My husband I have always had a strict but unspoken division of labor. This means he takes care of the “icky” stuff: taking out the trash, fixing the toilet, painting and other tasks generally thought of a “masculine.” I do the laundry, cooking, cleaning gardening and child-rearing. Imagine my surprise when after 20 years of marriage I became separated.
After the heartache and anger subsided I realized I was going to have to do the gross stuff. (Does that sound cold?) I realize there are a lot of women out there, separated, divorced , widowed, or women who don’t live in a gender biased world. My hats off to women plumbers, construction workers, painters, etc.
Over the last seven months, thankfully there haven’t been many disasters. Mr. Zen is back home we are working things out. But in the midst of things, I learned that I can do things I never thought I could do alone. I used a rear tine tiller. I had trouble holding her steady and she really didn’t like how I shifted gears. I got help from a wonderful friend (also a woman) but I did it dammit; and t felt good!
Yesterday I caulked the tub. Previously, this would have come under the category of “ickiness” but I was determined. So as Mr. Zen did laundry and watched Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” I went upstairs to tackle the job. I had watched several You Tube videos on the subject (thank God for You Tube). and armed with my caulk remover tool, a tube caulk and the Beatles and Sting for music I began my job.
Sitting in the bathtub, I found scraping the old grout out of the tub absolutely therapeutic. There’s a satisfaction removing long lines of gross caulk away from the bathtub. I began to play a game with my self to see the longest piece I could remove at a time. Then, tenacity in getting every last itty bitty remnant of caulk removed.
When I put tube of new caulk to the tub and finished the job I stepped back, admired my work and called my sister for and “Atta Girl!” That received, I tore Mr. Zen away from Gordon to come look at my work. Another “Atta Girl” received. The validation was great, but honestly looking at the finished job, I knew I did a great job. “Atta Girl!”