Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Dad Vanity

We’ve been having some issues with air conditioning at home – it never shuts off – so we called the repair guy to come and take a look. He asked me when the last time was that I changed the filter in the furnace. Honestly, I had no idea, but I couldn’t admit that to the repair guy, so I muttered something noncommittal and changed the subject. After he left, I changed the filter.

Why? Why?

Why couldn’t I just slap my forehead and tell the truth?

Dad Vanity strikes again.

I try not to let Dad Vanity influence too much of our day-to-day life, and it’s usually not that bad – I’ve never been a car snob; my athletic goals for the kids involve participation, rather than stardom; we have one television, and it’s not large. (Though I’ve pined from afar for years now, we still don’t have TiVo.) I mow the lawn often enough to prevent complaints from the neighbors, and spread the evil weedkiller maybe twice a year, but that’s all.

And yet, when asked point-blank by the repair guy, I couldn’t fess up. Just couldn’t do it.

As a recovering nerd, there are some Dad skills I just never picked up. Some of them I don’t mind, but there’s always that lingering guilt about not knowing how to fix something, or what to look for when something breaks, or forgetting some routine maintenance task. My father-in-law knows all of these things, and is more than willing to help, but asking is always a little bit painful.

Deconstructing gender roles is all well and good, but there’s just something about being asked point-blank by the repair guy…

"(Though I’ve pined from afar for years now, we still don’t have TiVo.)"

Stop waiting, you should get the TiVo right now, today. You won't be sorry. What's more, you should buy the lifetime subscription to the TiVo information--sure, it costs a little more upfront, but it feels so great after you pass the "break even" point.
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