Assertive vs. high maintenance

I have a low level of tolerance for high maintenance people, so naturally I make an effort not to go down that road. That’s not to say I can’t be assertive when the occasion arises, but generally, I don’t ask for much. Treat me equally; add in some dignity and respect and I’m good!

However, I have to admit to a little “Sally Albright moment” yesterday. You remember Sally Albright from the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”? My husband and I were at the Black Bear Diner and my eyes were drawn to the California Eggs Benedict on the menu. It was basically Eggs Benedict, but with regular bacon instead of Canadian bacon and tomato, spinach and avocado added. I wondered if they would substitute country gravy for the hollandaise sauce (on the side, of course), whole wheat toast for the English muffin, and scrambled eggs instead of poached.

That’s when the lines from the movie began to play in my head:

Harry: There are two kinds of women; high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You’re the worst kind; you’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.
Sally: I don’t see that.
Harry: You don’t see that? Waiter, I’ll begin with a house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. “On the side” is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know; high maintenance.

My husband believes me to be low maintenance, and since his opinion was really the only one that counted in the restaurant, I chose to politely, and with finesse*, request the substitutions. I decided to start with most important substitution; country gravy for the hollandaise sauce. The waitress nodded her head in approval and asked, “On the side?” Apparently she’s seen the movie.

My plate of California Eggs Benedict à la me, arrived at the table exactly as desired.  Was I being high maintenance? Possibly, but what the heck – it was my birthday!

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

My assertive finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert    

What’s yours?