“Women’s work” ~ it’s pretty dang cool!

To: The So Yesterday Defender of the Patriarchy

“It’s raining cats and dogs” here – we’ve gotten an inch of rain in about the last 12 hours and the forecast calls for more and heavier rain through the night. There are flash flooding and landslide warnings for the low lands of Western Washington and the mountains are supposed to get many feet of snow. Before I move on and tell you what we did with this very rainy day, I will share that the origins of the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” is unclear but that it might stem from the Greek phrase “cata doxa,” meaning “contrary to experience or belief” and thus when it’s raining unbelievably hard (or much) it can be said to be “it’s raining cata doxa” (if you want to get fancy). The expression is really pretty silly, both because of the rather sick image it conjures and because all the cats and dogs I’ve ever known don’t like being out in heavy rain, with the dogs often willing to turn themselves into pretzels to keep from having to go outside when it’s nasty out.

My only excursion out of the house today was to drag little dog out for his evening walk so that he didn’t have to pretzel himself. Otherwise it was a hunker indoors sort of day, which I rather liked.

Yesterday was our 32nd anniversary and to celebrate we helped the economy a little bit and bought a new comforter to replace our quite worn bed cover. Mostly it was an excursion over to Bellevue (out of town!) and to Macy’s curbside pick-up in the mall garage over there. Super exciting anniversary outing! Anyway, the shell of this comforter is really pretty, matches our sheets well, and looked super cozy – emphasis on past tense “looked.” It was so damn hot under that thing I couldn’t sleep – at all. Much of the night I lay there half too cold (the part where I’d managed to remove the comforter) and half too hot (obviously, the part still under the comforter), fantasizing about unzipping the shell and pulling the duvet out.

Well, turns out there was no zipper and the batting was tacked into the cover in about 30 (40?) places with two inches of stitching and caught in the seam at the lower edge. So, I got out my handy seam ripper and spent most of the morning deconstructing the thing, putting it back together, and feeling grateful that I know how to do stuff like this.

There were so many years when I toggled between embarrassed and secretly proud of my uber-feminine talents (I got made fun of quite a bit since what self-respecting lesbian does these kinds of things?). Lately, though, I’ve been feeling more like it’s ok to be good at stuff that’s traditionally categorized as “women’s work” and not see it as something that’s less than or not as cool as stuff men and boys are generally expected to do and be good at. I do still push against the idea that women and girls are supposed to know how to do this stuff or that men and boys aren’t supposed to want to do it, but dang it, it’s kind of cool to know one’s way around a sewing machine or how to knit or darn or whatever. Plus, it should be much easier to sleep tonight with all that dang polyester batting out of the way. 🙂

May we be safe to be who we are and to do what we’re drawn to.
May we be happy putting our own spin on things.
May we cultivate our strengths, whether gender consistent or not (or both or neither).
May we accept ourselves.

Tracy Simpson

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