I was surfing the internet the other day, just reading whatever I came across when something made me look for anything out there that would help me understand why men, my husband in particular, have such a difficult time asking for help namely in the form of directions when we are in unfamiliar territory. I came across this one titled Why Men Don’t Ask for Directions on a blog called PsychCentral. After reading it, I began thinking…
It is hard to believe that in a few weeks it will have been a year since we visited Cancun. Today’s brisk morning chill made me think of it. We sometimes like visiting the beaches in Mexico during our frigid Colorado winters. It gives us a nice reprieve from the sometimes-freezing weather. We hit it just right this past November, as the temperature in Colorado Springs was quite chilly while we were gone.
We found the resort for our trip through Resort Condominiums International (RCI). You know… the vacation club or whatever you might want to call it. Yes, we are timeshare owners, which is a story in itself. If you have ever been to one of the tourist resorts in Mexico, you know that timeshare sales representatives approach you to listen to a sales pitch as soon as you leave airport customs. The sales reps form a line and wait with baited breath. A glance in their direction no matter how fleeting is to them their invitation to pounce. It was awhile since we visited Mexico, so I forgot about this. I don’t know how I could have, but I did. Transportation to and from the resort was included in our fee, and the email said to look for the man in the tan pants and white shirt. He would direct us to the waiting car. There were several men dressed this way, so I approached the first in line asking, “Excuse me, please. We are the Cauler’s and we are in need of our transportation to our hotel. Do you know where we are to meet the car?” This was mistake number one. It did not take me long to realize I had opened us up to the “join the club” timeshare pitch. Annoyed with myself for falling for their ploy yet once again, I walked away without giving the sales man the opportunity to finish his answer. We eventually found our ride and made it to our hotel.
On our first full day in Mexico, my husband suffered an unfortunate mishap. Physically handicapped, my husband wears a foot brace to assist him with walking. On this day, he tripped over a bump in the road (literally), and his plastic brace broke into two pieces. Although he can walk without it, he moves very slowly when he is not wearing it. I should say very very slowly. I mean… extremely slowly…Better yet, without exaggeration…he moves at a snail’s pace. This is at times frustrating to me as I am used to approaching everything at near rocket velocity. I guess you could say I am high strung. It is painful for me to walk slowly. I know my husband cannot help it. It is even more frustrating for him. I never said I was perfect. It is one of my biggest faults that I am sometimes impatient with him over this issue
So his brace is broken, and I am thinking…”OooooMmmmmGeeee! We aren’t going to get to do anything this week other than hang out at the resort.” That wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I am not one for sitting around on the beach or poolside for seven days in a row. I told you I am high strung! We both like to site-see while on vacation. We decided duct tape might hold the thing together, so we hopped on a city bus and headed into town in search of a Wal-Mart.
I should add somewhere my husband is fluent in Spanish. When we boarded the bus, he asked for minimal directions from the driver. We found seats and sat. We rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, rode…, and rode. Leaving the resorts and the shore behind us, I began to sweat…figuratively and literally. It was very humid, and I was getting nervous. I whispered to my husband,
“Are you sure you understood what he told you? I am starting to wonder if we are ever going to get off this bus. Maybe you should ask the bus driver again”
“We’re fine! Forget about it!” he snapped, but I could tell by the look on his face that he was beginning to get concerned too; however, he would never admit it. Men do not ask for directions for reason number one; men want to be strong. This was my husband’s chance to show me exactly how strong he is. Visions of being carted off into the jungle and held for ransom flashed through my head.
Finally! We arrived at Wal-Mart,
As we walked into the store, the time-share salesmen were waiting in the entrance. Yes, they hang out at Wal-Mart too.
“Excuse me, Senora. Are you in Cancun on vacation?”
“Why no,” I thought. “I came all this way to visit Wal-Mart.” I walked right past him without answering.
I’ve already mentioned my husband is fluent in Spanish, and something he enjoys doing is practicing his language skills while in Mexico. But, I didn’t expect him to practice with the time-share salesmen. As I walked in, he stopped to chat. “Are you serious?” I thought.
I said to my husband, “Let’s go to customer service and you can ask them where we would find the duct tape.”
“Why? We’ll find it. How hard could it be?” he responded. Men don’t ask for directions for reason number two; men prefer to learn by doing, not by being told what to do especially if it is the wife who is doing the telling. Okay. Maybe I lied. Maybe I did fly all the way to Cancun to walk around Wal-Mart.
Up to a certain point, all Wal-Mart stores are similar…even the one’s in Mexico. One of the major differences is the signs. In Mexico, all of the signs are…wait for it…in Spanish! Duh!
My husband can say pretty much anything in Spanish except for a few words…”duct tape.” Whoever needed to before? So, we walked and walked and walked around the store looking for duct tape. I was beginning to think we HAD come to Cancun to shop at Wal-Mart. The third reason why men don’t ask for directions is; men want to win. I finally convinced him we should ask for help. I heard him say words like “fuerta, cinta de plata.” “Strong silver tape.”
I can sometimes understand Spanish.
We learned that day that we were looking for “cinta de embalar”…duct tape! Who knew? Let the vacation begin! That’s a win. 🙂
Okay…here is my card for today.
I used the starburst technique on this card, and I think it turned out pretty neat! If you aren’t familiar with that technique there are numerous tutorial on youtube explaining how to do it.
Hope you enjoyed your visit here today. Until next time…
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