When my wife and I were out sailing around Central America we discovered an unalterable truth: there are blue jobs and there are pink jobs. Aboard Miki G she cooked and I washed up. I navigated and maintained the engine. She prepared the laundry and I carried it to the laundromat in whichever city we happened to be. I carried the drinking water aboard, she choose the shopping and the food we ate. Blue jobs and pink jobs; the antithesis of modern feminism and 21st century gender neutral living. It just worked that way as my wife and I reluctantly agreed once we noticed ourselves living like tenth century peasants. We did it for two years from San Francisco to Key West via the Panama Canal.
Back on land we still talk about pink jobs and blue jobs though out of hearing of others, who might be easily offended by our casual imposition of gender rôles in the traditional mold. Thus when it comes to changing the shower head in my bathroom do you rate that a pink job or a blue job? Gold star if you agreed it’s a blue job. That my wife thought to do it rated it as a traditional “honey do” as long as we are imposing gender rôles...
Here’s the difficulty...I can’t do blue jobs! Blame my legs, blame my love of motorcycles, call me lazy but there’s no way I could stand in the tub and screw in a new shower head, one lengthier and more flexible than that installed. Indeed the only reason for a new shower head was to enable me to wash myself more completely in my current state of limited mobility. It’s all about physical independence for the family cripple. I swear I will never see the world the same way again after these brief months of dependence on the kindness of others.
So, being the naturally brilliant dude that I am I got myself invited to lunch while my wife worked and took Rusty to the Marathon Vet Hospital to get his tendon bandage changed. She works in Marathon so it makes sense, quite aside from the fact that I can’t drive until the doctor says I can. So what has lunch got to do with the pesky shower head? It served three purposes.
I got a ride to physical therapy where Teresa put me through my paces for an hour (Percocet! Please!) and stretched my swollen painful leg and got me to strengthen those still atrophied muscles. Nick met me there and slid me into his car. Off to lunch. We lingered over Mexican pizza (him) and caldo or soup for me, see above. We talked at some great length and the server flirted very kindly with the man pushing the walker such that I got Nick to fulfill part two of the program in a good mood. He drove me home. Part three was having him fill in for me and completing the blue job for me, Mr Helpless.
Allow me to point out that it was my bold and pushy wife who asked my friend to do that which I would never have the nerve to do. I am weak as well as helpless. Nick cheerfully did the installation and never came even close to falling over or otherwise hurting himself. Result!
We sat on the balcony chatting as the cool north wind blew around us and through us. Nick is a Conch and thus loves cool weather whereas I am not at all fond of goosebumps. I maintain my equanimity as I know with a fair degree of certainty that in a couple of days we will be back to 80 degrees (27 Canadian) and my dry itchy skin will calm down with a return to proper levels of humidity.
Let’s face it. Being helpless is a pain but thanks to friends pitching in and cheery comments from you lot this too will pass. And I shall look back with fondness remembering the kindness of you all helping me through these dreary days. Eventually I fear they will all become purple jobs unless I get on and heal. As a mere man I need to have my jobs whatever color they may be.