ezekielsdaughter: (Default)
It was interesting to compare my various trips to the New Orleans home and Garden show to this year. There have been years when I left there fuming. This year, I had a few of the same patriarchal/couple centered problems but fewer. However I was confronted with the “ typical attitude” as soon as I walked through the door —before I entered the main hall.

In earlier years, I found that almost every vendor ignored me not because I was Black but because I did not have a husband in tow. Apparently husbands make all major decisions about home maintenance (insert sarcasm here); I don’t know. Certainly, I remember stopping at a water heater display years ago. I asked the vendor about his product and he pointed to a stack of papers and returned to the couple behind me. And there was the time I was lusting after a Murphy-bed-like ironing board– Definitely a feminine product, no? –but the vendor refused to talk to me until the guy I was dating happened to stroll up. Whereupon, The vendor went into full spiel mode.

One and a half year’s ago, I had some major renovation done. I talked to vendors at the home show, vetted them through Angie’s List and the BBB and had the work done. I am still paying on that home improvement loan so this year's visit was pure exploration. As soon as I walked in the door I was met with the old attitudes at the Home Depot display. I usually prefer Lowe’s because of Home Depot's ALEC connection, however, I stopped. Some of the items from my recent renovation came from Home Depot. Home Depot was spinning a wheel for gift cards and vacations. I handed them my card and the barker said thanks but offered no spin. Why, I asked, you don't allow single people to spin? No was the unapologetic reply— which explained why he was demanding to see each woman's husband. Now I am going to guess that the vacations were actually like a blind phone sales call that I once received. I received a call saying you won a cemetery plot. As soon as the caller learned that I was single he hung up. I am going to guess that the spousal plot was double the normal price. I would not want to win a similar deceptive vacation from Home Depot; I would have taken $100 gift certificate but apparently single – women – need not apply. I don't know if the barker asked single men about their wives.

Much of the rest of the show was okay. Most vendors seem to realize that women own homes and/or make major decisions. There are still a few that ask about your husband. There are still a few who don't see you at all .

The one other minor disappointment occurred when I slowed at a solar booth. The vendor offered to sell me panels. I explained that I have panels but I was stopping because the display mentioned a backup system. That’s the Tesla back up he said and not available yet (So why advertise it?). He started to explain the Tesla system and I stopped him and explained that I knew about the system and indeed wished that I had a Tesla roof. He told me that a Tesla roof would not be available in this area because it did not pass local hurricane standards. The roof would sail away, he said. It’'s only available in California. And I am thinking—what gives Elon Musk? You can make plans for tourists to orbit the Moon, but you can’t make a roof that withstands hurricane force winds?
ezekielsdaughter: (babyWriter)

I do wonder that I do not feel more sorry for myself.  Perhaps, I do.  Perhaps my dirty house is a sign of depression.  I think, however, it is more a sign that I am still behaving in a passive/aggressive manner against a mother who isn’t even here now. 

 

That has its own ironies.  My sister was the rebel.  She is now a mother of two and aggressively neat and more conservative than me.  I watch friends and newscasters (like Scott Simon) become parents and suddenly the status quo is sacred.  For them, this probably makes sense.  If the status quo is a spinning plate, you would not want the plate to shift while you try to raise children.   Meanwhile, I am out here contributing to the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Mother Jones magazine.  This spinning plate is killing you, I insist.  Let’s get another one.

 

Anyway, this morning, my back was killing me from Saturday’s bike ride.  Thankfully, nature’s endorphins kicked in and I managed to stay on the bike for ninety minutes.    A couple of hours ago, I jumped on the bike again to buy groceries.  The pannier that I bought is a lifesaver.  But its weight is not insignificant.  Just yesterday, I slowed down on a wet surface and the bike went over and I ended up on the ground.  You don’t want to have to stop when you have more weight on one side than the other.  Today I was wearing shorts.  I was not looking to have concrete skids from falling over. 

 

Not to worry, I made it there and back but again I notice bikes more now that I am biking everywhere.  And people who are old bikers notice me.  I was locking the bike up and saw a bike and its rider coming out of the grocery store.  He looks at me as I nervously lock up both the frame and the front tire and sniffs.  When I go inside, I see another bike is inside the entry and completely unlocked.  Good for them, but I can’t afford to lose my transportation.  I am indulgent when spending on books, but a miser every other day.  I still cringe at the new bike’s cost even though it has paid for itself many times over.  I could not have written 10 miles on the old bike. 

 

I should feel sorry for myself because there is so much that I am not able to do.  However, I have lost weight.  I find myself in the odd in-between phase where the old-old clothes still don’t fit, but the newer clothes don’t fit either.  I need to go shopping but it needs to be on a Saturday when I can take the bus.  I found out last week that I can go through the Harvey tunnel with the bike and get to the other side of the canal.  However, by the time that I got to the mall on Manhattan I was dripping wet with sweat.  Not in shopping condition at all.  Maybe next Saturday.   This past Friday was bike to lunch, come home and drop off leftovers.  Catch the bus with the bike and bike to the library to return a book—and pick up two more.  Catch the bus back.  Bike to Wal-Mart.  Bike to Baskins-Robbins (I deserved it).  Bike home.  Collapse on the cushion on the floor until I can get up and take a shower.   Saturday was catch the bus with the bike to downtown and bike to the Marigney to find Plan B.  Learn how to change a bike tire.  Bike back to the bus stop.  Collapse again.   And today, you have heard already. 

 

I should feel abandoned.  After the storm, I know people who did feel abandoned when others concentrated on bringing their own world back into order.  If I had been flooded, as some were, I don’t know if I could have mentally made it.  New Orleans is a city where families support each other and I have no family here.   Despite that, I’ve been lucky: neighbors have picked me up for meetings; I can afford to take a cab when I absolutely want to see a show in the city.  I just can’t make a habit of it.  Hopefully, by the fall this auto-free life will be over.  Then I have to see if I can keep the exercise up.  The Sunday morning rides have been fun even if they mean my back aches the next day.

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ezekielsdaughter

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