I have always been the kind of girl who wanted to do the stuff, instead of sitting idly by and watching someone else do it for me. As a toddler I’m sure I petulantly said, “Do byself!” more than I said, “Mama.” (Sorry, Mom). As a teenager I excelled in both Home Economics and Industrial Arts classes; I even earned the Shop (I.A.) Award at my 8th Grade Graduation ceremony. “That’s my SON!” yelled my dad, his chest swelling with pride. I know how to sew a button, drive a stick shift, change out a toilet flapper, orienteer myself out of the woods, and cook a medium-rare petite filet on a gas grill that I lit all by myself even if the starter does not work.
Now don’t go thinking that I am some angry feminist who does not need no ma-an around to help me survive. I just like the security of knowing that I could do these things if ever I need to. I have no desire to cut my ma-an off at the boy parts to show how strong I am. That would be a dumb power play and, I think, the mark of an underconfident, weak woman. I respect and value Sheepdog and his contributions very much. I think that Sheepdog and I make an excellent team because we respect each other and we have walked a mile in each other’s shoes (well, as much as that is even possible) and we both work together to run this family.
The problem with our current roles is that we have been in them for a while, so my survival skills are now a little stale. I haven’t been the breadwinner in this family since we were first married and I worked full-time and Sheepdog was in law school. I would most likely not succeed in an office environment at this point in my life (Um, so you’re saying that I should not take a little siesta after I watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey on my computer. This company is lame. Take this job and shove it!), nor would Sheepdog last being a full-time stay-at-home-dad who has to sacrifice regular workouts for sick kids and cross-country travels for SpongeBob SquarePants (truth be told, SpongeBob is awesome and we both watch that show if it happens to be on), but you understand what I’m saying. Unless you keep practicing all of your skills, you may lose them.
As you know, the past few days have been filled with E.R. visits, pediatric orthopedic surgeons and Wee Walker Boot applications. It has also been filled with the cold-that-will-not-go-away, a kitchen knife accident (I actually have a lot of these – I think my knives hate me) and a broken dishwasher, thanks to good old Mr. Murphy and his stupid Law.
Fortunately, the home improvement stores were having Memorial Day sales this past weekend, so we got a new dishwasher for a great price. Delivery was scheduled for Wednesday. On Tuesday the robot lady called and informed me that our delivery time was to be between 8 and 10 PM. Odd, but I can’t exactly question a robot and I know we’ll be home then, so I pulse uno para “si.” Sheepdog says that it is a good plan, because he can disconnect the old dishwasher when he gets home on Wednesday night. Don’tcha know that the delivery guys call me the next morning, after Sheepdog has left for work (that is decidedly not near our house, by the by), and tell me that the robot lady has a screw loose and she actually meant AM. So they’ll be by within the hour and could I be ready to accept delivery of the new dishwasher and give them the old one for free pickup? Ever the “Do byself!” Girl, I again respond in the affirmative, and proceed to get my dishwasher disconnecting groove on.
Long story short, even though I have Sheepdog on the speaker phone for tech support and I send him a picture of a new problem every two minutes from my phone, I do not manage to disconnect the dishwasher by the time the delivery guys ring my front doorbell. I do, however, manage to almost flood the kitchen (which is directly above our fancy media room, mind you), seriously scratch up the wood floor in a spot that I look at every single day and it will quickly drive me mad and require a complete refurbishing of all of the wood floors on the first level, and also turn off both of our hot water heaters which later required Sheepdog to relight the pilot because no one was getting hot water for their evening showers.
Sheepdog then comes home after a full day of work, uninstalls the dishwasher, installs the new one, diagnoses and fixes the above-mentioned hot water issue, and then does about two hours more of work on his computer before bed. I think I heard him make a couple of Tim Taylor Tool Time self-satisfied grunts throughout the night, but I did not comment at all because they were completely justified. In my self-pitying rut, I threw in the towel about making a nutritious dinner, ordered pizza and picked up a giant bottle of wine.
Girl Power: Fail. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a crap load of This Old House episodes to catch up on, so that I may continue to be worthy of that Shop Award.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…