Although I’m a girly girl, I have many talents that would normally be associated with the more manly type. I can drive a 16-penny nail straight into a board with just a few hits, I know how to make a pilot hole before driving a screw home and I can run a miter saw like it’s my job.
Terrie, my sidekick here in our antique shop, calls this my Lawrence persona.
“You’re the only friend I have who’s like a dude,” she remarked one day as I was measuring a vintage board to repair a piece of furniture.
I told her she could scoff all she wanted and then finished it up with, “Girl, you know you’re just jealous.”
I must admit that I learned these skills firsthand from my dear and loving mother, who would never wait for her man to come home to hang a picture. With me at her side, Mom hung her own wallpaper, planted her own flowerbeds and taught me the finer side of laying carpet.
We also did a lot of heavy lifting, my dear mother and I. We revamped the kitchen, rearranged the living room, and oftentimes, when Dad came home from his trip, he would have to step back out of his home and check the address to make sure he was in the right house.
Even though my beloved spouse, Pat, and I coexist with our family of young men, it would seem they are nowhere to be found when the heavy lifting comes to pass.
They are always around with their buddies, shooting hoops along with the breeze, but you pull into the drive with a heavy antique cupboard and suddenly it’s as if I am the last man standing in a barren wasteland.
Therefore, I have been on the other end of a heavy piece on more than one occasion. I have helped to load nail bins onto trailers, a back bar onto a flatbed and have been known to moan as we hauled a solid pine teacher’s cabinet down a steep flight of stairs.
None of these things took their toll on me, mind you. In fact, I took it in stride right up until this past Wednesday. Was I lifting a solid oak icebox, you might ask? Was it a sturdy pine pie safe? Perhaps a bead board kitchen cupboard?
No sir, what did me in is when I bent over to pick up a dirty sock. There is no glory in that. In fact, I was halfway down to the floor before I realized that coming back up wasn’t going to be easy.
To the tune of “The Old Gray Mare, She Ain’t What She Used to Be,” I left the sock in its disheveled position on the floor and focused on something much more important — getting back into an upright position.
There has been no lifting for this old gal ever since. I have recruited my family of men to do the hauling, told Terrie she could play Lawrence for the week and left the picking up of socks to our darling lab puppy, Sadie.
This might sound like a slice of heaven to my girly girl side. Yet, I loathe needing assistance to haul in the groceries, I despise seeking out help to carry a copper boiler and it ain’t easy waiting for someone to get the heavy pots out of the dishwasher.
Thankfully enough, Terrie has developed a persona I like to call Terrance and we are putting her on the other end of every manly task that comes along.
It’s all working out quite nicely. Pat did the yard work last Sunday, the boys and their friends trimmed the bushes, and although she is reluctant to give them back, Sadie has been doing a stellar job of picking up the dirty socks.
I’m starting to think that now would be a good time to revamp the kitchen, rearrange the furniture and get some things done around the house. If they do it right, I might have to step back out of the house and read the address to make sure I’m in the right home.
Mom will be so proud.
Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.