I was talking to a friend the other day and she was telling me a story about her Golden Retriever. It seems that this dog was busy smelling around the yard while my friend chatted with another woman. A few minutes later, the dog joined them and lay down at their feet. She soon noticed that the dog was chewing on something. When she bent down to see what it was, she realized that it was a baby bunny. Grossed out, she told her husband to get it away from the dog. She described it to me as “playing the Woman Card”.

It’s funny, but I find that I do that myself sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I have done a lot of gross stuff myself – I am a mother of three and a dog groomer. We have two Labs that have brought us headless animals and dead baby birds. I worked in restaurants that had cockroaches which I had to cover with my hand to avoid showing a customer. I have killed thousands of spiders, picked up more animal poop than I care to recall and cleaned up the aftermath of projectile vomit. However, when the glue board finally got the mouse I saw in February, I waited until my husband got home and had him clean it up. I played the Woman Card – I had reached my limit of grossness.

I don’t play that card often, but I have used it once or twice when trying to get away from a salesperson that was persistent. I am too nice to shut the door in their face or walk away. To the cable guy, I told him that I couldn’t mess with my husband’s sports channels or he would kill me. Actually, as long as we have ESPN and Fox News, he is good. When I was at the oil change place, a man in his late 60’s or early 70’s kept bugging me with “extras” that I could replace while I was there. Since he wasn’t taking no for an answer, I told him that my husband gave me strict instructions to only get the oil changed. That was enough for him. The funny thing was that my husband didn’t even know I was going to get the oil changed that day.

We are not the only ones with a card. Men have one, too and believe me, they use it. My dad used it when my mom and I left him with my newborn daughter. As we were walking out the door, the baby started to make “that face” and we all saw it. My mom and I grabbed our purses and headed for the door. He yelled after us that he hasn’t changed a diaper in 25 years. He was playing the Man Card. We laughed and told him it was like riding a bike and it would come back to him. I yelled “The tabs go in the back”, as we were closing the door. My husband uses the Man Card, often called the Dad Card, when the kids ask him for permission to go somewhere or do something. He answers yes, but then follows it up with a “you better ask mom”. He just doesn’t want mom’s wrath if he gave the wrong answer. If it is wrong, he is not to blame.

The problem with the Man Card is that women see right through it. We know they are just trying to get out of something they don’t want to do and we are not falling for it. With the Woman Card, men feel this rush of testosterone. They are either helping a damsel in distress (in the case of the mouse) or women are acting as they would expect them to (clueless when it comes to cars in the case of the oil change man). In all honesty, we are very capable, but we don’t want to do it either. We just have a better poker face then they do.