A good friend upset me the other day. He had read my post about transforming the study (and some of my tweets) and told me that I needed to be less harsh when writing about my husband as, in his opinion, I make him sound like an idiot when he’s actually a top bloke.
I was gutted. Of course I know my husband is brilliant. I wouldn’t have married him last summer if I didn’t think so. He’s an amazing teacher (I know this because we used to work in the same school and had to observe each other, that wasn’t awkward at all!), brilliantly academic and gets more questions right on University Challenge than I do every time. He’s also thoughtful and loving and has hundreds of other positive qualities.
But, I know sometimes I can be a bit harsh without meaning to be, so even though I didn’t think I’d said anything mean in that post, I just thought I’d check, and read it again.
I still didn’t see anything that I would consider made him sound like a lesser person so I asked my friend to tell me exactly what he thought I’d said that made my husband look bad.
His response: You mention he paints a roof (ceiling) blue. You mention he took a chunk out of the wall. It’s no one thing.
I’d like to point out that both of these events happened and were funny. The first I shared in a tweet and the second was in the aforementioned post.
I also posted on my Facebook page the very same day that I had managed to cover myself in rancid-smelling stagnant water in an attempt to erect a washing line and had to have a shower as the smell was making me heave.
I’m not sure who looks like the biggest idiot here. I think it’s probably me.
Anyway, yes my husband is an amazing teacher and brilliantly academic and better than me at University Challenge and kind and thoughtful and loving and has hundreds of other positive qualities. But he also lacks any kind of spacial awareness and as a result is a bit crap at DIY.
This doesn’t make him an idiot though.
And obviously I’ve been stewing on my friend’s comment because that’s what I do. But it’s got me thinking.
Did my friend think that I made my husband sound like an idiot because I was saying he was a bit rubbish at ‘man’ tasks? I don’t know. I am just speculating.
Knowing my friend, his comments came from a good place and he was just trying to be helpful as he knew I wouldn’t want to portray my husband negatively (I still don’t think I have though, and I asked hubby and he says he’s not bothered and frankly his opinion is the one I care most about!).
But I do wonder if he’d have said the same thing if I was saying I had done those things (or another woman).
Over the past few days, we built a huge chest of drawers and obviously hubby did the frame as I’m too pregnant to be lifting that. But all the way through hubby was looking mystified while I was saying, “ooh yes, I can see where that bit needs to go.” And he just couldn’t. So when we got to the final stretch, I put together all of the drawers while he made dinner. We played to our strengths.
We ended up with a fab set of drawers and a huge sense of teamwork and achievement.
I want our little girl to grow up knowing that different people have different skills, and that not being able to do something doesn’t make you an ‘idiot’, it just means that you have another strength that lies elsewhere.
And it doesn’t matter if that strength is a ‘man’ skill or a ‘woman’ one. All of them are equally important.