Last night I answered the phone at my parents' place. They were outside watering the garden, so I felt it was my duty. It was Directv. Within the first 20 seconds, they asked to speak to Monsieur Piquante (the elder). . . Ohhh buddy, did you just say the wrong thing.
I thought my head might explode just from processing it. As I politely told him that M P. wasn't in, could I take a message, my brain was calculating, to be sure I heard what I thought I heard. He asked to speak to the Mme. I repeated that she was not around, but if he would be so kind as to tell me his reason for calling, I may be able to help him out. After a moment of hesitation, he finally went into his schpiel about how our household had been "selected" to get a special (overpriced) movie channel offer. I instantly told him there's no way she's going for that, said to have a nice day, and hung up.
I have spent the last 24 hours dealing with the incredulity—it's 2014 and he thinks the man of the house is the one to talk to about everything. Like, for a moment, I was on an episode of Mad Men. Like feminism hadn't happened. Like women's lib of the 70s was just a dream I had that one time. Like he'd never seen an episode of Roseanne (the show that most resembles how "our household" runs). I thought of hundreds of comebacks. The one I came back to most was, "Oh, honey. You just called a Matriarchy and said the Wrong. Thing. Good luck."
When really, I've just been feeling like I should have reached through the phone and....