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Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Response to Misogyny

This is not related to the house, but rather I need to get your opinion. I need to figure out an appropriate response to men who address me as “Sweetheart.”

I am neither referring to the man who is married to me nor the men to whom I am related. But rather, complete strangers who see me and think it’s acceptable to address me as if we were familiar.

Today, while taking a 1986 F-250 formerly dark green now green/brown/rust beater truck to the emissions testing place for work, one of the technicians addressed me as “Sweetie.” Taking the district’s lightweight vehicles for their annual emissions test has recently become one of my tasks. As such, I’ve become familiar to the folks at the facility and it’s become my garage away from the garage. They’ve hired on some new techs, one of whom thought my name was “Sweetie.” Turns out, New Tech couldn’t test the truck because he couldn’t read the VIN. Never mind that it was visible on the door pillar and under the hood. It was too dirty on the dash plate so he sent me away with a form explaining why he couldn’t do it. Not, however, before he had his manager sign off on the sheet.

His manager, like me, is one of those weird lady mechanics. I casually noted that she had new staff and then added that maybe New Tech should refrain in future from addressing their female customers as “Sweetie.” She took heed and I went on my way.

I’m glad that I could directly and effectively address this particular situation but unfortunately it’s not the first time I’ve felt belittled and insulted when strangers use familiar terms with me. It happened when I worked the library. It has happened at the garage, although not with any of my immediate co-workers. Occasionally some of the vendors who do business with us and who can see my name clearly written on my uniform have done so as well.

In Georgia, I was willing to overlook it because of the fact that everyone is “Darlin’. ” Since I no longer live in the South I won’t accept that as an explanation. I refuse to dismiss it based on the man in question’s age. Being over 80 is the only age bracket where I can see people having different opinions based on their generational exposure. Since none of the people who have put me in this situation are octogenarians then these working professionals should know better.

I’m considering using one of the following terms as a verbal riposte:

  • beefcake
  • bro or broskie
  • shnookums

Do tell. What should be my new word?


Project list for 2012

I said this over on the Skills blog but I’ll say it again here.

I’m not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because I’d feel bad about deviating from my resolve. And really let’s be honest here. We’re quite good about beating up on ourselves without adding extra cannon fodder aren’t we?

I used to make them. You can flip through my old journals and at the first of every new year I make a series of resolutions that I usually failed to keep. My most popular resolution from year to year was almost always “write more.” But without guidelines that’s an empty statement.

Sometime after college, probably while in Georgia, I stopped even writing down my resolutions. I tried the day zero project for several months where I set out to do 101 things in 1,001 days. But those don’t count as New Year’s resolutions because I started it in the fall of 2007 and had a definite deadline.

I think that’s the rub though. The deadline. That’s why NaNoWriMo works so well. You have to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Period. There’s no wiggle room when the goal and the rules of the game are both so clear.

So even though I’m not going to set down a series of personal resolutions, I would at least to take a moment to draft the Jade House’s tentative project list for 2012. We might not get everything done and that’s okay. We stressed enough about the house last year. Now we’ll just let the projects happen as they happen.
Things to do for the Jade House:

  • fix/remodel the upstairs bathrooms
  • make it so that the sinks don’t leak
  • hang pictures
  • attempt a to grow things outdoors
  • get the garage cleared out
  • replace/repair the garage door
  • replace the front and back doors
  • finish painting
  • declutter…yeah…we haven’t been here a year yet and already I feel like we’re accumulating clutter
  • unpack all boxes

No worries. Right?