19 February 2015

Tools of the Foxy Trade -- It's a Trick!

Stereotyping isn't a good thing. Sexism is considered poor-form, too. I try to avoid both. With that said, you might imagine where this post is going.

What about stubbornness? Rusty, my dear, whose name is synonymous with stubborn? Isn't stubborn as bad as stereotyping? Go ahead, ladies, raise your hand.

I own a number of power tools. Some are pink or lavender in color . . . so clearly tool manufacturers recognize the female market for power tools. I own a sander, drill/screw guns (is there a difference?), a jig saw, a small circular saw, more than one Dremel with thousands of tiny attachments, and one of those 400,000-piece bit kits. So I'm relatively handy with power tools . . . I'm even more accomplished with a cocktail in my hand. I think that women should embrace power tools . . . it frees us from complete dependence on a man to hang curtain rods . . . a task that Rusty absolutely detests.

Rusty and I have been at an impasse in the packing-for-Samara negotiations. He wants to ship an entire garage full of tools, power and otherwise. Picture it: over 2,873 flat-head screwdrivers. Yeah . . . that's merely the flat-heads. Me? I want to purchase and ship about 2,873 dollars worth of gorgeous new poolside furniture. Rusty is adamant about his tools. Dare I say it? Stubborn to a fault. Yet I'm holding plenty of bargaining chips to get our poolside furniture . . . or so I thought.

There are things that I believe a woman should never be forced to do. I'll go further: there are things that I believe a woman shouldn't even know how to do. Yes, I accept that this is a very sexist statement. At age 15 when I got my learner's permit to drive, my father insisted that I demonstrate to him my ability to check and add the correct type of oil, check a radiator's fluid level, drive a stick at a highly skilled level, and change a tire. This was daddy's way of ensuring that if I was ever on a bad date, I could handle myself and get home. But these days when it comes to cars, I don't wanna know; don't need to know. And, for better or worse, this seems to work in our marriage. Rusty is a mechanical genius, so why should I learn? Sexist? Absolutely; and I'll own it.

And this brings us to our Valentine's Day weekend. We both rebelled. We refused to acknowledge Valentine's Day in any way. We're in complete agreement that it's a cruel (though exceptionally clever) marketing tool to guilt men into buying stupid items for their loved ones. What does a box of chocolates say? Here, my pet, I'll still love you five-pounds fatter! So we did an anti-Valentine Saturday. Here's the rub: it was a trick . . . a clever trick; and I fell for it . . . hard!

Our warm Valentine's Day was spent with Rusty installing a new garage-door opener -- I don't do electricity and have no intention of learning. I painted some house trim and dug in the flower beds. Yes, finally, we're that close to placing the For Sale sign in the yard. Then, in the blink of an eye, Rusty replaced and added-to something called furring around the patio. And it is gorgeous! This speedy work from the man who can go off on a rabbit trail and completely lose track of his intended goal. But not last Saturday. Focused, fast, and clever as a fox.

Sunday as Texas temperatures plummeted and we huddled by the fireplace, I could see through the den windows to the patio and pool. The words flew from my mouth before I could stop myself . . . before I realized what was happening. Honey, that furring is so pretty; you're definitely going to want your tools in Costa Rica. WHAT?! Did I say that aloud? Can we rewind and erase that statement? All Rusty's work that I deemed to be focused and beautifully-done was really just a trick. A subtle trick to pack power tools . . . and 8762 screwdrivers, plus sockets, wrenches, and thingamajigs. I fell for it . . . hook, line, sinker, and kiss-goodbye-the-pool-furniture.

Are your eyes closing with this utterly boring tale of our anti-Valentine weekend? Is your head lolling back in your seat? Why do I even mention this? Because I was tricked! My pool furniture chips have lost all value. Oh, I'm still packing-up our Texas home; but always in the back of my mind is the knowledge that I'm not getting poolside furniture. No need to reserve a pallet for still-in-the-box patio items. 

You wanna hear about stubbornness? I might be able to work-up a decent dose. Because this weekend (Rusty's birthday) what I really want is a Julian Fellowes binge-watch weekend. It doesn't have to be Downton Abbey -- I could binge on The Young Victoria or Gosford Park. Alas, there simply isn't time.

So I'll leave you with this tale of tricky MAN-ipulation . . . while I spend the next 10 hours preparing for a garage sale tomorrow and Saturday. A sale that I will tackle largely alone. Time to myself? That is indeed the devil's talk. Lo que hay.