You Can Open that Jar Yourself! A Guide to Being an Independent Woman

You fancy yourself a strong, self-sufficient individual. You pay your bills, you go to yoga, you’re thinking of getting a house plant. You’re killing it! You are able to take care of yourself, so much so that you recognize that the rumbling in your stomach is signaling to your brain that you need food. Good catch! It’s time to make dinner and you are perfectly capable of cooking up a meal for yourself, you’ve done it before. You are going to cook tonight, not order takeout, because you’re eating healthy this week and this is what adults do. It’s Monday, the week is full of possibilities! 

The pasta is boiling. You’re on your shit with all the cooking timing and everything is coming up roses. All you need now is to heat up the pre-made marinara sauce like the champion you are. It’s time to flex and open the jar. You’ve been working out. You got this. 

The jar won’t budge. Someone has surely secured it with gorilla glue. It’s the only explanation. And then it happens. Your mind slips. If only there was a man within earshot? You try to shake the thought out of your head. You don’t need a man. You can open this jar yourself! The sequence of events and thoughts that proceed after this is what I refer to as the five stages of grief- I’m mean… being an independent woman.

Step 1. [This isn’t happening] How could this jar be secured with this steely grip? This isn’t happening. You’re hungry. And you can provide for yourself, dammit! You try the logical pathways, try gripping the jar with your dominant hand and twisting the cap with the other, reverse course, back to the first attempt, and then the towel trick. This jar will open! 

I don’t recommend slamming it agains the counter, because glass, and going to the emergency room and paying $2000 for 5 stitches will really detour your dinner plans. But, hangry-ness is very real and I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life. 

Step 2: [Mad as Hell] Fuck this jar. You didn’t want sauce anyway. Plain pasta is good enough for a five year old, it’s good enough for you. Tomatoes are smug and everyone knows that. Maybe you’ll tap out your aggression with a knife along the edge of the cap just for good measure. Show the jar you really mean business. 

Step 3: [Let’s Make Deal] Maybe you try twisting it off again with your dominant hand. Repeat the towel technique. Water! You will hold the cap under the running tap. That’s something you read somewhere, right? Or saw on a competitive cooking show? Why is everything a competition now? Push ups! Drop and do ten of those and then repeat all the above steps. It’s just a jar, you’re an adult, you will beat this. “Please, universe, let me beat this!” You shout as you shake your fists to the heavens. 

Step 4: [The Dark Place] It’s hopeless. You’re hopeless. You can’t provide for yourself. You shouldn’t buy that house plant if you can’t even feed yourself. Go to bed without dinner as punishment. 

Step 5: [It is What it is] The jar will not open. This has nothing to do with you as a competent human being. You have kept yourself alive this far after all! Men are able to build more muscle anyway; that’s just science. You are a strong and capable woman and one jar will not be your undoing. 

The pasta has over cooked and is more like a paste than actual food for an adult with all their teeth, so you being the resourceful motherfucker that you are will order a pizza and eat it in your bed while scrolling through tinder…. But independently, like a boss. Boom!

Image: Taste of Home

Niki Hatzidis is an award nominated playwright and actor living in NYC, which means she tries too much, cries a lot and laughs through everything. Usually Coffee stained and running late because of the MTA.