darntoughanvilAs dads, we all understand the roles we are expected to play in our families. My wife and I have a twenty first century marriage, meaning we take a more balanced approach to parenting.  We both cook, bathe the kids, discipline… Ward Cleaver would be appalled; June Cleaver would feel disenfranchised.  I should have known I would get in trouble letting my wife play lead on snow blowing. For some inexplicable reason, she loves to do it, but today it went too far.  With a big snow storm heading our way tomorrow, I took my blows today.

Apparently, Johanna ran into Charles Rutstein at Ace Hardware this afternoon. Charles is a man’s man.  He takes golfing trips with his buddies, let’s his wife manage their social calendar, and has a professional grade wood shop in his basement.  I’m not talking about a simple table saw.  He has a table saw, a chop saw, a router table, a planer, and a lathe, all tied into the same saw dust collecting vacuum system.  It’s awesome.

Johanna was shopping for shear pins – yes, shear pins, those little clips in the augur that have a penchant for failing when the snow is heaviest. So in addition to exposing Charles to the fact that she works the heavy machinery in my house, the two of them evaluated rock salt options together. Which is better… the 100 pound bag or 40 pound buckets? She opted to take home two 40 pounders after concluding the 100 pound bag would be too hard to lug around. Did she think I couldn’t handle that? What am I, a girly man?

Suffice it to say that it hurt. I’ve been completely emasculated.  Next thing you know I’ll be pushed into darning the kids socks.

I hope all of you in New England enjoy the snow tomorrow. I’ll be inside baking cookies while the rest of you are shoveling.

15 Responses to Emasculation

  1. Eric Ayrault says:

    Just think of yourself as multi-cultural. Old African tradition that the women do the heavy lifting and manual labor…
    and baking, definately male. But cookies??

  2. Marshall says:

    John, come on over and get your manliness on at my house — plenty of shoveling and snowblowing opportunities.

    I should add that Liz is quite fond of snowblowing, too. I think people in general dig using the snowblower, it’s just a good time (once you are clear on all the ways it can maim you or someone nearby, of course — we had to do ours on a wheelie at the old house to avoid jamming it or shooting a neighborhood child’s eye out with so much loose gravel on the drive).

  3. Richard says:

    Perhaps you should take the position that you are man enough to allow Johanna the opportunity to masculate herself…?

    As to sock-darning, I’m sure there’s a long and rich history of macho men of war and swash-buckling adventurers mending their own gear:

    You could lead this movement in this 2.0 world! Your domain still awaits:


  4. John Boynton says:

    Thanks to all for the encouragement. Richard – I’m going to embed the image “man works sock” into the post.

  5. a sister who enjoys the heavy lifting says:

    Want a woman’s point of view? There is nothing more manly than doing whatever is needed with a smile. Baking cookies? Knitting? Bathing children? oh yeah… (Hiding in the basement making noise with saws? not so much…)

  6. Charles Rutstein says:


    Great post – I laughed out loud. Sorry to have been the one to put the knife in the back of your machismo.

    Johanna also offered to have you come over and change the dust ruffles on the beds — see you this weekend.


  7. […] Guess what.  If you can set aside your pride, emasculation ain’t so bad.  I posted yesterday about the embarrassment suffered when my wife went public as the family snow blower, and am happy […]

  8. […] what.  If you can set aside your pride, emasculation ain’t so bad.  I posted yesterday about the embarrassment suffered when my wife went public as the family snow blower, and am happy […]

  9. I never masturbated when I was 10-12. Never made love when I was 17. My dominating, impinging mother and silent sheep father had taken my soul and made me my mother’s surrogate spouse (except for sex). When I tried sex in college–pure frustration and embarrassment all around. Eighteen years later, at age 36 I got my first full erection. Now that’s emasculation. I got it only because I used sexual surrogate therapy and went bankrupt. Now I’m a father of an 8-year-old. So much lost time and money. My dad and I trying to be rich and/or famous to please my mother. http://crush.typepad.com (emasculation-blues)

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