Mmmm. . . tainted tap water

So I’ve talked to a few realtors, and today I had the great big Measure Things And Sit Down And Talk About It meeting with the person who I’ll probably have list the house next year. I like him. I get a friendly, honest, capable vibe off of him. And really, how many realtors can you say that about? (Now twenty people will be enraged in the comments. “I’m a realtor! My father is a realtor! We are good people!”)

Also: Vibe? Is that how I’m deciding these things? Well, I examined his aura and deemed him appropriate. That’s true, if by aura I actually mean the various awards he’s won. Bottom line, he seems pretty good at this whole house-selling thing, and Lord knows I’m not. (“Would you like to buy my house? It has walls! Also floors! You should give me many dollars!”)

It was very interesting for me to see what items he deemed as absolute must-address items, and what things I’d been worried about that didn’t bother him at all. For example: There has never been sorrier shrubbery than that which currently leans into the front of my house, both spindly and overgrown all at once. It’s pitiful. Does this realtor care? No! “Just trim them back a little,” he said. Okay. Great! On the other hand, he has issues with my dryer vent hose. Which is hiding in the corner of the basement. Hiding with malice and evil intent, apparently. That’s why he makes the big bucks; I see a dryer vent hose, he sees Trouble.

Also, we started out at the kitchen table, and I fetched a glass of water for the realtor because I am hospitable like that, and then later on, in the basement, I was informed that that thing that I don’t know what it is, which hangs from the ceiling, houses a water filter. A water filter that should be changed on a regular basis.

“Really? That’s funny. I’ve lived here for nearly seven years and I’ve NEVER changed it! I didn’t even know it was there!” He gaped at me. “And, um, that was tap water I gave you earlier. Was it delicious?” He looked a little green.

I drink that water all the time. But, um, I guess I’ll put changing the filter on the To Do list.

[Who likes lists? Otto likes lists! Otto will be here soon, and he can make lists to his heart’s content. And then—in addition to spending the holidays together, and visiting family—we can do those critically important pre-marriage activities, like going for premarital counseling with my pastor, and painting together. Because if you can’t get through painting together? You shouldn’t get married. It was my critical error, marrying my ex before we’d engaged in any home repair together. Lesson learned.]

My contractor stopped by with my shower door, too. I’d picked it out yesterday along with 180 pounds of tile (yes, really) for the bathroom floor, but after putting said 180 pounds of tile into my car I decided that I would let him go pick up the shower door for me. Just as well, because it comes in a box the size of Delaware. Now all of those supplies are sitting in my mudroom, because I am classy like that.

In other—completely unrelated—news, I read an excellent post a few days ago about gender bias and how bad and wrong and damaging it is, and I remember nodding along and thinking, “Yes, wow, good points.”

Then I promptly spent most of today thinking all of the “harmful,” biased thoughts the post in question railed against.

I have no excuse, save for these two illustrations of why I might find myself, at the end of the day, thinking that, Yes, Virginia, boys and girls really ARE different:

Incident 1
I am at the grocery store, in a hurry, and I zip into the express lane and then start counting the items in my cart to make sure I’m not over. (It was a 12 or under lane, and it turned out I had 13 items. I hate me. Do not tell.) After my tally, I looked up to see the woman ahead of me in line buying a single roll of toilet paper, and a bag of fat-free pretzels.

I think to myself: Well, she probably needed toilet paper, and didn’t want to buy JUST THAT, so she grabbed a bag of pretzels. Okay.

Then I glance behind me and see that the customer following me is a man pushing a cart that contains only a quart of milk and a case of beer.

I think to myself: I bet he doesn’t have any food in his fridge besides ketchup.

Incident 2
It was raining when the kids got home from school today, and they came inside, shucked coats and shoes and backpacks, and then greeted me. Chickadee said, “My pants are all wet.”

She meant she’d gotten wet in the rain, of course.

I responded, “Ewww, you really shouldn’t wet your pants, you know.” And then I giggled a little. Just in case it wasn’t clear that I was being a bratty 10-year-old.

