Who woulda thought, right?
We got a dumping of snow the other day — about 12 inches — and I still had to go into work because obviously my job is super important and it is necessary that I physically be in the office even though I could have worked safely from the comfort of home in my jammies (it’s nice I’m not bitter about it). When I got there, my boss commented that he hoped my husband was the one who shoveled us out. I wrinkled my nose at him and said that we both did it and that I am perfectly capable of shoveling a little snow.
Only last month, during our Secret Santa/Yankee Swap afternoon at the office, one of the gifts that was unwrapped was a power drill and my colleague got very upset and announced that she thought we were supposed to buy unisex gifts only. Someone replied that girls can use power tools, too, and she retorted that she didn’t because she “has a husband for that.” She wasn’t joking or trying to be cute, you guys. She was completely serious and offended that someone chose to include an item that was so obviously unusable by women. It was at that moment that I made it my life’s mission to win that drill simply to prove a point.
I was raised by parents who did not believe in gender stereotypes. My mother would frequently rant about the issues of “girls’ toys” and “boys’ toys” and how there was no such thing. If a little girl wanted to play with a truck, then that truck was a girls’ toy. If a little boy played with a doll, then it was a boys’ toy. I still get a little worked up whenever I visit the Toys ‘R’ Us website and see the categories broken into Girls and Boys. I was an only child and I was given a variety of not only toys, but chores as well. I did the dishes. I helped saw the stump off the Christmas tree. I dusted. I BBQed when we went camping. I vacuumed. I emptied the garbage.
My husband and I have an equal partnership: all of the work is shared 50/50 regardless of whether the task is traditionally performed by a man or a woman. Hubby does the laundry, so do I (in fact, he is the one who taught me how!). I wash the dishes, so does he. He mows the lawn, I usually injure myself with the weed whacker, but I have been known to get bored with that and ask to mow for a little while. I can’t imagine a marriage where I was expected to do certain things just because of my gender, nor where I expected certain things of my husband just because he is a man. (I realize every marriage is different and this is just what works for us.)
Although I could have gone home with a heated neck massager, or that nifty little Ninja food chopper, I instead chose to steal the power drill from my boss and defend it to the death just to prove that girls can like things that are “meant” for boys.
ETA: I had lunch with my coworker yesterday and The Drill Incident came up. She said she was surprised I wanted it because it had been stated several times that the gifts should be unisex and she really felt like a tool was more for a man. She asked what I thought and I tried to be very respectful. I told her that I didn’t think so, that I have received tools as gifts, and that I think they can be for men or women. I said that I use tools at home all the time. She thought for a moment and then told me, “I guess you’re right. I guess I just see men using them more so I never thought about it that way.” So, way to go Erin for jumping to conclusions and trying to prove a point that didn’t necessarily need proving. Now I kind of feel like an ass.