I cut the grass this weekend. And I was thinking while I did it about how I had never cut the grass before, but I realize that isn't true. I've used a push mower and I once cut the grass at our old house with a weed wacker. It was a small yard, and yes, it looked like hell when I was done. But today was my first time ever using an actual lawn mower. Because I'm a giiiiiiirrrrrllllll.
I don't go in for typical gender roles. Sure, I do most of the laundry and the cooking and the cleaning, but I also replace light fixtures and rewire switches and shovel the driveway (occasionally while eight months pregnant) and buy new tires and whatever else. But there are two things that are Man Jobs - plumbing, and cutting the grass. Leaky toilet? Not my problem. Need to replace a faucet? I'll happily point you toward the monkey wrench. Grass seventeen inches long? Hey, isn't this why I got married?
But Chris has been working stupid hours lately and the children were starting to wonder about the identity of this strange man who occasionally showed up just in time to kiss them goodnight, so I told him that I would cut the grass while he spent some time with the kids. And you know? Our yard is stupid big. And the front is stupid hilly. And hauling the lawn mower around the stupid big, stupid hilly yard is hard because I am a giiiiirrrrrlllll. And I can definitely see how it would suck when it is 95 degrees and 80 percent humidity and swarming with mosquitoes - that is definitely not a job for a giiiiiiirrrrrrllllll.
But there is also a certain poetry in cutting the grass. (Literally, I wrote one. Don't worry, I won't make you read it.) I didn't really mind spending a couple of hours on a nice Spring day wandering aimlessly around the back yard with Ira Glass whispering sweet nothings into my ears. I might even volunteer to do it again. But not in August, that there is man work.
Also, I'm curious. Does your life break down more or less by Stereotypical Gender Roles, or not? Where do you draw the "but I'm a giiiiiiiirrrrrrrrlllllll" line?