February 22, 2011

A Member of the Fan Club

I have been thinking a lot lately about household gender roles. When I was little, I was just as likely to see my mother holding a hammer as I was to see my father wearing an apron, and I grew up thinking that both things were perfectly normal. My parents, on the other hand, were anything but normal. I kid! (Sorta.)

So, because of the example that I was seeing at home, I always thought it was weird to encounter parents who clung to more “traditional” practices; dad went off to work and puttered around with his tools on weekends, while mom stayed home, cared for the kids 24/7 and kept busy with things like sewing, baking and looking pretty. In my house, not only did my mom and dad both work; mom was awfully handy with a mitre saw and dad could bake a hell of a pie.

There was no question in my mind that when I grew up and had a family of my own, that it would just always be that way. I am trying to instill that same ethos in my own child. As a solo-parent, when things of a DIY nature come up I have the choice to either call in professional or tackle them myself. Thanks to my parents’ expert tutelage and my trade-school training, there is really only a handful of tasks that I am not able to perform on my own, whether due to a lack of equipment or skills.

Generally speaking, though, small carpentry and home dec projects are no problem for this girl, and any time that I start to question my abilities, I just have to make a mental list of what I have attempted and completed successfully. Drywalling? Check. Laminate and vinyl floor installation? Check, check. Installing a dishwasher (with the help of my fella)? Check.

This past weekend, I finally got around to removing the big beast of a microwave from above the stove. It’s been dead for a while, but the task of taking it down, though fairly simple, was daunting in its annoyance factor. First of all, the damn thing was heavy and attached to the cabinets and kitchen wall. Secondly, it was hard-wired, so removing it involved more than just unplugging it. I had to actually turn off breakers and open a wiring box…

But, with a new stove on the way, I figured that I had better just suck it up and do it. Plus, R and I found a hood-fan on sale at Canadian Tire. That was a good a sign as any, I suppose. So, on Sunday night, before I started making dinner, I cut the power, climbed up on my step-stool and got rid of the microwave and its bracket. The following night, I climbed back up, attached a few wires, screwed-in a few screws and installed the gleaming (for now) new hood fan. (You’ll have to take my word for it, but it really does work!)

(...and please pardon the janky Blackberry photo... I was so excited about the hood-fan that I couldn't wait to get the camera!)


  1. Thanks! I am still impressed every time I flip the switch to turn the light on and the light actually comes on. ;-)