We’re in the construction business, which means every now and then there is a lull, which means Mark has down time and is home with me. It’s lovely for the first day or two and then something shifts. I call it “Vagina versus Penis” time.
I’m sure Eckhart Tolle would say it’s simply our egos–our false selves– and pain bodies, but I have to admit, I often wonder if a penis and vagina actually take on lives of their own.
It started innocently enough. Mark decided he would go out and start building the foundation for the chicken coop while I showered. I love how skilled Mark is in his line of work and I appreciate how physically strong the man is too. I know he knows more than I do about construction, and I know he knows I know more than he does about cooking and baking. I also know neither one of us knows much about building a chicken coop.
As I exited my shower, dried my hair, applied some makeup and sunscreen, something hit me! I remembered during my research of chicken coop building that many people had set their foundation with cinder blocks. Realizing Mark hadn’t picked up concrete blocks I raced out to tell him we needed to stop and run to the shop for concrete blocks. As I started to exit the back door I stopped myself and remembered how Mark had reacted when I made a suggestion about the raised garden bed–let’s just say it was a four hour event. You see, I know Mark doesn’t “appreciate” my input in construction projects and I knew I had to tread carefully on this one. I walked out with a big smile and complimented the work he had done so far. It really was quite impressive…I guess.
Me: Hey Mark, you know, I just remembered that many of the material lists I’ve read online include placing the foundation on blocks.
Mark: Well, I’m using treated wood, so I don’t need the blocks.
Me: Oh, well, why do you suppose the lists I read call for the blocks?
Mark: I don’t know, but we don’t need them.
Me: Oh well, I am just wondering, why do you suppose they use them?
Mark: Because they’re farmers and probably have them lying around.
Me: Hmmm. I wonder if it has something to do with lifting it off the ground so water damage from rain can’t leak in?
Mark: Water won’t leak in this coop.
Me: (starting to get a little tired of this now) Oh, really? How do you know that?
Mark: It just won’t.
Me: (starting to lose it) What about rats? You don’t even know why they use the blocks and I’m thinking there might be a good reason for it and you won’t even research it.
Mark: (Starting to lose it now) What do you want me to do , Anita? How do you want the coop built?
Me: (pretty pissed off) I want it with cinder blocks on the bottom. At least I would like to find out if we need them or don’t need them.
Mark: Fine, we need to stop everything and go buy cinder blocks.
Me: (completely in ego now) Why stop everything? Just go on and build it the way you want to and ignore me and the 200 other chicken farmers I’ve read about who DO use cinder blocks because you know everything and I don’t have a penis, so I’m a complete idiot!
At this point, I stomp off in my pink slippers and go back inside the house to stew.
When I’m trying to center myself I do things like cook or bake. I immediately threw a chicken in the oven to roast and started a quick soak on a pot of pinto beans. When I was centered again, I went back outside to tell Mark that I have no idea why people use the cinder blocks and that I’ll just let him decide what to do with the coop himself. He said he had thought about it and decided it was a good idea for a few reasons and that he would go get the blocks.
We hugged, and I turned to go check my beans, but as I turned, I noticed the markers I set posting 30 feet from property lines (legally our coop has to be 30 feet from all property lines) had been moved. I asked Mark if the coop was actually 30 feet from the fence?
Mark: Yeah, it’s about 30 feet.
Me: About 30 feet? Is it 30 feet or not?
Mark: I don’t know, I don’t really think the neighbors will care.
Me: I think the law cares, and you don’t know if the neighbors will care.
Mark: It’s 30 feet.
Me: Let’s measure it.
Mark angrily and grabs a tape measure and starts to measure the distance while stomping his feet, kicking lumber, and snapping his tape measure like a mad man, and the whole scene escalates again.
Me: See? It’s not 30 feet!
Mark: The neighbor won’t care.
Me: Mark, they can make us tear down the coop and get rid of the chickens if it isn’t 30 feet.
Mark: Nobody will know, and I don’t give a shit what the neighbors do.
Me: (completely beyond ego with full blown pain body rising up like a demon and changing my voice to that of the girl from the Exorcist) You are such a damned know-it-all! I’ve had it! Just because I don’t have a penis doesn’t make me an idiot! I don’t want the chickens anymore–this is too much stress. I have to spend more time kid gloving your ego than it would take to build the fucking coop by myself!
Mark: God, you don’t have to freak out.
Me: I quit! I give up! Do whatever you want. I hate the chickens!
I went back into the house, placed the beans in the crock pot. Centered myself again, and after about 30 minutes went out to invite Mark in for some lunch.
I passed him the platter.
Me: Would you like some more?
Mark: Yes, thank you. Oh, I went ahead and measured the 30 feet from both sides and I staked them. Sorry I was being such a jerk. You’re right, we don’t need to go through all this work again or draw trouble from the neighbors. At least this way it’s all legal.
Me: Would you like a cookie?
Mark: Yes, thank you. Uhm, do you still hate the chickens?
Me: No, I love the chickens.
Mark: Do you hate me?
Me: Just a little bit.