Next time I feel like running away, pour me a drink, would you?
My battles with Mister and Girlfriend are so typical, and I know that, I just forgot to mention that yesterday. For me though, it’s not that Mister’s an insensitive douchewad (although he can be at times. As we all can), it’s that he’s a guy.
Here’s what I think happens to us, all of us.
We live in an interesting time where we are trying to re-define some gender roles that our parents began to re-define when we were little kids.
Here we women are, no longer so much relegated to the kitchen and responsible for 100% of all the household duties and childcare. We are educated. We have goals that belong only to us and have nothing to do with our husbands and children. Many of us have to work outside the home because surviving on only one income is impossible.
We owe our mother’s generation a heartfelt “thanks mom” for standing up and saying “FUCK. THIS.” And they went on strike (I remember the day my mother did it. We were beside ourselves. We thought she was crazy.) and they said “it shouldn’t have to be like this.” And they made it so.
As girls, this became a part of our idea of what it would be like when we grew up and had families. We know we shouldn’t have to do it all. The problem is, our husbands and partners grew up watching their dads come home from work, crack open a beer and dig into a lovely dinner our mothers prepared (while grumbling and popping pills or drinking wine or sometimes smashing dishes and locking themselves in their rooms and crying).
Our mothers have helped re-define motherhood and womanhood, while at the same time showing us how to pull off our traditional roles, the guys haven’t had that experience. They’re lost. They find themselves in a sea of roles that they have to learn for themselves. They are burdened with having to figure out how to be husbands and fathers in a whole new way to a whole new generation of women who expect equal partnership.
There are growing pains. There are resentments. There is jackassery.
I always try to remember to say “thank you” when Mister does the laundry or the dishes or changes a diaper. I want to encourage such behavior because he is doing his part, but if I don’t leave Mister a list of what needs to be done, he plays video games because he assumes everything is under control even though the sink is full of dishes and the floors are gross and there’s piles of laundry. He’s just not tuned into that stuff. He simply doesn’t see it because he’s not programmed to think it’s his job. We recently had a fight about that. I went to Target with Homeslice so he could get stuff done without her being in the way, and when I came home, he was playing Zelda in the basement and the chores were untouched. I asked him why he wasted that time and he was incredulous. He said I needed to “take responsibility” for it because I didn’t give him a list of stuff to do. I thought it was pretty obvious what needed doing, but he just didn’t see it.
OR! That’s just an excuse to be a shit ass and Bill Cosby was totally right about men being smart because they screw up household chores purposely so they won’t be asked again.
I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt on that and just say they’re clueless and we need to teach them how to sniff out a shitty diaper and how to see a pile of laundry.
I don’t know.
Maybe I’ve just had too much academia crammed up my ass, but I want to believe that men want to be equal partners in all things domestic and that they don’t want to be married to overburdened, exhausted, frigid, shrews.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they’re all shitbags.
I don’t think my husband is purposely being a dick. We just have to learn how to share the responsibility equally instead of the house being primarily my responsibility and him “helping out.”
I also need a full-time j-o-b so I actually have ground to stand on here…
This is like, way too huge an issue to deal with in a single blog post, but there it is.