Learning to say yes to kindness


My head felt like this

I woke up with a really bad headache this morning.  I’ve been getting headaches on a regular basis these days.  I’m not talking about headaches that respond to a fistful of Advil but ones that last almost a whole day and leave me sprawled out in bed, head buried under the covers.

I need to get back to acupuncture.  And eat better.

W texted me from work today and asked if she could pick up dinner.

I appreciated the offer.  I’m the head cook, and the responsibility of catching and cooking dinner falls on these broad shoulders.

But here’s the catch.  I’m always reluctant to accept offers of kindness.  I have a hard time allowing other people to do nice things for me.  Even W.  Even though I do nice things for people all the time.

I think it comes from a couple of things.  When I was a child, favors and gifts came wrapped in pretty paper but laden with strings like a box of tampons.

When I got older, I went through some tough times, and there was no one there to help me through.  I only had myself to rely on.  So, there’s that built-in fear of being alone and on my own again.  Why get used to kindness and help when it just might disappear?

I also think that toughness, that every woman is an island conceit, that no-thanks-I’m-good attitude is all part of being a butch.  We can do it all ourselves.  Take out the trash, fold the laundry, grill the burgers, fend for ourselves, with the sleeves of our flannel shirts rolled up and a smile on our handsome faces.

Chinese takeoutBut I’m learning that sometimes it’s nice to say yes to help.  Yes, to Chinese takeout picked up by W and delivered bedside.

I had the hot and sour soup, and it was delicious.

* * *

What about you?  Are you a self-reliant butch?  How about your partner?

6 responses to “Learning to say yes to kindness

  1. Sometimes I read your posts and wonder how it is you got inside my head.

  2. Even though (I’m the butch) both of us are very good cooks I do a lot of the grocery gathering and dinner prep during the week but I let my honey have the grill to herself – I’m a disaster with fire – I burn myself, burn the food, etc.

    • Certainly, stereotypes don’t always hold up. I’m the stay-at-home mom, which turns everything on its head.

      If you are a fire risk, it might be best that you stay away from open flames, even if you are a butch. Your butchness will remain intact.

      Hey, thanks for reading!

  3. partlycloudypessimist

    I’m really bad at accepting help or kindness to the point of pushing people away who were only trying to support me. I’m trying to be better about it now, but I attribute some of my self-reliant issues to the demise of my last relationship. Blah. But you are absolutely right it is nice to say yes to kindness.

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