Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Stubborn Feminist Relinquishes Control-The FLOOD

Growing up, I was told I could do anything a boy could do.  I was also told that I will go to college, and have my own career so that I would never have to rely on a man. Done. Even though they didn't realize it, my family raised me to be a strong feminist woman, and I am so thankful for that.

I like to think that I've lived my life like the independent woman my mom and grandmother wanted me to be.  And what's better is that even though I am now married, my spouse has never been threatened by my independence and always encourages me to do what I want.  He knows I can use a hammer or drill and that I can lift heavy objects, etc. He never talks down to me or minimizes my activist causes or professional decisions. Hell, I shoot guns and go fishing and he doesn't and is in no way emasculated by it. He was raised by a feminist woman--and it shows.

Unfortunately, this week I had to ignore my own desire to be independent and had to rely heavily on my hubby.

Hubby and I have been homeowners for a month and 9 days, but it feels like a lifetime--and not in a good way.  Two days ago, while the painters were at our home painting the house interior on the first level, our plumbing backed up.  This resulted in blueish-green water (from the painters rinsing their brushes in the kitchen sink) coming up through the basement showers and flooding over half of the basement.

Our basement is not a scary and dark place. It is open and bright and has had two carpeted guest rooms each with their own bathroom, an office with wood flooring, a tiled laundry room and a storage room.  The two bedrooms and the office were soaked with sewer water and we found out that the flooring and baseboards in those rooms had to be completely ripped out. Fun. So we had restoration people come in and do the dirty work of ripping out the flooring and they placed those huge industrial fans everywhere to help dry up the water. Oh--did I mention the bonus?! Our insurance doesn't cover flooding due to a sewer backup. We still had to wait on the plumbers but the good news was that the flooding had stopped and everything was getting dried up.

The next day while we were waiting for the plumbers to arrive to hydrojet the pipes, i noticed water near the steps leading to the basement.  I went down to investigate but the bathrooms were not the source this time.  We've had a ton of rain this past week, and water was coming into the storage room through the back basement door. Then the plumbers showed up. After doing some investigating, the found that our second sump pump was never connected to outside of the house SO it was pumping water back INTO OUR HOUSE! Total nightmare. Plus, the rain water was triple what the sewer water was.  Anyways, after hours with the plumbers and two days of stress our problems are now mostly fixed.

What I didn't realize was how labor-intensive this disaster would be. Trekking up and down the stairs, moving boxes, shelves, furniture, etc.  I realized early into the ordeal that because of my belly I just can't do what I used to physically.  Bending over to get something off the floor is hard, not to mention painful because of my back. I also get tired a lot quicker than I used to. This realization sucked.  It's not fair that my hubby has to do all of the back-breaking work to get this mess cleaned up!  Just because I have a vagina doesn't mean I am disabled! I can do anything he can do!

Well--I had to step over my pride and relinquish control.  I did as much as I could of the "small" things and hubby did the heavy lifting and took care of everything else. I made him a list of the things that needed to be done (his parents get in town today, so I wanted our main floor to at least look presentable) since I was too exhausted to do them. And you know what? It'll all be ok.  Yes, we are exhausted and yes, my pride is a little wounded but we are alive and well.

I guess the moral to the story is that even though I am physically limited right now because I am pregnant, it doesn't mean I am any less feminist.  I can STILL do anything a man can do and more--I get to bring a little person into this world! I just need to realize that it's ok to take it easy and focus on my own health. Thank goodness I've got an amazing feminist husband to back me up when I need him.


  1. Dearest Samantha, this sounds like the feminism that I've been searching for! Apart of being a great woman (or human being) is letting go and realizing that there is inherent wisdom in the funk, the funkiness of shit which we cannot control! Great work, lady. Sorry to hear about such a sudden surge of home owning sorrows. Hopefully the parents will be kind and ease your mind and feet a little bit. Love you sister!