Do you ever have so much going on that you want to share that you shut down entirely and say nothing? That’s been me, lately. I don’t know where to start so I … haven’t started. But there’s one thing I want to talk about, and I’ve been holding off because I don’t want to accidentally offend anyone. I’ve been put in that position recently on the blog, and now I have to write with my tiptoes. As you can imagine, those contortions aren’t comfortable.
A not-funny thing happened, that led to something funny, that led to a not-funny thing. I feel a rant of sorts coming on…
There was a clog in our big outside drain pipe. It was my fault. So of course I should be the one to fix it.
I have a plumbing snake, but it was too short to reach the clog. Being creative and not willing to either give up or pay someone, I electrical-taped an old shower hose to the snake, as an extension. It was still too short! So I electrical-taped a new shower hose to the old shower hose that was taped to the snake. Good thing I keep things like two unused shower hoses, eh? You just never know when random junk around the house might come in handy! Hoarder? Naw, just prepared for any eventuality. I choose to believe that. Nahnahnah I can’t hear you, Socks…
In any case, in the process of being shoulder deep in a big drain pipe, I got shit-water on me. I got it on my arms, on my hands (despite the gloves I changed about nine times in the course of my work), on my pants, on my shirt, and on my FACE. Yeppers: Poo-soup, on my face.
That’s funny, to me. I rather deserved poop all over me: I caused the problem. How, I will not detail. It was an attempt to save myself work that backfired badly. If it got in my eyes or mouth – maybe not so funny!
What really isn’t funny: someone saw me doing the work and asked about it. After I explained I was told, ‘That’s a man’s job. You tell your husband I said so!’
It wasn’t even physically challenging, unless you count kneeling on concrete for ages (ow). I didn’t explain why it was me doing the job beyond the simple answer that I’m plain-old-better at this sort of job. Hubby and I each have our talents, and this is one of mine, such as it is. I can deal with poop-soup on my face and clothes way better than he, and I deal with the frustrations of how long it takes to clear a big clog more calmly, too.
This is not to say that I don’t have a horrible temper that rockets off into incandescent rage for what seems like no reason (to anyone but me). Plumbing issues aren’t one of the things that piss me off – I don’t know why (or why not).
But this wasn’t a “man’s job”: it was a dirty, smelly, disgusting job. I have never believed that just because I don’t have a penis, I should be automatically exempted from doing dirty, smelly, disgusting work. I’m pretty sure every mom out there would back me up on that. Also: every female pet owner, every female carer for an elderly person, every female doctor or nurse – I could go on. How much excreta of various kinds and from various species do women deal with on a daily basis? I can’t imagine just because it was flushed it means it is less icky, can you? Hell, at least I knew who pooped the poop – a stranger’s poo would likely make me gag.
I’m not angry at the person who made the comment – he didn’t give me time to think about and explain why it was sexist. To be honest, I doubt I would have bothered, because I feel the comment was sexist toward men, too. I’m just as tired of hearing that men should be the ones to do all the physical work as I am at hearing that women shouldn’t do any of it.
Has anyone else had a moment like this? What did you do or say? I think next time it happens, I’ll say a lot more in response, myself.