Friday, July 25, 2008

Things that....

...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'.


OnCloud9 said...

i know i'm going against everything decades of women fought for - but for some reason there are some things that i do actually like leaving to guys...i mean i could and would change a light bulb or look up electrical things if i had to but if there's a guy handy i probably would just ask him. as for looking after kids and doing the cooking/cleaning - while i agree that today every couple should share things equally i think having gone through centuries feeling otherwise part of it is still within us and thus it doesnt come as naturally to guys. and those who do are making the extra effort and i dont see much harm in giving them a bit of appreciation for trying to become more men of the new century.

anyway while i'm all for equality of men and women - i still do like there to be some differences. i like being a girl and taken care of. i know there are many feminists turning in their grave. but what can i do. i just am not one of them.

Ashanka Iddya said...

Yo go girl!!!

Although I must say that if a guy had offered to do it in the first place, you should have taken it! simply because it would have saved you the bother :P

That said, I know what you meant, living on my own has meant that I've had to do what my does Dad does back home. But ironically there are some jobs require brute force, that only men can do and it kills me that I can't because I'm physically weak.

Vatsa said...

So here is the problem. When one has a guilty conscience, it seems to one that the entire world is pointing a finger at oneself. Similiarly, did the poor well-meaning friend say anything about not changing the bulb because you are a woman? He may have simply meant dont change it, coz I dont think you are strong enough to do it. Think about it.....