I made myself a desk the other day. Okay, so “made” might be too heavy a word for what I actually did. I mean, I brought it from Officeworks, carried it to my car from the store, carried it from my car to the lounge where I was setting it up and then I put it together according to the picture diagrams on the page.
Okay so it fell to pieces the day after because the shelf wasn’t in properly but at least I put it together. The fault of the falling shelf however does not lie with me but with the people who put the package together for giving me a faulty rail that the shelf cannot slide on. Oh well, you live you learn.
I found it funny that I was offered help to carry it out to the car by the checkout operator. I was quick to point out that if I couldn’t carry it to the car I wouldn’t be able to carry it when I got home. The whole walking to the car with a heavy, awkward rectangle box full of wood pieces took a while, a lot shorter than me getting it from the car to my home (I’d worked out how to carry it by then).
Then when I stopped at the petrol station to get air for my tyres, I had one of the attendants offer me help to do it, which I openly accepted because I was unsure about tyre pressure and all that (it had been a while since I put air in my tyres). I thought about it afterwards. I accepted the help because I was ignorant of how to do something instead of being an arrogant feminist believing that I can do anything a guy can. I mean, the attendant had offered the person before me and that was a guy my dad’s age.
I’ve never believed that you need to be a certain gender to accomplish tasks. My general response to being told something is a guy’s/ girl’s job is to ask if they’re doing it with their genitals. I lived in a share house where when work needed to be done like cutting down a vine that was threatening to destroy a gutter or defrosting a freezer, we had to wait for one of the girl’s boyfriends to come over to do it. In the case of the vine, I ended up cutting it down myself, from buying the saw and cutting it down. I ended up with scratches all over my hands (next time, wear gloves) but it was down.
As a child I didn’t have brothers to do all the stuff like carting wood in with the wheelbarrow for the fire, or even for cutting the wood. My sister and I were expected to do it once our father had shown us how. I was taught how to change a tyre (admittingly I prefer getting roadside assist to do that so I know with their electrical tools that it’s firmly attached) and how to fill the oil in my older car.
Living alone as an adult, I have put together shelves, moved furniture and all sorts of things. I’ve used high heels as hammers when I needed them, and brought several sets of screwdrivers when I couldn’t find my old ones. When I need help with something I’ll ask for it, but I don’t expect a knight on a white horse to come to my rescue simply because I’m a female in distress.