Originally Posted: 2005-06-15 8:16am

Why sometimes you just need a man…

Now this may seem like an obvious statement to some, but I’ve always prided myself on my ability to be independent. I’ve never needed a man to take care of me in any sort of dependent way, but based on my experience last night, I realized that sometimes you do *just need a man.*

I’ve been meaning to get a mattress for some time now, as the futon’s 1 inch thick piece of fabric just wasn’t cutting it. Browsing CL per usual, I came across a free one and figured what the hell, if it’s decent I could save myself $200. So I write the guy and agree to meet him at 7 last night.

I leave my place in Alexandria at 5, and I only just get there before 7. When no one answered the phone or door at 7, I had already begun composing a rant in my head to post on CL. I had just been sitting in two hours of traffic, but hey, no big deal! At 7:20 a minivan pulls up and out pop soccer mom and a cute freckle face kid. She acts like she has no idea why I’m there. “I’m here to pick up the mattress,” I say, “I talked to your husband…” Finally it hits her and she invites me in. The mattress had to be brought up from the basement, which was the first event that prompted thoughts of needing a man. We struggled to get it upstairs, with a little help from cute freckle face kid (man-to-be).

I was so sure it would fit in my trunk with the back seats down, but alas it was not meant to be. The only alternative was to tie it to the roof. The prospect of scratching the shit out of my car made me cringe, but I resigned myself to this idea, or else go home empty-handed. Soccer mom brought out some rope and enlisted the help of her male neighbor. For this I was very appreciative, I mean, he is a man, and don’t they teach them how to tie knots in man school? He gets busy attaching the mattress to my car, and I stay out of his way except when he tosses me the rope from one side of the car to the other.

I’m all set to go, said my thank-yous, when I reach for the door handle and discover an unsettling fact, it’s been tied shut. Yes, folks, we tied the ropes through the doors. After an initial panic, my inclination is to un-tie and re-tie, because how the hell am I going to get in the car? Then the neighbor seriously suggests climbing through the trunk, since the seats were down, and I could crawl through. I probably would have turned down his offer to help me re-tie the ropes, since he had just wasted 20 minutes helping me already, but I didn’t even get the chance.

In through the trunk I go, and finally I maneuver myself into the front seat. Feeling very proud of myself, I then remember that my gas tank was almost empty. I guess I utter an audible “oh shit” because the neighbor asks me what was wrong. I told him I had to stop for gas and that it was impossible for me to get back out of the trunk because it doesn’t pop from the inside. His response was, “well at least you’ll get practice climbing out the window.” Ok.

I drive out of the neighborhood and quickly realize that my top speed is 35 mph if I don’t want to end up airborne with this large wing now attached to my roof. It’s flapping around like crazy, so I slow down to a nice 25 mph. Perfecto. I’m at least 25 miles from my place, so I prepare myself for a long trip home. I’m flicking my eyes back and forth from speedometer to the mattress above me as well as looking for gas stations. I think about whether I should go to a deserted station to avoid embarrassment when I climb out the window or go to a busy one for a better chance of getting someone to open the trunk for me. I’m more comfortable with the trunk escape, having just done it, and decide to put my ego aside. It’s about this time I start to lose my mind entirely. I yell at myself for breaking up with my boyfriend, “He wasn’t that huge of an asshole!” Delusions of happy times in our relationship cloud my mind, but I fight it. “No! I will NOT call him to bail me out!”

I spotted a Citgo with an attendant booth; maybe the attendant can help me. I pull in and curse my timing, as all the pumps on the right side are being used. Great, as if my vision and/or driving ability aren’t impaired enough, I then proceed to do an 18 point turn in the tiny parking lot. I can tell this is attracting attention from not only the attendant, but other customers. I seize the opportunity, “Um excuse me, could you help me?” I ask the attendant. I explain the situation, and he lets me out of my trunk. He kindly points out that I should have tied the ropes around the car with the doors open. Well thank you Captain Obvious. Where was THIS man when I needed him?? I fill up, and he comes over to close the trunk once I’ve climbed back inside. I heard him say, “Ok batgirl, lets go” as I weaseled myself into the trunk. Very funny.

So I’m feeling pretty good, I got the huge gas obstacle out of the way, and I head toward the beltway. Driving in the right hand lane with my hazard lights on at 25 mph, all I can think about is whether or not I’ll be charged with manslaughter when the inevitable mattress accident happens. Fortunately most people passed me quickly, and I relaxed a bit. For the most part, I stayed in the right hand lane, except when it turned into an exit only lane. So I’m trying to make my way back over the right, when I look behind me and see a car trailing me in the lane that I need to get into. What the fuck is he doing?? Pass me so I can get over, you dummy! Why are YOU driving so damn slow? He pulls right up next to me, and begins making a wave motion with his hand and pointing at the roof of my car, alerting me to the fact that the mattress is going up and down. No shit Sherlock! Why do you think I’m driving 25 mph? Did you think I was unaware of the potential disaster above my head?? I nod and smile so he’ll get the fuck out of my way, and I move back over to the right hand lane.

As I get closer to my place, I start thinking of ways to contort my body to escape from the car window without going head first. Good thing I do yoga, boy did that pay off as I was straddling the door in perfect triangle pose. First things first, I go to remove the mattress from my roof. I’m tearing at the knots with my teeth when that pesky thought creeps into my head again. I need a man to now untie the man knots. For about 15 minutes I cursed at the ropes I was chewing on when the mattress was finally freed. By my own brut force alone, I dragged the mattress to my building. A nice man waiting by the elevator helped me get it in. One hour later I’m sleeping peacefully on it. I love my new mattress.

I take comfort in the fact that I am capable of doing things myself and being resourceful, but sometimes, just sometimes, you seriously need a man.

post id: 78940807

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