This morning I set up a new wireless network for Gracie Rosmansion. My Internet had been acting funky and after protracted wrangling with Time Warner Spectrum Whatever, it became apparent my router had punked out for good. Setting up a new one is the easiest thing in the world, but I confess I still felt a nutty sense of accomplishment. It wasn’t until middle age that I became a woman who did home repair and solved her own tech problems. Before then, I am sorry to say I developed a mysterious case of the vapors whenever it came to anything I deemed “boyfriend tasks.” Even now, these endeavors scare me. What if I fuck up? What if I get stuck mid-task? Then it hits me that the difference between how most men and most women were raised has little to do with mechanical training and everything to do with learned helplessness. It’s not in the guy code to roll over and play dead. For better or worse, anyone walking this world as male (trans or cis) is expected never to take no for an answer. While this basically explains date rape and stalking culture, it also explains how problems are solved. Which is to say: you keep gnashing your teeth until you figure it out. Since this lightbulb first popped over my head (of course as I was fixing a complicated light fixture in my high ceiling), I’ve gotten much savvier about sorting things out in my home. Once in a while, I hit a wall I can’t topple–installing air conditioners proves too much for my bad back–but asking for help, a skill only those gendered as female are usually taught, is honorable when other options do not exist. God knows it’s still how I find my suitors. (Note to self: work on this next.) Postscript: After I posted this, every ceiling light fixture in my house blew out, a favorite lamp stopped working, a glass wall clock shattered. The universe hates it when we boast.