Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm such a wuss.

Did you know that one time in college I popped open the hood of my car and figured out what hose was leaking, bought a new one, and installed it myself with nothing but the little flat head screwdriver on my key chain? (Granted, it was just a hose, but I was pretty proud of myself for figuring it all out.)

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I've also installed a water pump single-handedly. Literally. My husband's hand was too big to fit into the tight space without tearing the engine apart, so while he cooled his frustrations in the house, I went out and finished putting it in myself. Again, not a major accomplishment since all it took was the ability to read instructions, but still.

I used to work as a packer for a moving company. I lifted heavy boxes all day — I was buff. I could do just about anything the job required on my own, including hefting and maneuvering a queen-sized mattress into a box in a confined space.

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Something seems to have happened between now and then. I've grown soft. Now, on the days when I'm on my own and I have to mow the lawn myself, I feel awkward and intimidated. I don't know why. I used to mow the lawn all the time growing up.

Or, there's those trees in the back that need trimming. I can't bring myself to break out the chain saw and do it myself. We're not talking about huge branches here either — I could probably prune them with a large lopper. And it's not like I've never used power tools before; I handled them all the time when I would build stuff for my art classes in college. Where has my desire to use tools and tackle "guy" stuff gone?

The surest sign of my wussiness is at the gas station. I hate pumping gas myself. I sigh and curse the empty tank when I have to alter my plans to include the gas station. I put it off as long as possible and hope that somehow I can avoid having to get out of the car and get up close and personal with that horrid smell. My firefighter's request for me to document each gas of tank the way he does doesn't help, either. (Admittedly, I kind of like knowing how much gas mileage I REALLY get. I just don't like to write it down.)

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And I never wash the windshield myself anymore. Well, almost never.

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This splat that I got last week couldn't be ignored. I resigned myself to my fate, pulled over, and did it myself. It was then that I realized just how soft I had become. Too many years of "don't worry, I'll take care of it when I get home" have rendered me useless. This past year of virtually no overtime didn't help my cause, either. My husband was there more often than not when needed. And if he wasn't there, he would be home soon.

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But the times are changing, overtime is back, it's fire season, and in addition to my regular routines, I have to do the man chores again. The trash isn't going to magically appear at the curb on the right day. The lawn is pretty much up to me. I will have to do the de-bugging of the car on my own. I'm even seriously thinking of breaking out the chain saw and attacking the trees.

Now, if I could just get the kids to take a group nap during daylight hours so that I can accomplish all of this uninterrupted...

18 comments:

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

I'll be home soon to take care of my chores. That way you can go back to being "soft."

SarahB said...

So true Katie! While I never fixed the car or mowed I have gotten really soft. So much so that it was an accomplishment to figure out where all the cords behind the tv plugged back in when a certain little guy climbed behind the tv.

Cristina said...

Uhhh.... You have to write it all down? Really? I can't remember the last time my husband took out the trash, filled the gas tank, cleaned my windows, etc. I think I'm a husband. I need a wife.

Kathryn said...

I feel you, Cristina!

oh boy... it's funny, my husband has had the opposite effect on me. When I was growing up, all the women in my family took my dad for granted. He always mowed/fertilized the lawn, took out the garbage on garbage day, and maintained the cars. Now that I'm married to Jon, I've had to learn to do those "man chores" because he won't do them half the time!

Fire Wife Katie said...

Lol, I am so lost when it comes to the cords in back of the tv!! If I had set it up myself, I'd know my way around. At least, that's the excuse I tell myself for not knowing what's going on.

To clarify, he writes down most of the mileage information, since he fills the tank most of the time. It's only on the one in 8 times when I fill it myself that he wants me to continue his documentation. So he's not some sort of mileage Nazi. More of a mileage enthusiast. :D

Ratz said...

Hey Oh my gosh.... You are so good.... Keep the work going... Super woman

Sheila said...

Oh I hear ya...life with an ER doc is about the same...now that my oldest is 13 though..he helps alot when daddy is workin' at all hours. Hang in there sister...

classycareergirl said...

I feel the same way since I got married 4 years ago. My husband does all the dirty work and I don't argue. Maybe next time I will tell him that I WANT to do it:) I think he will be in shock.

Stopping by from SITS! I think I am going to enjoy your blog!

mom said...

Don't grab the chain saw! That's too scary for me! There are little-ish pruning saws that will do the limbs in. I love those earlier photos from days of independence...

Kami said...

I try to get as much dirty work as I can, but other than that; I'm too lazy and I leave it all for the hubbz when he's home. I totally feel you with filling up the tank, ugh...
Those old photos are too awesome, you have proof of your buff awesomeness, Lol.

Cristina said...

A mileage enthusiast. That is deserving of a t-shirt. And I am deserving of a chain saw.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

As a firefighter, I must suggest that those of you now interested in power tools get proper training before using them. Or else your local firefighter may be telling stories about you for weeks to come at the fire house.

jadenotjaded said...

Great post...I am also becoming a wuss! I have never done car work, but I have painted the whole outside of our house...by myself...in between kids napping...how did i do that!

That T-shirt bring back memories. My hubby worked for allied in Riv for 10 years...packing, moving..hard work, but lots of good stories!

Cristina said...

snort... proper training before using them... you're a funny man. You ruin all my fun. Honestly...

Emma @ Divorced Before 30 said...

Fun post! It's amazing what you can accomplish on your own when you have to. Thanks so much for visiting my blogoir on my SITS day. It was so much fun getting all of the great comments!

Our Crazy Crew said...

Yup. Cracks me up. Totally with you, girl. I've changed starters, fixed all kinds of things and considered myself indepedent. I had to learn to ask for help and be more dependent. I also have to do things I'd rather not do...shovel snow, cut firewood, lift heavy feed bags and tromp through mud. I, too, have gone soft or maybe I've just gotten lazy and usually save the hard labor and gas fill-ups for when my ff is off shift. He's been pulling a bunch of trades and OT shifts and I find myself annoyed that I have to do something hard. What is that all about?

DanielleCorrelle said...

Haha, I feel the same way. As a former military wife, I have done my fair share of the more manly chores... but I have found myself growing "softer" the longer he has been out of the military and home more often. I was SO capable of running the entire household myself for as long as 8 months at a time...and now? I'd just as soon wait for my FF to come home and mow the lawn or fix whatever happends to be broken, since I always know he'll be here soon enough. I scold myself for that sort of thinking, knowing full well I could just do it myself.

The Park Wife said...

Wow, I thought my hubby was the only one that made his wife write down gas mileage stuff. I feel better now!

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