My husband and I stand with our contractor neighbor in the house we’ve just purchased. Tack board from the carpet my husband removed the day before lines the perimeter of the dining room floor.
My husband says, “I got all the carpet pulled up, but the tack boards are nailed down, so I need to get a tool to pull them up.”
Our contractor replies, “Just get a cat’s paw and pop them out. They aren’t expensive. You just have to tell the boss, ‘Honey, we have a house now. I need to buy some tools.’”
I want to ask why he assumes I would oppose the purchase of useful tools, but I know the answer already: I’m a woman, and my husband is a man, and women don’t use tools, and we must be engaged in a battle between spending money on tools or a day at the spa because one of us has a penis and one has a vagina.
I want to say, “That’s not how our marriage works! We make decisions together!” but it would be awkward, semi-inappropriate. We’re here to get an estimate for some renovations, not discuss the philosophy of relationships.
But that isn’t how our marriage works. Generally speaking, I’m the one who wants to build or renovate things, so I’m the one suggesting the purchase of tools. I’ve had my own tool box since I was in high school, slowly assembled over a number of years as I bought the tools I needed for specific projects.
And I have never spent a penny on a spa, though I have had a total of three manicures in my lifetime (senior prom, my wedding, and once when my friend just really wanted to go–I had them paint my nails black).
If it were solely up to my husband, we would have only done the necessary repairs to get the house move-in ready, and we would have lived with the wood paneling, drop ceilings, and extra super dark kitchen cabinets, because those things aren’t important to him. I’m the one who wants to do all the work, and if I had enough time I’d learn how to do it all myself, because that kind of knowledge is useful.
So please stop assuming my sexual organs dictate the kind of purchases I want to make, or the kind of person I am. They don’t.