Tonight after dinner we'd decided to watch a DVD,
and it was all set to play, all one of us had to do
was pick up the remote and push the necessary buttons.
Paul said, "I guess that's my job."
And I answered, somewhat facetiously,
"Of course! It's a job for a man!"
And then, of course, I cringed, remembering my mother
and her mantra, in our all-female household:
when I was a teenager, during the height of the Women's Movement,
whenever my mom was confronted with any home-repair job
she didn't want to tackle, she whipped out
her all-purpose response: "Now that's a job for a MAN!"
Which infuriated my sixteen-year-old independent sensibility.
So, to prove her wrong,
to prove that any Job For A Man
could be Done By A Women, I proceeded to take on
various & sundry chores: most of the gardening in our half-acre yard
(including mowing, a job shared with two of my sisters),
scraping, caulking and painting a large portion of our red house,
and assisting my brother in tearing off and re-roofing
the entire house. I learned to change my own oil,
I learned how to change a tire. I carried anything
and everything heavy, moved furniture (including a piano,
which drove my mother crazy).
I became strong and capable.
Mom believed major injuries lay in wait for me.
I just got stronger.
Boy did I show her! Ha!
Yeah right. I hated every minute of that house-painting
and roofing and oil changing and tire changing.
I only did it to prove a point, and I'm not sure
if she even got it. Or cared.
But things did get done around our house,
often before the appropriate "man" arrived
with a hammer and man-sized muscles.
(Generally my older brother.)
But I'll say that I hope I never have to pick up a paintbrush again.
Or a roofing tool. Or a can of Penzoil. Let me reside
in the kitchen with the zester and the micro-planer,
the reamer and the mandoline -- tools enough for me.
But I say this to my husband:
"Honey, would you please, please, get that DVD to play!"
After all, it's a job for a man.