This may seem an odd pronouncement, but the thing is, I’m proud of the fact that my husband and I have never had a typical cookiecutter married relationship. Gender roles? Pffft. Schmender roles.
Every nice, artsy, semi-classy thing we own, for example, was picked out by my husband. And every time we move it is he who jumps into the role of interior decorator (which is an incredibly good thing considering that if I were in charge, our house would still have bean bag chairs and a coffee table composed of pizza boxes, beer cans and duct tape). He’s also the one that remembers we have a dog who likes to be fed fairly regularly and ensures that our fridge contains more than possibly expired ketchup and definitely expired brie.
Meanwhile, I am the one in charge of the finances and various important papers, the heavy duty meat cookin’ (steak, ribs, and on one adventurous yet ill-advised holiday, turducken), most of the in-house alcohol consumption as well as master and commander of the remote control.
But no matter how hard you try to fight it, there will always be times when you slide into those traditional wife/husband roles. For instance, due to my schedule (or lack thereof) I do the bulk of the housecleaning (or at least my version of housecleaning, which is “wipe the crumbs on the floor and let the dog and/or stealthier rodents take care of the rest”). I also make sure we occasionally eat something green in-between our steady diet of cheeseburgers and Twix. Meanwhile, my husband is the mighty bug hunter in the family, the IT technician and the “Go Check Out That Weird Noise Somewhere In The House At 4 a.m.” person.
And that’s why this past Monday was such a triumphant day for me. Not just because I did not one, not two, but three stereotypical things my husband usually takes of, but also because they were things I never, EVER thought I could accomplish on my own.
ACCOMPLISHMENT #1: I put together a piece of equipment.
For as far back as I can remember this week, it has been my heart’s desire to own a record player. This is despite the fact we have a CD/radio/iPod player in pretty much every room of our house already (two, in fact, currently in the kitchen). But for some reason, I fell in love with the idea of coming home, making a martini (mixed with a splash of something fruity since my taste buds associate the straight up version with what I imagine liquid from your pancreas tastes like) and putting on a record while my husband spontaneously grabs me for an impromptu slow-dance.*
So, we finally broke down and bought one (mainly because the two records we had already bought prematurely reminded us how pathetically faux hipster we were). And then with him off at his real job, it fell to me to set it up.
Now, mind you, this thing is technologically obsolete. I have a key ring that makes fart sounds that is more advanced than this thing. And yet, the five-step instruction manual baffled me (especially the one that said to gently slide off the white thingermajig from the needle but upon closer inspection, the white thingermajig looked to be a vital part of the entire machine’s structural integrity).
After 45 minutes, I was about to call it a day and just let my husband deal with it when he got home. But then I thought “No! I can do this! I will do this! My grandma could operate one of these things and she was confused by modern soup cans with the easy-open lid! I AM NOT PATHETIC!”
And then BOOM. I finally had it working. For the most part. I’m sure the fact that everything sounds off-key is how it’s supposed to sound.
ACCOMPLISHMENT #2: I took down a wasp.
It’s a well-known fact that I am the world’s biggest arach– you know what? I have such a phobia that I can’t even type out the word (due to the totally-definitely-absolutely not irrational fear the very word itself will sprout eight legs and jump straight off the page onto my face where it will proceed to eat my eyeballs off). And due to this totally-definitely-absolutely not irrational fear, Ryan has turned into a master bug warrior, tracking and killing them with a Sparta-like ferocity (most likely to avoid the whole embarrassing “chasing my wife down the street screaming ‘It’s OK, babe! I killed it! Come back!'” scenario that has happened repeatedly during our courtship).
So it was with great surprise (and no shortage of amusement) to discover that my husband has a similar fear of bees. And wasps. And hornets. And bumblebees. If it buzzes, he suddenly turns into a white ninja, moving faster than the naked eye can see (occasionally accompanied by what can only be described as a “girly-man scream”). So when I noticed that one of the wasps who stalks Ryan out on our back porch had somehow weaseled his way into the house, I knew I had to step up.
Thirty minutes later, I had finally managed to trap him between the back door and the screen door and then using an ingenious tactic I came up with myself, I opened the door a crack with one arm and used a Swiffer in the other to coax him back out into the wild.
Fifteen minutes after that, it finally worked. And our world was once again safe.
ACCOMPLISHMENT #3: I fixed the Internet.
OK, technically all I did was unplug the thing-y on the wireless thing-y, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in, but still, it worked and I thought of it myself before resorting to calling Ryan at work, who would have inevitably told me “Did you try unplugging it and plugging it back in?” anyway.
So, tonight, when he comes home, I think I’m going to put on a record, hand him a martini, his slippers and a pipe (wait…do we have a pipe?) whilst wearing an apron and cooking meat. 1. Because he probably deserves it, what with all the actually working as opposed to sitting around pretending to write for eight hours like some people. And 2. Because deep down, I know that I am a mighty Wasp Conqueror/Putter-Together-er of Outdated Technology/Troubleshooter.
Hear me roar!
*This has yet to actually happen.