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I Flushed My Feminist Side Down the Toilet

Disposal breakages and toilet stoppages are the types of problems I used to save for my husband. Call me sexist or prissy or whatever you like, but certain things, like taking out the trash and fixing household shit, fall under the category of "guy chores" in my book. Now that I'm a single mom I apparently have to figure those "dude" problems out on my own.


Last week when I was doing the dishes, I started hearing a disturbing grinding noise every time I tried to run the disposal, Hrrrrrnnnnnn, Hrrrrrnnnnnn, Hrrrrrnnnnnn. You can imagine the expletives that flew out of my mouth.

Inner Monologue: Ok, Mare, you can do this. Between Google & YouTube, you can figure this out. You got this.

I hopped over the computer and typed "how to fix a garbage disposal" and voila, a crap ton of How To videos popped up.

Side note: Thank God for YouTube tutorials, otherwise how would I know important things like how to wear a scarf or make heart designs on my nails?

First thing I needed, according to Mr. YouTube Handyman Fix-It Guy, was a wrench. Some special wrench with a name I don't remember now. I can sing every word to most Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and recite entire John Hughes' movies, but I do not know my wrenches.

Inner Monologue: Where am I going to find a whothefuckknows wrench?

I made it a point to turn the disposal drama into a "teachable moment" and reminded (my girls) that we can do whatever we set our mind to.

Ah, the junk drawer. I think I saw one in there a few years ago when I was digging for those round sticky things that go on the bottom of rugs so they don't slide.

And there it was! Under the coupons and sticky notes and half-used tubes of Aquaphor, boom, a whothefuckknows wrench.

I jimmied and I wrenched and I toggled. A few times over. Still nothing.

Back to the video (via a quick trip to the fridge to refill my wine—wine is a must in handyman type situations, right? Or would beer have been better?).

I watched the vid a few more times and then assumed my "say-no-to-crack" plumber position.

After a few magical mechanical moments, I tried the disposal, and it worked!

My girls and I high-fived each other and did a happy dance. I made up a celebratory jingle that went something like, "Aw yeah, that's right, mom's the bomb, mom's the bomb," because the term "bomb" is still totally cool.

I made it a point to turn the disposal drama into a "teachable moment" and reminded them that we can do whatever we set our mind to. I felt proud of myself for figuring it out on my own and took it as a sign that I was going to be OK with whatever comes my way. But I was also pissed that I chipped my nail polish. Just kidding. I get gel nails, they never chip.

Two days later, my 8-year-old was flushing the toilet and I heard her say, "Uh oh, mom." And I thought, Oh shit. Literally.

Back to YouTube I went with plunger in hand.

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After unwillingly fixing the porcelain pot, I did another happy dance to the tune of "I Am Woman." (Hear me roar.)

Then, I flushed my feminism down the toilet and Googled the name of a handyman. Preferably his name is Mike and he lives on Wisteria Lane.

Image via Flickr, Steve Baker

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