I met an Independent Woman....

and she needed to ask her mommy’s opinion on everything!

This twenty-something, beautiful black girl came into my store and asked me about engraving on a bracelet she was buying elsewhere in the mall. I assured her I could engrave it, and she scurried off to buy it. She came back, mother in tow. She wanted Independent engraved on one side of the heart charm, and Woman engraved on the other…or did she? Asked mommy, decided it should all go on one side.

This girl reeked of high maintenance…freshly done nails, perfectly coiffed hair, trendy clothes, latest purse, touch of attitude (not towards me, just towards the world) and she adored her mommy, who was about my age. Having just been regaled by a friend about his date with an Independent Woman, I soon became lost in thought about her reasons for wanting to inscribe this message on so traditionally feminine an item.

Was she sending a message to all men that she didn’t need them, or their attention, or their money in order to be fulfilled? Did she just come off a bad break-up with a controlling type and was glad to be free? Had she just gotten a high-paying job that set her above her peers financially? Did she want to warn men not to fall for her, because she’s got better things to do with her life than be in a relationship?

And why did I have time for all this musing? Because the all-powerful Independent Woman couldn’t make a single solitary decision without the advice of me and her mommy, and even then there was a long period of agonising and “do you really thinks so’s” and gnashing of teeth until finally mommy would say…do this. and she did.

Which was when I seriously considered asking who she was going to give the bracelet to as a gift.

But I value my job, and I feared the sarcasm would be lost on her (though I suspect not on mommy) so I bit my tongue and tried not to laugh.

My daughter (charitably) suggest that she was having the phrase engraved because it is a goal she is striving towards. I’m just not sure! She did pay for it with her own credit card, though, but she did ask mommy which card she should use, and mommy had to get it out of her wallet because her nails had just been done…

Just like people who try to get you to believe how moral/talented/well-endowed/nice/sensitive/etc. they are, I figure this girl is trying to inflate her outward image to offset the feelings of inadequacy (and, in this case, dependence) that probably play a huge role in her Rogerian self-concept.

Isn’t it ironic. Maybe that’s it - she’s a big fan of irony.

And thus is illustrated the old saying: “If you have to tell people about it…”

A real live independent woman would not feel the need to announce such a thing, even to herself, much less the rest of the world.