inadvertently did its I'm-not-going-to-work trick while my husband was home. Busted! Steve got the repairman out and had the thing fixed.

And then there is the van. When I drive the van, it sounds like a rickety Tin Lizzy off of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Seriously, I half expect the engine to fall out from under the hood and go bouncing down the road. And it dies randomly, like dying randomly is its version of a practical joke.

When my husband is in the van, all those awful noises vanish into a whisper. I don't think it has even once died in the middle of an intersection with my husband inside.

The van knows when a man is on board. It knows, and it "simpers and sighs and makes love to us all," as Mr. Bennett said of the odious Mr. Wickham. When it's just us girls, however, the van throws off all pretense: it bucks and brays and wallows down the road like a drunk rhinoceros.

Refrigerators, washing machines, thermostats, wifi routers, engines...these things have some special kind of sense, obviously. They know the difference between men and women, and they give men preferential treatment.

I protest! It is time to put an end to such gender discrimination! But how?

Be warned: if you bump into me at Walmart the next time I drive into town for groceries, I may be wearing a fake mustache.

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