The Origin Story of FIX IT MAN!

I spent a good part of New Year’s Day hunched over with my hands hurting.

The dishwasher had ground itself to a halt the night before, and the plethora of dirty dishes was keeping us from making a nice breakfast on New Year’s Day. Obviously, it was time for me to jump into a phone booth, rip off my glasses, and become FIX-IT MAN!

I thought that maybe there was just something obvious jammed in there; it’d be easy to just take a few covers off and see the problem.

Four hours, a lack of a star-headed screwdriver (note: substituting a regular screwdriver is a pain), and repeated false hope that it was fixed later, I was frustrated to tears. I was supposed to be able to fix it, dammit. That was my *job*.

“Honey,” my wife said, “I didn’t think dishwasher repair was on your resume.”

I’m still not sure where the expectation that I could fix it came from – or worse, the feeling that I was *responsible* for fixing it. My lack of ability with hardware is pretty well known. Who do I pin this feeling on?

Sure, it’s easy to say “the patriarchy” or “society” – but what does that mean in a concrete kind of way? When did I get this impression? Who told me I was supposed to be this way, dammit? (And no, “my dad” isn’t the right answer either…)

It’s left me with an uncomfortable feeling – it’s another place where parts of my brain are conspiring against what I consciously know to be true. It’s programming that was (is, really) running in the background, set in motion by a user I never authorized.

(sudo patriarchy -b)

Knowing that it is there, that it is running in the background will give me a small chance to counteract it in real time. Disarming and disabling it is going to be longer and harder – but it will be worth it.

In the meantime, I tried one more time to fix the dishwasher, and finally succeeded. Though there seems to be a part “left over”…