Friday, July 04, 2008

Oh Man

I've been downstairs looking at my flat's half-wall and trying to figure out which way would be best to rectify the whole tap/laundry tub dilemma.

In the meantime, I waited around for a prospective tenant who said he'd be here between 12.30 and 1.30. No show. Then I get an email from him eventually saying that he couldn't find the property...although he mentioned my neighbour's house and then said he'd got an idea of the property, so I can let it to someone else. That was mighty generous of him.

I went out to Bunnings this afternoon to have a shufti at laundry tubs. I figured changing the tub would be a good start. The taps were originally installed on the wrong wall, and right now I'm thinking my ex-husband, for all his wisdom, is an idiot. To put the taps in the correct place, I'd have to make another hole, in another wall. Avoiding that would be helpful. I measured up the old tub, making sure I didn't get one too big for it's allotted space. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything I thought would suit my purposes.

And therein lies the problem. I didn't really know what I was looking for anyway. I don't know anything about plumbing or ways around sticky situations when it comes to pipes and tubs and washing machines. This annoys the shit out of me. Unless I've come across this in a previous life, I've no experience in such matters. For all I know Jason will turn up tomorrow and say "Oh right, not to worry, we'll just do this, this and that, and it'll all be sorted". He's a man, men know these things.

Today I'm tired of being the man-woman of this property. I rely on others to steer me in the right direction when it comes to all things buildy and plumby. "Others" being my brother-in-law and my girlfriends' husbands/ get the picture. While I could have a go myself, it makes more sense to at least do a bit of research and find out the easiest, most cost effective way by picking the brains of helpful men. I could be bull-headed , grit my teeth and try, but what would be the point in that, when I can use the fount of those in the know?

However...I hesitate before asking because I hate imposing. I hate the idea that they may feel an obligation to help. Sometimes it's the physical presence of these men and their skills that I require. Ok, sometimes I just want them to stand by and watch/advise, while I'm getting in touch with my macho side...but if I screw up, my saviour is on site to put it right.

I'm getting off track. Laundry tubs. I stood in the hardware store staring at different tubs, measured up a couple I thought would be appropriate, but I still wasn't certain. What the hell did I know?? Sure, I could buy a tub, but would it be the right one? The taps had to be on that side, the cabinet door had to be facing this side and the tenant's washing machine hoses needed to have access to the taps without rendering the tub itself useless. Fuck me.

Years ago when I was looking for a new car, I remember Neil telling me to take a male with me when I went around the car yards. He suggested Jason at the time. Jason doesn't know anything about cars. But that wouldn't matter, says Neil, the salesman doesn't know that. Neil gave me a shitload of information about what to look for and how to 'play the game' when it came to the salesman...what to do, what not to do etc. It was all extremely helpful, and I was happy with my eventual purchase. (Incidentally, I took Anna with me, she knew more about cars than Jas.)

If I'm ever in a situation that's not typically 'female' (I know that leaves me wide open for sexism), I don't always like to let the other person know. I tend to go in with an attitude that shows I mean business and hopefully gives off an aura that I am confident I know what I'm doing. Obviously I've done some homework and picked brains beforehand. Knowledge is power and all that jazz. Whatever. Looks can be awfully deceiving, but if it means I get the desired outcome then well and good. The salesperson gets the sale, I get what I need without fussing and sales crap...happy dances all round.

This attitude can backfire. The helping man may not part with all the information you require. Sometimes your demeanor may give the impression you already know everything there is to know about the issue, and the helper can leave out a vital fact. This crucial tweak is sure to only be discovered by the helpee after embarking on their DIY journey, and noticing that things don't appear to be going to plan. Helpee goes back to helper, sad faces abound, no happy dancing to be seen, music not even playing.

Today I was upset for having to rely on others at times like this. I was angry at myself for not having the skills necessary to complete the job and not organising my time more effectively. Having to accept that left the strong taste of defeat in my mouth. I drove home looking through tears of frustration ready to spill. I thought about the downside of being a single parent and having to run the show alone...and obviously feeling very sorry for myself. Blah.

I stepped in the door to hear Ryan's innocent "How was your day Mum?", the dam burst and I sobbed on him for a few minutes while he held me. He verbally rubbed my back by talking about how good the new carpet looked and everything will get fixed this weekend etc...and my blubbering became mere sniffling. Bless him.

*Reads over above*

God, look at what the thought of doing laundry does to me.


If you've got this far then I thank you for reading my rambling today. I'm feeling slightly less frazzled now. To those that celebrate it...Happy Independence Day to you. Have a good one :)
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