Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hypocritical Housewife

I think we have a pretty old-fashioned marriage in many ways. I do 99 % of the cooking, maybe 85 % of the cleaning and 100% of laundry* in our relationship. I regularly treat my kids to cookies and milk (of course I hardly touch the things myself. Ha!) I consider the home my domain and recognize it as largely my responsibility to create the proper atmosphere here. I don't feel at all offended at the concept of a distinction between woman's work and man's work. As a matter of fact, I occasionally tell Greg to leave the woman's work to me (like when he's doing a bad job of something).
*I'm including the kid's help with hanging laundry and doing chores in my percentage

I love this. I've chosen it and I really love it. I spent all my early life wanting to be a wife and mother. Wanting to care for my husband and our children.

This is why I can never watch Father of the Bride without being a little baffled by Annie's reaction to the gift her fiance gives her. A blender!?! What kind of message is he trying to send!?! I've always thought, "I'm so the opposite of her. I would have loved to get a kitchen appliance and been thrilled to be able to use it to create delicious food for my dearly beloved husband."

But it only takes thinking back a little for me to see my hypocrisy.

It was only a few days before our wedding. We got out of the car at the grocery store and held hands. It was December and freezing so he put our hands in his coat pocket. I could feel that the lining was torn and commented on it.

"I know! In just a few days you can sew it up for me!" he said, with the most charming and affectionate smile.

Based on all my previous thoughts about homemaking and wifely responsibilities and the honor it would be to fulfill them, I should have been as delighted as he seemed to be a the thought. But I wasn't. Not at all.

For some unknown reason I had this sudden rush of horror that he expected me to be some domestic goddess, doing anything and everything he wanted me to; that suddenly our relationship was going to change dramatically from the moment we said the proverbial "I do". (or the less proverbial, "yes". Or was it "I will"? It's been awhile. Note to self: do sealings during temple trip this November)

I'm sure he was as surprised by my reaction as I was. (I didn't quite know what my deal was either). But we made it through that trial and still said our proverbial "I do"s.

After we were married I assured him that, though I lacked skill or practice, I was very happy to sew his pocket for him, despite the fact that I had seemed rather repulsed by the idea only a few days before.

Still, he chose to sew it himself. And from that time till now, Greg does probably 95% of all sewing for our family.

Which makes me wonder if Annie ever ended up using that blender after all, or if maybe he didn't do all the blending from there on out.
This post inspired by Melanie's post today.


Barbaloot said...

I always thought that part was so silly, too. But mostly cuz I didn't realize there were "spouse" gifts. You're getting married---why are you giving presents to each other?

I still don't get that.

gramalee said...

Maybe Annie would have been happy with a sewing machine or gardening tools. You never know. I totally sympathize with her response to the blender. (and "yes" = "I do") :D xo

L.T. Elliot said...

I have a few blender stories in my closet, too. ;) I don't mind the domestic things now but I think I had that same fear of relationships changing when we were first married. Now, we're cool. ;)

Erin said...

I am impressed that Greg sews. I know plenty of guys that do the cooking, but I have met few that do the sewing and mending. I knew one guy who knit a dress for his daughter and a different guy who knit a sweater for his wife. BTW Nathan always helps me fold laundry if we are watching a movie. You should definitely enlist Greg in that!

Carolyn V. said...

My husband asked what I wanted to our anniversary. I asked for a really good vacuum cleaner. Hee hee. I love being in charge of my home. =)

MelancholySmile said...

J and I decided early on that present giving was waaay too filled with proverbial landmines. We go on trips together instead. :)

Love the story.

Susan said...

There should always be something...plus, is there anything that you do that the husband would've been doing in the 50's? (for me that's mowing the lawn, taking out the trash etc.)

For me, it's more about the expectation. I was fine cutting up Tom's grapefruit for him in the morning. But at some point with infant, toddlers, etc., and all the breakfast hassel and getting kids out the door or some such time, when Tom mentioned he'd love some grapefruit I pretty much lost it and said he could dang well cut his own grapefruit. Ever since then (and after a loooong explanation that it wasn't cuz I hated cutting up his grapefruit, just the expectation than I and only I would do it) if he wants grapefruit he cuts it, and if I'm in the mood and think he might want some, then I'll offer to cut some up for him!

Too bad neither of us mends or sews. I always just put the article of clothing that needs mending in a Tremendous Pile, and wait for it to be too small or too outdated to be worth mending.

Kazzy said...

I love the homemakey stuff, but I rarely kick my hubs out of the kitchen when he feels the need to cook. :)

Alison Wonderland said...

I totally know what you're talking about here but I don't really have anything interesting to say about it. Sigh.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has had those special moments with my man.

Thank goodness for food readily on hand. And sewing kits.

AndyPandyJackaDandy said...

I am very impressed on the sewing front. I live in fear of sewing projects and my husband is completely oblivious that they exist. And yet I feel indignant when he wants to pay someone to hem his pants...

I never understood women wanting home goods for presents. Until a couple of years ago. I genuinely get excited about new appliances because they can be so life changing and FUN! :)

Anne said...

That is HILARIOUS! You're Greg is a funny one! You really DO need to do some sealings!

Kimberly said...

I have so many of the same feelings! But, I simply have no idea how to sew, so Neil does the sewing in our house too. All I can manage is buttons...and those always end up a bit crooked... =P