My soccer-mom cream Subaru Outback station wagon's headlight was out. (This, and the second favorite forest green color, is the official car of the Bend School District. Or should be.) Neighbor X pointed this out and offered to help me change it. Since I am Independent Woman, I decided I would tackle it myself.
Remembering my mantra (one of them): "Girls can do anything," I drove to the auto parts store, had that momentary gut-flutter walking in the door (male-domination shopping anxiety), and strode purposefully over to the "Headlights" section. I had run through the lights in the parking lot to make sure I knew which one was out and had studied the manual, memorizing the part number before entering the testosterone zone. My goal was not to go up to the counter first and play the part of the helpless female asking for guidance from a patronizing clerk who gets to flex his superiority muscles. If you're a do-it-yourself female, you know what I'm talking about.
I found the part number easily, briefly negotiated the various brands and qualities of headlight, and grabbed the most techno-contempo package. Took it up to the counter where a very nice gentle biker-type helped me. I asked casually if this was something I could fix myself and added: "I'm pretty handy." He replied, "Well, if you're handy, it should be easy." We decided I should change out both at the same time as the brand I chose was "better than your stock bulb." (I need all the light I can get these days.) I paid and left, wondering if I actually was pretty handy, and sort of surprised I described myself that way.
Got home, mixed up a Bloody Mary for support (it's Sunday afternoon!) and studied the manual. Incomprehensible diagrams as usual. I popped the hood, fumbled around and figured it all out eventually. Changed out the bulbs and added anti-freeze for good measure. Checked that they worked, closed the hood and basked in that rush of pride, strength and satisfaction that comes whenever I accomplish a "guy's job."
Whoo hoo! I came back inside, turned on the Seahawks game and picked up my knitting, repeating under my breath: "I'm pretty handy," and feeling it.