During the five years that we lived in apartments and a condo, Steve’s drums, guitars and keyboard sat pretty much unused. He longed to play but our living situation was just too cramped and the neighbors were too close. We moved to our house, and not long after another couple our age moved into a house up the road. We had all kinds of things in common- Jen and I are in graduate school for the same degree, Steve is a rural Vermonter and Josh is a rural Mainah who absolutely kills us with one liners about bean suppahs and buttah sanwiches. Then when Josh found out that Steve is a drummah and plays the guitah, the deal was sealed. At least twice a week now, the house is shaking with crazy music as they jam in the basement.
Meanwhile, Jen and I have been bemoaning the hazards of writing papers and working in human services. We went to a craft fair last weekend and when we pulled into the parking lot, we discovered that my car had a flat tire. I realized that it was time to pull out the handy book What the heck was THAT!?! Scary noises and other car stuff every woman should know! that my mom got me one Christmas.
In the end I had a couple realizations- one being that we automatically got all nervous because it was a flat tire and we didn’t know what to DO because we’re GIRLS. And two, the best kept secret is that changing a flat tire is easy and anyone can do it. I don’t know why but it’s still like the 1950s when it comes to changing tires.
I read from the book while Jen put the wrench on one of the lugnuts and hopped up and down on top of it. The book was full of condescending language in an attempt to be funny about how you’re a woman but you’re somehow in a situation where you have to deal with your car. Seriously:
“When you are changing a flat on the side of the road, bend at the knees. Bending from the waist could cause a 15-car pileup as male drivers gaze at your shapely derriere and forget they’re at the wheel.”
“Now is time to jack the car up. First make sure this delightful gadget (doesn’t it look like some kind of torture device?) is level on the ground. Check for rocks or pebbles underneath that could make it wobbly. Remember: Wobbly means dangerous. Then start SLOWLY. Speak nicely to it. Flatter it. “You’re a wonderful jack. Very handsome. I’ve never met a jack more handsome than you.”
“Take the tire off. Be ready, because it will be HEAVY. Much heavier than the bag of groceries that goofy teenage bagger at the grocery store gave you when he put your laundry detergent, bleach, and 20 juice boxes together. Now is time to use the gardening gloves you have in the trunk.”
First of all, the goddam tire is not that heavy. Second of all, SHUT UP.
At any rate, those were all realizations I had after the event. While it was going on I found myself automatically falling into the assumption that changing a tire was too hard for women to do and feeling intimidated about it. We were making headway on it though (with lots of hopping up and down), but then the nice man parked next to us offered to help and did the rest of it for us. The whole process is so easy that I just wanted to clutch my head and groan “I can’t believe I fell for that one.”
Tomorrow night Jen and I are going to a sex toy party at one of her co-worker’s. Apparently it is the NEW tupperware party. The tupperware party of the 00s. What do you call this decade? The two thousands? The Oh-Ohs? Between our newfound tire-changing knowledge and this party, we may have just rendered the role of man completely moot.
I guess there is still opening the salsa jar once in a while.
Nov 17th 2005Friends & Introspection