Earlier I wrote… erhm… photoed about… a baking tradition connected to winter.
This time it is all about spring.
Recently I read a column in a local news paper about fixing a flat tyre on the bike. It provoked me. The perspective was that of a man who looked upon his family and realized that his sons could fix it but his grown up daughters couldn’t. Or wouldn’t, anyway. He was surprised that they had all grown up straight into the stereotypes. How had he raised them differently? Though he was happy to spend time with his bicycle.
It provoked me.
It provoked me and here is why:
I am masculine. And I am feminine. I fit into so many stereotypes that I can’t keep track. I am nerdy (you could never guess). I understand my way around technology; modern and old fashioned. (I can download open source software and learn how to use it. I know what a tryer plane is for.)
I bake. I drive spring plants on the kitchen window pane. I love shopping.
I solve the Melody crossword.
I studied Physics and Fine Art.
In short: I know how to fix a bike tyre.
Only I don’t do it.
Last year I don’t think I touched my bike even once.
My brother does enough biking for both of us.
I know how to do it. My dad taught me. A zillion tmes.
Actually a great portion of my childhood dad-memories involves a bike turned upside down in the yard. I didn’t think of it as being taught. I helped him out. Oiling the chain, checking that the wheels are straight, [vränga] the tyre off the rim if it leaks. Put the tube under water to find where it bubbles. (That’s the best part!) Rubber patches. (I have vague memories of there being sandpaper and glue involved so I guess I didn’t get to help with those…)
The endless pumping.
And the final check of the valve rubber. No bubbles. Success. Done.
I know how to do it. I take pride in knowing how to do it. Partly in spite and partly to check that I really do know, I got my bike out for its spring check-up.
It held its air nicely. So I got to prove nothing. (I can remove dust – yeahy!)
That little non-expecting column got to me. I don’t really know what was there to prove. I just know that I tried but didn’t succeed in proving anything. And my reaction is so typical – someone says how boys and girls are or are supposed to be and I just have to prove them wrong.
I am that easy to manipulate.
And that is what provokes me.
And then I realize. I don’t fix my bike beacuse I am much more comfortable in taking the tram. Anyday.