Emasculation Rewarded

December 20, 2008

img_0390Guess 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 to announce my full recovery today.

img_0395As predicted, the storm started yesterday afternoon and we woke to 12 inches of snow.  Worried that my wife might call my bluff by offering to let me clear the walks and driveway, the kids and I left before she got up and walked into town for breakfast.  It was one of those idyllic, snowy mornings with clean white snow and few cars on the road.  I towed the younger kids on a long sled, and the older kids (including a couple friends who had spent the night) had a running snowball fight.  Do you recall a time when you didn’t mind taking a snowball in the face or getting an arm full dumped down your back?  My kids are there.  We rolled into our local breakfast spot, ordered up hot chocolate, coffee, waffles, pancakes, sausage, the whole shebang.  It couldn’t have been nicer.

img_0407Meanwhile, it was still snowing and my wife was sure to be rising soon.  I texted her from the comfort of the restaurant – “driveway clear yet?” – but got no response.  Where could she possibly have been?  Were the shear pins behaving?  Not my worry.  We finished our breakfast and moseyed home.  As we turned the corner into the driveway, the steps were clean, the walks clear, and Johanna was about 90% finished with the driveway.  I made no pretenses about my masculinity.  I whipped out my camera long enough to take a shot of Johanna in action (somewhat annoyed at her carelessness in letting the snow blow on my camera) and cruised inside to start a fire and get a fresh cup of coffee.

She asked for the job, right?  Far be it from me to suggest that a woman shouldn’t operate heavy machinery.

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Emasculation

December 19, 2008

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.