Items of Convenience and Necessity

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“Women don’t want to be used.” I must have been in my eighth grade year when I first heard that statement. I don’t really know where I heard it … from the girl across the street, I suppose. I didn’t really know what it meant, but I knew it had something to do with sex or intimacy of some sort. But even as an adult I didn’t fully understand it so well. It must be the “Y” in the “XY” portion of my genetics that makes me so dense to these things. So I tried to make a comparison.

I use a towel to dry my body. I use a floor mat to wipe my feet. I use a toothbrush to clean my teeth. I was starting to see a pattern here. I use a vehicle to take me across town. I use a calculator to expedite math. I use a computer to write articles like this one. Items of convenience are used.

I am presently seeing a lady. We usually see each other on the weekends. We have had some genuine fun together, and I was looking forward to seeing her again Friday night. Yes, we have slept with each other a number of times now, but I must confess, I have more fun going out, dining, watching movies, going for drives and that kind of thing. It is mutual and consensual, and that’s how I prefer it. As it turns out, last week just wasn’t her week. Friday night I went to her house, and her frustrations from the week became very apparent to me, if not dumped directly on my lap.

So as best as I could, I put it in support mode. I figured twenty, maybe thirty minutes, and it would blow over. Silly me. A few hours later, and she was just not getting over it. I began to grow numb. We lay in bed together watching TV as she started to doze off. I didn’t want to be there, and I couldn’t understand exactly why. The movie was half over when she woke up and was still clearly upset. By now it was getting personal, as far as I was concerned, so I politely got up and told her I was going to leave for the evening. There was some cordial exchange, but I remember her telling me one thing: “But I needed you tonight.” BZZZZT! Fire alarm! Klaxon! Red flashing light!

You need air to breathe. You need food and water to live. You need clothes to cover your body. You need a place to live. Items of necessity are needed.

Whether you use an item of convenience or you need an item of necessity, they are still items intended for ones disposal. A woman is not an item and does not want to be used. In exactly the same way, I do not want to be needed. THAT is why I didn’t want to be there. THAT is the part I didn’t understand. I wasn’t being used. I was being needed. And I didn’t like it. And I am sure there is more to come, unless I break it off.

I don’t get it. A woman does not want to be used, but she thinks it is perfectly acceptable to need a man? Where is the difference? A  man is no more an item of necessity than woman is an item of convenience, only because neither of us are items. Yet you hear women talk of getting married like it’s the ONE thing that will set their lives straight. The ONE goal in a woman’s life is to find a man to take care of her. Is that a need? Or is it a use? Is it convenience? Or is it necessity? Or does she just believe it is a God-given right to be married?

Men are just as guilty, but in another sense. I have heard men say “When I get married I can get laid every night if I want.” Or, “If I can find me a good woman, she can get things cleaned up around here.” The statements flood my brain. Woman: “I just need a man, and I can get a few things fixed around here.” Man: “I sure would like for a woman to cook for me.” Woman: “When I find my man, blah blah blah” Man: “The woman I marry will blah blah blah.” Is this the core of the traditional roles for men and women? Is this where we came from, or did we never leave? Is this the basis of the civil unrest of the early 70s, with ERA, bra burning, and all that, but only to have come full circle?

You know, if each of us—men and women alike—could take care of ourselves, our own business, our own problems, and look to each other as a complement, instead of as an item to be used or needed, maybe couples would find more satisfaction being together. It might reduce the divorce rate; it may even reduce the superfluous marriage rate.




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