Welcome to another addition of TNBBC's Tell Me A Story.
Tell Me a Story is a monthly series that features previously unpublished short stories from debut and Indie authors. The request was simple: Stories can be any format, any genre, and any length. And many amazing writers signed up for the challenge.
This month's story comes to us from Rachel Thompson (aka Rachel in the OC), author of the 2011 release A Walk in the Snark, which hit #1 on the Amazon Motherhood Kindle list in September and October. Her latest non-fiction endeavor, “Dollars and Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-publishing Success” (co-authored with Carolyn McCray and Amber Scott) debuted at #1 on Amazon’s “Authorship” bestselling list in June, 2011. Rachel is also one of the cofounders of the Indie Book Collective, an organization with over 8,000 members dedicated to helping authors utilize social media to the fullest to sell their books. I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel this summer during the NYC Indie Book Event, and am thrilled to be sharing the following short story from her.
IF I HAD A HAMMER
I often find myself pondering, and observing, the different ways men and women go about fixing stuff.
Emotional stuff, in this case.
Men are fixers. They see women crying, they bring in their toolbox and follow Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 to make it better. Yet, they can’t understand why there are no directions on the Internet for Dealing With a Crying Female and even if there were, why they’re not working, dammit! And finally, why scratching their balls while staring at us helplessly isn’t helping matters.
I mean, it seems to work for them, right?
Our moodiness, crying, and shooting them looks that kill don’t help much, admittedly. Normally females are quite verbal. Except, ya know, when we’re not.
I’ve suggested before that men should always come to any situation armed with chocolate, no matter what. My guy, even after nineteen years, is still somewhat inconsistent with that one.
He’s got two females in the house, and one is a tween girl raging with hormones.
Sigh. When will the man learn?
Men love their females. They want us to be happy. If we’re happy, life is simple. The brain shelf is full: food, sex, sports. If their females are content, their brain remains uncrowded with any extraneous stuff they probably wouldn’t remember anyway. They can trot off blithely to their offices (or take three steps into their home office, as is our case) and do their manly business stuff all day without any emotional worries.
Ya know, those things that happen in foreign countries. #eyeroll
Actually, I’m being slightly bitchy. My guy gets himself worked up a bit when his ducks, I mean chicks, are not all in a row (what is this, an episode of Friends?)
Chicks are moody. Hormones, weather, bad hair days. It all takes a toll. Smart men know this and deliver soothing words, kisses, and chocolate as needed. This is important, fellas. Stop scratching and take note: These are the tools needed in your handy Female Fix-It Box.
But too many guys expect us to “man up.” Uh-uh. Big mistake, fellas. Last we checked, we don’t have penises.
Thank the Lord.
Here’s how we work: we react to something. Let’s say a mean comment, a zit (gasp!), or a bad hair day. We must suffer for this transgression. Even if we didn’t do it or if it’s not our fault. Even if we’re Jewish.
We feel sad. Ugly. Lonely. (Stop trying to understand it. Just go with it. It’s what we do.)
We eat ice cream. None of that soymilk, fat-free crap we pretend to like when we’re on a diet. We’re talking the good stuff. Godiva or Haagen-Dazs.
We get in our jammies. The ones with the feeties. We grab our cozy pillow and plush blankie that we never let you use. We watch trash TV and tweet about it with our friends.
And have a martini. Or gummi bears. Well, okay…both.
We ignore you. We don’t want you anywhere near us. Have you seen this zit?
Go away. When Mount Vesuvius finally blows, you may come back. Bearing, well, ya know…starts with a c?
When we finally feel better (read: no longer have a pimple the size of Texas on our darling button nose), we’ll go out in public again – go for a run or a walk on the beach, wear pants. Allow you to look at us. Eat fat-free ice cream again. And like it.
What I’m saying is this: no matter how much you want to fix us, we need to fix ourselves. Our way. No one-size-fits-all toolbox needed. Well, okay. Soothing words and kisses help a little.
You might think our way is wrenching, but the worst thing you can do is try to wrench us out of our funk.
It just might take us a hammer to get you to understand it.
I want to thank Rachel for participating in TNBBC's Tell Me a Story. If you like what you've read, please support Rachel by checking out her book and website. She can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook. Help spread the word by sharing this post through your blog, tumblr page, twitter and facebook accounts. Every link counts! And be sure to check back with us next month for the next installment....