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High Maintenance or High Standards?

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Momlogic's Annie: Why does expecting the best for yourself have such a bad connotation? Shouldn't women aspire to be high maintenance? Since when did it become a bad thing to demand the best?

woman shaking finger at her man

Where is does the line between high standards and high maintenance lie? At first "high maintenance" was a term used to describe women who liked nice purses and always wore lipstick -- which shouldn't be seen as negative anyway. But lately, it's morphed into any women who sets the smallest standard for how she should be treated.

It's similar to the word "nag" -- another term that quiets women down and makes us feel stupid, embarrassed and ashamed for speaking up. Why do I feel like a nag when I ask my husband to take out the garbage for the third time when he should have just done it in the first place? Why am I considered high maintenance because would like him to get me a drink when we walk into a party?

It seems to me that terms like this are invented by some sexist man somewhere who wants women to shut up. Then, it gets thrown into the mainstream and the next thing we know, innocent people with no agenda use it lightly -- resulting in the success of the original a-hole who started this whole thing. I for one have to admit that I have held back for the exact reason that I don't want to come off as high maintenance or a nag and I can really only blame myself for the self-inflicted label.

So, I decided that from now on, I'm going to see being called "high maintenance" as a compliment. I'm going to remind myself that it is the exact same thing as having high standards. I want my daughter to grow up demanding the best for herself -- so why shouldn't I want the same for me?


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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 19, 2008, 12:25 PM

This is true to a degree, but some women really are too demanding.

Anonymous October 20, 2008, 9:35 AM

Love is a verb and those small displays are helpful to nurturing love. Asking for those small things is better than expecting them to read your mind.

lolz October 20, 2008, 2:51 PM

anal retentive and high strung much?

Anonymous October 21, 2008, 12:30 PM

I personally feel knowing what you want and going after it should not be a bad thing. Men have done it for hundreds of years and just because you, as a woman, are not trying to take over the world, but instead saying I really would like the trash taken to the curb each week or would like my car door opened should by no means be belittled, after all what makes one person happy usually doesn’t mean much to another. So you shouldn’t expect them to read your mind to get it but after stating what you want, you also shouldn’t have to repeat yourself over and over either.

she October 21, 2008, 4:52 PM

It’s good to have standards but there’s a line where some women venture into total b*tch territory. Treating their men like their personal servants is not the way to maintain any healthy relationship. Of course some men like being ordered around, but those relationships are usually only sexual. DH told me about this girl he dated that would stop in front of doors and growl at him if he didn’t open it for her. Or she would stick her hand out in his face and say “massage my hand!!”… So yeah there is a balance between having standards and just being a spoiled little snot…

geen October 21, 2008, 4:59 PM

lol! I agree with “she”. I always feel bad for the men with high maintenance wifes/girls, especially when they get ordered around in public. Poor guys…but it can go the other way to, lets not forget that.

Jo. October 22, 2008, 11:31 AM

high maintenance is only high standards when supported by self, not husband. and I’m talking about designer goods and all that expensive stuff.

expecting a man to pay for all those posh wants leads to a new word… demanding.

on the other hand the trash and drink is what normal women experience on a daily basis. perfectly fine to me.


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