Saturday, April 12, 2008

Toilets, triathlons and tutus

I did it! I did it! Thursday evening I rode my bike to work. It’s not far, probably four or five miles. And I need to get in shape for July’s sprint triathlon. The biking portion will be the most difficult leg for me. So what better place to start than by biking to work.

My initial ride did not come without challenges. The first of which proved simple - removing my bike from the hook in the garage. No sweat. This biking stuff is E-Z! Then I discovered the tires were flat. Really flat. I found a bike pump (note to self - thank hubbie for cleaning garage) but couldn’t figure it out. I thought I might have to give up and try again another day. But I persevered and low and behold - the tires magically filled. Not only did they fill but they held air. Hooray!

Next I searched for my bike helmet. Other helmets were hanging on their respective bikes. Mine was not present. That’s when I remembered the labradork and his helmet fetish. For those who are not aware - young labradors will chew, no, annihilate, helmets of any variety, ski, skate, bike, army - whatever. Only the dork was older now and his fetish had long passed. Wooo boy - it had been a quite a while since I’d ridden my bike. I tried on my daughter’s helmet - too small. I tried on my hubbie’s helmet - too big. But my son’s skating helmet? Just right.

I tied my right pant leg down with a piece of string and off to work I went (hi ho, hi ho).

Cars steered clear. No one wanted to hit a “special person” on her bike. It only took me twenty minutes to get to my destination.


The next morning I rode home. The air was clear and crisp. The mountains were glorious sno-capped beauties standing guard over our village (okay so it’s really more of a town but village sounds wonderfully quaint). The morning was cool but not too cool. And I was the only person on my bicycle. Clearly I was “special.”


The weather has been spectacular the past couple of days - warm and sunny. This climatic shift coupled with exercise dramatically improved my spirits. As a result I am full of ambition and yesterday made a snap decision to sew my girls tutus. Only I don’t sew. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with sewing. I just don’t know how to do it. I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve sewn since 7th grade home economics. But I decided nonetheless to make tutus - no pattern necessary. And off I went to the fabric store. I bought 10 yards of tulle, 10 yards of ribbon and thread. You can see the results above. The second tutu turned out much better than the first (proof that I can learn from my mistakes). But, the real beauty of it is that my four-year-old loves her tutu, the first one sewn, blunders and all.

After buying fabric I hit the hardware store (you know - the one that has depot in its name). I needed to buy a toilet repair kit. Now, before I tell you the rest of this story you need a bit of background.

In many ways my hubbie and I have a standard relationship. I, obviously, am the woman and he the man. But we don’t always adhere to conventional stereotypes. I, for one, don’t care for shoe shopping. The hub loves it. And, the hub will stop and ask for directions in a heartbeat (yes, really!): “Hey look! There’s a 90 -year-old foreigner who speaks no English and has ginormous hearing aids. Let’s stop and ask him for help!”

Me - I hate to ask directions. The same applies in a store; I’d rather wander from here to eternity rather than procure assistance. Why? I don’t know. It’s just the way I am. But, yesterday, in the interest of time, I approached a depot employee and asked for the toilet repair aisle. He replied politely, “Two rows over on the left.” Great, that wasn’t bad. Only he wasn’t finished.

He proceeded to ask if I’d like him to walk over there with me. “No,” I said, “I think I can find it, thanks.”

“Okay,” he replied with a strong upward intonation: translation - women and indoor plumbing are mutually exclusive.

I found the aisle without incident. I also found the needed repair kit and had it in my cart when another male employee came sliding around the corner. He also asked if I needed help. I said, "No, thank you," and walked away. He turned and immediately left the aisle. I had the distinct impression he was sent specifically to see if I needed help.

They must’ve sent out an APB, over the intercom in a deep manly voice, a voice so low that women can not hear its timber: “Attention all units, attention all units! Unmanned woman in plumbing aisle. I repeat unmanned woman in plumbing aisle! She is considered unknowledgeable and dangerous. I repeat unknowledgeable and dangerous! Must lure back to garden department ASAP.”

As I wanted to buy flowers I went directly to the garden department after my plumbing adventure. I could just see them, those men, in the break room, all high fives and slapping asses, maybe some towels snaps too. “Way to go Larry! Way to herd that woman back to her place. The flush valves are once again safe and order has been restored! Long live men and plumbing. ” And truth-be-told I’d rather not join their crew as I prefer my butt crack inside my pants. But, hey, that’s just me.


The toilet repair kit is sitting in my kitchen, superseded by tutus. I’ll let you know how the installation goes.


Honorary Indian said...

HOORAY for bike riding! HOORAY for the triathlon! Do it, sister girlfriend. DO IT!

I'm here to cheer for ya.

Bridge said...

enchanting girls!
just do it mama!

Marcie said...

Love this image of the girls in their home-made tutus. It's almost timeless in its ethereal quality.
Happy triatholon training!!!!

mermaid musings said...

your pictures are great!!!
Specifically, the clothing hanging and this with the little girls playing.
Great gift!!!
Nice to meet you talented you!!!

jennifer said...

LOVE the pic. who says you can't sew?

OK, you're making me nervous with this triathalon talk what with your heart and all but I support you because I love you...

LOL, love the description of who "hub" might ask for directions.. too funny!

Blogging Molly said...

you are funny, you "special" bike commuter/diy plumber. and you take amazing photos of girls in tutus.

Joy! said...

"unmanned woman in plumbing aisle"--hee!
Loved this story! Me and my hubs both.