She draws the line at garage duty

As any woman with the sense that the Good Lord gave a goat will tell you, there is no reason to take on a man’s chores. Helping out my husband, just one time, is the reason that I now have to mow the lawn; pump my own gas and sharpen knife blades.

It’s just not a good idea.

In fact, you show me a woman who knows how to tighten a screw, and I’ll show you a man who thinks she can build a house.

If I could turn back time, I would convince my husband that I have weak nails and that my manicurist said I should take it easy. Instead of “wowing’’ him with my ability to work a hammer early on in our marriage, I would have blushed when he asked me for a measurement and pretended to faint at the size of his air guns.

Yet, my husband still asks me to do man chores and for reasons we may never understand, I still find myself willing to oblige.

Take last week, for instance, when my beloved spouse called and said that he thought it would be a good idea if the boys cleaned the garage before he came home. Isn’t that nice? What he said was, "Have the kids clean the garage," and I think we all know full good and well that what he meant was, "Have the kids help YOU clean the garage and if you have any time left over, why not change the oil in the car?"

Now anybody who is anybody knows full good and well that cleaning the garage is a man’s job. It ranks right up there with tarring the roof and replacing the agitator on the washing machine.

As a woman of great independence, a woman who opens her own doors, files her own finger nails and who has been known to lean around more than one corner and shout, "You don’t own me!" I should have responded to his request with a simple, "I don’t think so."

Yet, why shouldn’t the kids have to help with chores about the abode? They’re young, they’re backs are strong and Lord knows they cause more than their share of filth. The next thing I knew, I was bargaining with them, talking the talk and walking the walk and making deals in hopes that they’d agree clean the garage and avoid disappointing dear old dad.

Things started out well enough. I even performed a quick demo with the push broom. I carried a box, dumped a bag and provided colorful commentary including, "This is so easy that I can’t believe it." But when I asked for a repeat demonstration, I turned around and realized that I was talking to an empty room.

When I found them, they were back inside eating chips and watching the tube. One kid claimed that he couldn’t help due to a sudden onset of stomach cramps, another one pretended to faint and the oldest claimed that he was on restrictive activities due to a golf injury.

Still, for reasons that I may never understand, I felt it was important to live up to the expectations that my husband laid out before me. Responsibility clouded my judgment and before I knew it, I was standing in the middle of the garage sporting chore boots and leather gloves when I should have turned on my heels and marched back into my climate controlled environment.

Yet, it wasn’t until I had taken four or five passes with the push broom that I came to my senses. I stopped dead in the dirt pile and took a moment to ponder the consequences of my actions. Was this not the same path that I took that landed me in a tool belt in a construction site? Is this not the same man who conned me into building retaining walls? The same man who once saw me with a calculator and quickly had me doing the taxes, and turned my ability to fill nail holes into a life sentence on wall repair?

I decided then and there that although I am many things, I am not a garage cleaner. No sir, backbreaking labor is what garage cleaning is. I came to terms with this revelation and not a moment too soon. I know, without a shadow of doubt that if I had completed this task AND done a good job, garage cleaning, would have forever been my job to do.

I’m just forever grateful that the revelation hit me before I was awarded full custody of the push broom.