Friday, July 8, 2011

My Husband is Not a Tool

This is my husband Chris, standing in the community garden that he built. The garden was a team effort, but his involvement was pivotal. And now there it is, and there he is. Awesome, both of them.

He's hot, isn't he?

Now, let me explain the division of labor in our yard. Chris does the veggies. Lots of veggies. I do most everything else: the arid lawn, the swamp, the wooded paths, the flower beds, the oak tree that needed felling, the toddler play area, the meadows. Even the pile of rocks topped with cacti.

Everything in my domain is a mess right now. I have a three-month-old baby and an older child going through potty training. The lawn looks perilously similar to the meadows at the moment. A cottonwood tree is cracked and poised to fall onto the woodland paths. Every flowerbed needs weeding, every pot and transplant needs watering.

But the poison ivy is under control.

It so happens that the number one thing that brings people to this blog is information on poison ivy removal. I don't know why - perhaps it's just that time of year? A bumper crop of Toxicodendron radicans? - but I'm getting a lot of snotty anonymous comments on one of my older poison ivy removal posts. "Dump poison on it." "Hire a professional." "Hire a professional, like me! I pull poison ivy with my bare hands! And I eat it for breakfast!"

But nothing tops this:

"Have your husband do it."

Excuse me? My husband does not come to my rescue as I retreat in some prissy fashion from dangerous things. Poison ivy is my personal enemy, and I consider its control within our yard to be my obligation. My obligation. It is a vendetta that I carry out myself, with vicious, cautious, and thorough glee. My husband is my beloved equal, with his own worthy pursuits and his own lack of time. He is not some macho tool to be pulled from a drawer to solve problems at my whim with hairy chest and grunts.

Mister anonymous, your sexism is a contemptible relic. May garden gnomes rub urushiol in the tighty whities you have no doubt left lying on the bathroom floor. Go have a beer and watch a football game, instead of wasting my time editing up your messes.

In other words, fuck off.


darkandlight said...

I totally agree. I do most of the yard work at our place because I enjoy it, and even though my husband doesn't, he'll help out if I ask, and he's very supportive and excited about the things I accomplish. But it has never been a secret to our friends and family as to which of us is the main handiperson in this house.

Courtney said...

Thumbs up for women who gladly take on our own share of outside maintenance! My husband and I are equal partners in this marriage too. He does lawn maintenance, I do everything else outside, from flowers to veggies. Inside I clean bathrooms and vacuum and dust, he grocery shops and does most of the cooking.

Scienter said...

Awesome response to that type of silly sexism! People who assume that women are incompetent to do things like remove some poison ivy piss me off. I need to go water my herb garden, but maybe I should have my husband do it, I don't want to stress my ladybrain too hard...

Kris said...

^5 (high 5) :-D

Nicole Harter, CHC said...

And I really appreciated your poison ivy removal training class held in my backyard with class size of 1. I did not in fact get any poison ivy, and I taught my husband how to locate and identify poison ivy :)

Diane said...

I do all the yard work too, and although I do kind of wish my husband was a lawn junkie like seemingly every other male (just so i don't have to deal with it), its something I've gladly taken over. Actually, I do 99% of the maintenance on the inside too. Unless its electrical or computer related-I leave that to the man of the house ;-)

Cally said...

Great response to the anon comment, esp. the bit about the gnomes, made me laugh.

Rabscuttle said...

AMEN, sistah. I get so annoyed at the assumption that I can't do heavy lifting or anything strenuous... or gross... or involving insects or rodents... what, because I'm a girl? Give me a BREAK. Didn't anybody watch Jurassic Park??