Today’s post is going to seem a bit strange…there’s no cooking involved, and in fact there is no recipe involved either. Come to think of it, the Relationship Advice part of my post is going to be intertwined within the post itself. Change is good – right?
You see, while making dinner last night (a beautiful piece of marinated and grilled fish), we ran out of propane for the grill. Of course, this didn’t happen while the grill was warming up, it happened when the fish was pretty much half cooked. The fish was then finished in a cast iron pan on the stove top and tasted delicious, but let’s just say it wasn’t very photogenic.
Now, I say ‘we’ ran out of propane but I really mean that Craig ran out of propane and didn’t have the usual backup tank (it was empty as well). Around here, we each have responsibilities and (yes, I’m going to throw Craig right under the bus here) Craig didn’t keep up with his. Oh I hear you screaming that I should take some responsibility here and that I am fully capable of getting propane…but you would be wrong, this is one of the roles he plays in our house – official propane getter/stocker.
Here’s where I roll in the….
I am all for equality of the sexes and gender roles schmender holes. I think the glass ceiling is bullshit, I think men can stay home and raise children as well as women can, I think everyone that does the same job should be paid equally and I think that regardless of the sex, if you’re being a asshole…you should be called an asshole (not hormonal) and women can enjoy casual sex as much as men do.
All that feminism talk being said, my marriage is so traditional it’s almost retro. (Retro is cool now – right?) No, I don’t walk around my house flawlessly made up and coiffed to the nines. And I’m certainly not performing my ‘wifely duties’ in a bullet bra, girdle and dress. Hell, most days I’m lucky to get out of my pajamas (working on the internet has its pluses and minuses). But Craig and I have carved out pretty traditional roles within our marriage…because it works for us.
When we were first married I was working for a Fortune 50 company, supposedly in their management training program (that’s what my former boss told me, probably to convince me that transferring locations every 18 months was completely logical), and going to grad school at night. I eventually left that company and joined one of the other 49 Fortune 50. I felt like we were living the dream and that we were both getting what we wanted out of life. But this career leap kept me on the road 90% of the time. I enjoyed the travel and getting away, but it wasn’t exactly an ideal situation for the marriage.
I left the corporate world and did marketing and internet consulting. I was definitely home more and this is where tradition started creeping in. Now that I was grounded (not living out of a plane and suitcase) I found myself cooking dinner every night and running household errands. I felt like I had set the woman’s movement back 50 years. But you know what? I didn’t really care and I realized that I didn’t set the movement back. Feminism is doing what you want to do and being happy with your choices.
I do the cooking, run errands, and occasionally clean (that is one thing that I despise doing and I don’t do it well). But Craig and I do blur some of the lines. He does the laundry. This is mostly due to his anal retentiveness, although I get angry when he waits to get a “full load” of dark clothes before he washes my favorite jeans or turns our unmentionables some weird color because he missed the bright blue shirt that somehow got in the load. I kill the bugs and do the gardening. He organizes the shelves and loads the dishwasher.
Just because it’s tradition or other people say how things should be doesn’t mean that’s the only way things can be done. It’s your relationship, your lines can be straight or crooked, crisp or blurred. Either way it’s yours – own it!