Chickadee screeched, “THAT’S NOT FUNNY!” and stomped upstairs. STOMPED. Because of my terrible transgression.

Monkey—having observed all of this—jumped in front of me and said, “My pants are all wet, too!”

I responded, “You too?? Sheesh, stop wetting your pants.”

Monkey screeched, “AHAHAHAHAHA I PEED MY PANTS! PSSSSSSS! PSSSSSSS!” and laughed and laughed while dancing around my legs, pretending to pee on me.

I dunno. Maybe boys and girls are exactly the same. This could all just be a warp in MY brain. From the tap water.


  1. Muirnait

    Heh. Monkey seems like a non-stop source of entertainment. And Chickie too, just in a more…sensitive way?

  2. Allanna

    Monkey has totally made my night. I heart your son.

    I also feel for Chickadee. Poor girl. My heart goes out to her.

    But you and Monkey had me laughing out loud. Now I have to read this to my husband. ^_^

  3. Cele

    It is never a dull moment in your house Mir. Wow, how on God’s green earth are you suppose to know about a water filter? And what’s up with the dryer hose? It works right?

  4. carrien

    They are different, they just are. I have one of each and I haven’t done anything different in my approach to them, they just are, fundamentally, at their very core. I say stop fighting against the differences and embrace them, capitalize on them, enjoy them, make them into strengths and use them in complimentary ways.

  5. Lady M

    Selling and buying houses, lalalala, I don’t hear you! We probably have to move to a larger place in the next year or so, and I can’t bear to think about the effort it’s going to take.

    And from yesterday’s post? Rosa Parks, so funny!

  6. Lena

    I cannot BELIEVE you’re actually interviewing realtors. You probably go to the dentist regularly as well, don’t you Mir?

    I pretty much pulled off a flyer stuck to the bottom of my shoe and listed with the lucky guy.

  7. Judy

    Mir, I love your posts. I love your kids. I can’t wait for you to get to Georgia so we possibly have a chance to hook up.

    I taught little ones for YEARS before I quit to stay home and work on my writing full-time and you can tell the difference between boys and girls from the time they are really small. And, anyone who tells you differently has never been around children! Yes, there are some things that are learned.. but there are a lot of innate differences as well.

  8. Brigitte

    Ha, “vibes”! I still use that one myself, since I can’t figure out how else to describe the fact that I immediately like some (OK, a very few) people, and others piss me off before they’ve even done or said anything, and others give me that skeeved-out feel for no apparent reason – it’s gotta be the vibes, right? By the way, you are SO groovy!

  9. Juliness

    Isn’t it always just a little embarrassing when a realtor walks you through YOUR OWN HOME and calls your attention to a myriad of “unliveable” details? I detest that part of moving.

    And as for “Just as well, because it comes in a box the size of Delaware.” That made me laugh, because you know, we ARE The Small Wonder.

  10. tori

    I think kids in general are all different but not necessarily based on what gender they are. My one daughter would have responed just like yours. My other daughter would have responded like Monkey.

    Last night I went to the grocery store on my way home from the gym and bought 4 cases of pop (or soda, depending on where you are from), 3 gallons of ice cream, some coffee creamer, and a four pack of energy drinks. What would you infer from my purchases? I know I sure cracked myself up.

  11. Katie

    I infer that Tori is from the Midwest! (I say “pop” and I grew up in Indiana, people now make fun of me in Maryland.)

    180lbs of tile? My arms ache just thinking about that.

  12. Nancy

    Who likes lists? Otto likes lists!

    GAH! It’s just like the WonderPets!

    What’s going to work? TEAMWORK!

  13. Woman with Kids

    I think it’s less gender and more based on the kid. Boy 1? Would have reacted exactly like Chickadee, because, moooooommmm, that’s not funny. Boy 2? Would have danced.

    (and, if it helps, I didn’t realize I needed to replace the filter on my refrigerator’s water thingy until the water actually stopped coming out… Oops.)

  14. Randi

    Water filter?! Does that count when you have a well and not city water?! Now I must ask the husband, who must research, and then spend approx. 3.4 days trying to FIX said water filter, even if it isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be changed.

