My blogging buddy Terry posted recently on some of her new homeschooling escapades–she’s new to the homeschooling world–and part of what she’s doing is educating herself. She writes:
I’ve been learning some things too and I’m pretty excited about it since they’re things I never envisioned myself learning to do. I changed the oil in our Suburban this past weekend. If that doesn’t impress, I also changed the brakes! If my husband hadn’t hurt his wrist recently, I probably never would’ve taken the time to learn how to do such a thing, but I’m glad I did. The older I get, the more I appreciate how important it is for women as well as men to be well-rounded and equipped to handle whatever the task at hand may be, rather than tagging every chore as “men’s work” or “women’s work.” We saved our family some of the money my husband works hard to earn with my willingness to step outside my comfort zone and do what needed to be done. Now that I’m done bragging on my awesome womanliness….
(I don’t know why I left an incomplete sentence in there (the rest of the sentence isn’t relevant for my purposes here), but I just like it. 🙂
So here are my true confessions: I’m scared to check the oil, let alone change it. Air machines, where you fill up tires, scare me, too. I can’t figure out how to do it without getting dirty. And what if I put too much in? What if I can’t figure out when it’s actually full? I don’t actually think I know how to lift the trunk on my car. I just travel with CAA Plus (the equivalent of AAA), and a cell phone.
My husband has showed me how to check the air on my tires countless times, but I still can’t do it.
We have a tent trailer that we use to go camping with, and about four years ago a friend and I decided to go camping without the men, who needed to work. Do you think we could get that stupid dining tent up? My friend Susan is much less wimpy than I am, but even there we had major trouble. Her husband showed up and got the thing erected in three minutes flat.
Now, it’s not that I’m a princess. I’m really not. I don’t mind hard work. I like to exercise. My nails aren’t done. It’s just that figuring out how to put things together or how to make things work scares me.
I’m not proud of it. I felt horrible that week that we were camping and we couldn’t seem to fix stuff. You’re helpless. And I’ve realized that if something happened to Keith, I’d have to quit camping. I’ve tried to have him teach me how to put the thing up before, but I just don’t seem to have the strength or coordination. I’m even scared to drive the van when it’s pulling the trailer!
So I’m very proud of Terry for changing the oil and stepping outside of her comfort zone! I totally believe that women should know how to do these things. I just don’t want me to be next. You all can go next. I’ll continue to wait on the sidelines.
I’m not like this in other areas of my life. For instance, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and dangerous to not know anything about the family’s finances. All women need to know how much money the family has, what the net worth is, where the insurance is (and what you have insurance for), how much coverage you have, where your investments are, etc., even if you’re not the one to look after them. I’ve known women who were left by their husbands who were swindled out of tons of money because they didn’t know they had it.
I’ve known others who had their husbands suddenly fall ill who didn’t know how to look after any of the bills.
I’m good at all that stuff. I used to take care of it (Keith took over about three years ago), but I could step in again if I had to.
I just still can’t top up the air in the tires. Or change the oil. Or change a tire.
Does that make me a bad person?
What are you scared of learning how to do?