I tried to get Jeremy to participate by contributing information for this blog post, but he just laughed incredulously and said, “I don’t feel comfortable having this conversation!” Despite my attempts to assure him that everything he said would be in the ‘safe zone,’ and that I wouldn’t get mad, he was unmoved. And then he suggested that my insistence was perhaps, the first way that I am high maintenance.

I remember a conversation that he and I had a looooooong time ago when he said that I was high maintenance – in a way. I balked and spluttered, and then he explained: “You have a definite and clear expectation for how you want and expect to be treated. It’s not that you act like a spoiled princess, it’s more that you know exactly what you deserve and you expect it.” Well. That’s not so bad, I guess. He went on to assure me that it wasn’t bad at all. Hmmm.

I think that one of my great delusions is that in order for a woman to be high maintenance, she must be a demanding, beglittered princess, issuing unreasonable dictates and demands from on high while carrying a small canine in a bag that costs more than my car. I just don’t like the connotations. I don’t like the whole idea of what our society has deemed ‘high maintenance’ to mean and be. I don’t want to be associated with anything smacking of it.

But there’s something there – something swirling in that neighborhood – that’s been tickling my brain lately. Am I high maintenance because I expect to be treated well? Am I high maintenance because I have expectations for others’ behavior? I don’t know. I know that even the way I just phrased those questions is designed to make me look ‘right,’ so that tells me I’m not able to be clear and objective here.

I do have expectations for the way I want to be treated by others. I can be extremely demanding. I tend to have the mindset that others will hop-to and do what I think (know) is a good idea, just because I’ve said it’s a good idea. I have certain ways I like things to be done. I am a planner – I like it when things follow my plan. I feel pretty sure that all of that is kind of universal in the human realm, though.

I betcha that if I asked my mother ways she thought I could be high maintenance, I’d have a four-page post. I just don’t want to go there.

It does make me wonder, though, what exactly is being ‘high maintenance’ all about? And why am I so opposed to being called that? It makes me wonder what other women think about it. Is this ‘high maintenance’ definition just one more way to slight women? I don’t know. What do you think?

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