    Thanks Mir…

  15. Karen Rani

    Gosh I wish we lived closer. Your kids are a riot. I wonder where they get that from?

  16. Bob

    I wonder if Otto is prepared to lay 180 lbs of tile during his holiday vacation? And put up a shower door? That would definately be at the top of my vacation plans. WooHoo.

  17. Jessica

    About the dryer hose? I totally know why that bothered the (potential) realtor. Haven’t you ever seen an old Star Trek episode? When a dryer hose drops out of the ceiling, the extra in the red shirt is without a doubt going to bite the big one.

    As far as painting goes, I totally agree that you should engage in home repair with your intended before embarking on marriage. If you can survive a weekend (week…month….year..s) of home improvement, you can survive just about anything.

    Good luck!

  18. Kendra

    Wonderpets! I had to comment simply because of Nancy’s comment! I may be the only adult who gets a huge kick out of the Wonderpets (I have a 4 year old and 2 year old)–“What is driftwood?” “It’s wood…that drifts”…those animals crack me up!

    Those are the ramblings of a tired woman…my apologies!

  19. Elleoz

    Wow! I really have been gone along time. You are getting married to Otto?! When did this happen. YIPEE!! Congrats! Are you moving to Georgia?

  20. Stephanie

    Tori, in the south, we call all flavored carbonated beverages ‘coke.’ I have even been asked in the drive-thru, “What flavor coke would you like with your combo?” I may say I’m going to the store to get some cokes and come back with a case of pepsi. Just another thing you’ll have to get used to when you get down here, Mir.

  21. IWantToBeLikeMir

    Well as for gender biased thoughts…we were at a one year old’s birthday party this weekend and I little 7 year old boy clutching a DISCO BARBIE tried to explain to his mother that he didn’t want the PINK wrapped candy bag because PINK is too GIRLIE!!! I just love kids sometimes!

  22. Kay t

    painting is one test, but PAPERING together is a true test of team work and should be required before marriage.

  23. Elena

    heh, I read the same BlogHer post. The first few sentences,anyway, I don’t have too much patience with the righteous rants of the right–grew up with that, heard enough of thundering “AND THIS IS THE WAY YE SHALL GO” to last me a lifetime. Should we make statements based on gender, race, biology or what-have-you? Of course not. DO we? Absolutely. Is there room in our society for girls to play with dump trucks and men to wear tutus? Yes. Maybe not as much as we’d like, but it does exist.
    Also, when you are raising a boy and a girl, like Monkey and Chickadee, or my Zac and Bookey, and you see all the sexist stereotypes being played out, you see where the heck those came from! Years and decades of motherly experience!
    _____bows, steps down from soapbox to extended applause_____

  24. Meritt

    Ahhh… you said ‘wet pants’ to a 10 year old. You crazy crazy woman, you.

  25. Christina

    The wonderpets are beloved by my husband and children; me, I just want to gouge out my eyes when I find the songs running through my head.

  26. Kira

    Sheesh…what a girl.

  27. Susan

    Wade and I drove cross-country together, in a car with no A/C and no cd or tape player, when we were engaged. The fact that we didn’t kill each other somewhere in Texas convinced me that yes, we really SHOULD get married.

    Nothing that has happened to us since has ever equalled that hell, mostly because we’ve always made sure we have air conditioning. And good music. The end.

  28. Ruth

    I grew up in a house full of girls, and now I have a house full of boys. The difference in how a group of girls will relate compared to a group of boys is my convincing proof of gender differences. A lightly monitored group of boys degenerates into running and wrestling and sound effects. A lightly monitored group of girls degenerates into an organized prissy club or clubs, with escalating criteria for approval. I realized this with astonishment, as I did not believe in significant gender differences when I started my family. And I thought I was failing them miserably until some wiser, more experienced women let me pick their brains a bit. On the other hand, I love the colorful variety in people, and I think differences should be load-bearing supports, not ceilings.

  29. dorothy

    Since I only have a girl, I’ll just keep my mouth shut. But I suspect that both you and Badgermama are right.

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