…get my goat!
So it came to be last week that the light in my kitchen flickered, flickered some more and then went out… just like that. Now, I could have thrown a hissy fit and ranted and raved and so I did. Then, in true (wannabe) engineer style I proceeded to unscrew the shade, the holder and all was revealed. The holder was broken. No matter, we shall get a new one thought and I shelled out a whopping $7 for the same. Now come the minor issues – ensuring that the switch was off I proceeded to unscrew the wires from the broken holder and transfer them to the new holder. Simple enough – not really. The tools were ok, so can’t really blame those. Can blame the shoddy wiring and the terrible holder screws that caused half the damn ceiling to fall down. Ok I exaggerate, not half, but enough.
Turned out that turning off the switch was not good enough since there were four bloody wires. Four! and one of them was still live so it proceeded to give me a minor shock and a major scare. So then I turned off the mains. Did I mention that I was doing all this at 7 pm (after getting home from work)? So I don’t own a torch and blue LED on the key chain, though powerful was not enough. So efforts were put on hold till the morning.
Did the needful the next day and for some god awful reason the bulb lost all sense of switch and just stayed on! Turned things off, checked wires, found loose wire, put it back in, screwed back on as tight as I could.. no luck. Did I mention, also, that I don’t own a step ladder so I was standing on a chair of questionable stability?
Finally put in a call to the electrician who came by and with brute force put the last annoying wire in and things worked like magic. He was also equipped with the right tools, a drill and a step ladder! He did applaud my efforts and say that I had done most of his job for him! However this whole rant was a digression.
What got my goat is that first off I was talking to a (male) friend and told him that the light was busted and he said ‘wait till I get there, don’t do anything yourself’. Why the heck not? Are you made of insulating material? Or do you have magical powers that can fix wires without touching them? I realise that the electrician that came along was a man and yes, I agree that he was able to provide that last push that I couldn’t, not because I am female but because I am not strong enough!
In the same vein, it also gets my goat when women are overly thankful when their husbands cook or clean or take care of their children. Why? They’re human, they need food, (some) need a clean house and its their child too!
So why glorify them as if they have made inhuman effort and why be grateful that they have given you time off?
Which brings me nicely to my final point – why are some jobs classified as male-worthy and others as female-worthy? When I pull out the ol’ Swiss army knife and fix screws and bulbs why is it less acceptable than me pulling out some wipes and giving the kitchen counter a wipe down?
During my three years in Canberra I have heaved furniture, fixed appliances, clean rotten food and dirty linen and lugged groceries up the hill! I will do it if I can and I know how to. Because this is life. Life does not see male or female, life does not know if a man is in trouble or it is a woman. Life just happens and one has to deal with it whether one is male or female.
So maybe now is a good time to change the word ‘handyman’ to ‘handyperson’.
…get my goat!