Tuesday, March 20, 2007

how many housewives to change a lightbulb?

Two days ago I changed a light bulb.

[Five days of silence, and that's all you've got to say... you changed a light bulb?]

Ordinarily I wouldn't consider this a big deal, but it's the first one I've changed since I got married. I wasn't even sure I could remember how to do it. I was just a little concerned I might fall off the bed as I balanced and stretched towards the dangling socket.

It had to be changed. Prolonged summer evenings stretching through until bedtime are gone, and where last month I hardly needed a light, now I stumble in the dark, muttering 'drat' every time I flick the switch with no result.

I kept hoping Frank would do the deed... our division of labour falls mostly along gender lines and it seemed a manly thing to do, changing the light bulb.

And then I caught myself.

Changing the light bulb is a manly thing to do?
What... women don't change light bulbs?
You've travelled the world alone, lugging heavy bags from one side of the globe to the other. You've looked after yourself for 31 years, but now you won't change a light bulb?

What has happened to you Cecily? What have you become? A housewife?!?

Somewhere along the way my independent singleness has slipped off my shoulders, shed like an old reptilian skin, discarded on the ground, stepped over, moved away from.

When did this happen?

I don't know. It snuck up on me, little bit by little bit. Slowly, slowly I've given up independence and discovered the art of interdependence. I'm not standing alone, I'm standing with someone. Walking together. Sharing the load. Supporting another. Being supported.

[Forget the art of independence... refusing to change a light bulb is dependency through and through!]

It was only a light bulb, but that little bulb turned a light on for me! I'm making progress in the art of weaving my life with another's. Not consumed, but strengthened by the oneness. I don't have to fight fiercely for my survival.

It's OK to need my husband. A little. (Just not so much I can't change a light bulb!)



At 4:59 pm, March 22, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

Thanks for sharing your lightbulb moment ;) I was going to fiercely resist the stereotypical roles but then Paul dealt with a cockroach for me.......and I realised that there are some jobs that while I CAN do them, I'd rather not, thanks all the same. Hooray for husbands!


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