Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today I learned what mansplaining is

We are in the last week or so of packing up our house and belongings and getting ready to leave, and as we are divesting ourselves of stuff, we have posted a number of things on Craigslist. Yesterday we sold the Nissan Dan drove here with back in 2011, as well as the picnic table we had been using in lieu of a kitchen table. We have lots of random things up for sale, like you would expect when moving, including a pile of lumber that we got at a going-out-of-business auction in the spring.

It's basically scrap lumber, I don't know if there are any full pieces there, but there is a lot and it is in good shape and we decided to sell the whole lot of it for $50 - a reasonable deal.

I have had two inquiries so far - one fellow wanting to come look at it (and he did, though when he didn't show up at the time he said he would I called to find out he was late). He arrived in a suit driving a car, he's wanting it for his rental properties and pointed out to me what a 2x4 is. Are you kidding me?  Yes I know what a 2x4 is. I spent the summer/fall/winter of 2012 building forms, pouring concrete, and building a foundation for a house thankyouverymuch. Not to mention that I basically grew up with power tools - my parents owned a construction equipment rental company when I was growing up. I was swinging a hammer at age 5. I have probably used more power tools than Mr. Suit. Well, he couldn't decide, wanted to let me know tonight whether he would take it. I said I need to know sooner rather than later because we are moving and I have other people interested.

Enter guy number two. He emailed me last night to tell me he would take the whole lot. When I spoke to him today (at the point where I figured the first guy was a write-off) first he said he would call me back later (which he did) and then when he did call back he was asking how many complete 2x4s there are, and then explained to me what a 2x4 is. Good f***ing grief. As if by nature of being a woman I am somehow deaf to lumberspeak. It's scrap lumber, buddy, I don't know how many complete 2x4s there are, you will have to come see for yourself. But it's all been sitting outside since May and is definitely not going to be suitable for framing in a roof. Even I, a mere woman, know that.

The other issue is that of language. I'm pretty good with piecing together conversations with broken English - I have lived in Korea and Japan and among many people for whom English is their second language. But I tell you what - I cannot seem to grasp the Southern tongue. Whenever we outsiders from other places hear Southerners speak, we refer to it as them "speaking Southern" to each other. I can only grasp about 40% of what is being said, no joke. Sometimes it is the pronunciation that throws me, sometimes it's the jargon or local idioms, and sometimes it is the unexpected repetition. I have to work really hard at paying attention to grasp what is being said to me sometimes.

At any rate, I felt rather insulted at the whole 2x4 thing and decided to share it with y'all. (The other night at the restaurant: "Y'all's meals should be here soon" Why not just say "your"?) I aired my grievances about this on Twitter and had a couple of friends (@ohsweetie and @jellidonut) tell me this was "mansplaining". OH now I get it.

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