Dava Krause is an Identity Staff Writer, but a comedian first. She has dedicated her time to provide Identity readers with some laughter in their lives. We don’t always have to be serious, so unwind with a laugh from time to time with Dava and Identity.
My husband and I recently bought a house. It’s the size of a shoebox and has no running water – but it’s ours. Okay, it has running water. And we love it. But after all the paperwork was done and we had gone through the hell of moving, I began to have a bizarre urge that I did not appreciate.
I wanted to decorate.
(Insert organ playing a loud minor chord here)
Oh God, No! I tried shoving it down. Home Depot became my personal nudie bar.
I would take the long drive home to go in the store and walk the aisles of temptation. Tile and glassware and hardware, oh my! I’d crouch in a corner and mumble to myself, “That kitchen isn’t real, Dava. Nobody in real life has that kitchen. You can stare all you want at that marble, but the counter top does not match sink.” When I got home I’d lie to my husband and say there was traffic. I’d stash design catalogues in my nightstand like “Playgirls.” I’d spent afternoons on the Internet creepily looking at Instyle Décor and then delete my browser history like I had been looking at porn.
I was ashamed.
Decorating, in my mind, was totally in the “stereotypical women” category for me. And if you read my last article you know that those are things that don’t generally interest me and in fact are things I tend to avoid on principle even if I did have a slight interest in them.
Then something clicked in my head. I thought, “If I do it all by myself, especially the hard labor that you’d expect a man to do, then I’ve cancelled out the woman stuff with the man stuff and I could feel good about that.”
Cut to me crying on the bathroom floor under a fallen, broken glass shelf, starring at the large holes I made in what used to be a perfectly acceptable solid wall. It was like a bad episode of the “The Cosby Family.”
And that’s when my husband walked in.
I was caught. Pants down. Not exactly the finished re-modeled bathroom I wanted him to come home and see. I broke down and confessed it all.
And once again I faced the heart of the matter. How do I identify as a woman? What does “being a woman” mean? Does it mean I posses a specific set of characteristics? If I posses them, does that make me a stereotype? What if I don’t posses them? Does that make me manly? I don’t have a solid answer. So for now I’ll just say: I am woman. Hear me roar. See me decorate.