Sometimes I am such the “wife” in this relationship – End of the Day for June 10, 2014

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Gender roles have been getting more and more fleeting over the past several decades, but there are times when I still feel like the stereotypical, stay-at-hom, wife these days. While I may not dress in a nice pinafore, I do often find myself dressed in an apron and standing in the kitchen, driving the boy to school and home a host other tasks that used to be the realm of the wife in a relationship.

This leads to some interesting conversations in our household. Rosanne has been off on a business trip to Missouri for the last 3 days, but when I find she will also be gone all day tomorrow I can feel the beginnings of a pout on my face. I can imagine a lot of you laughing when you read that, but it is true, I assure you. I jealously guard my time in her busy schedule with the vigor of Laura Petrie or Samantha Stevens. (Check Wikipedia if you need more info on these references.) I find that she can be gone at work or other projects too much for my liking, while I work from home. After many years on the corporate trenches myself, I never really foresaw that happening in our lives.

Making fresh pasta with friends - 19

Pasta fatto a mano in casa (Pasta, homemade by hand)

Then there is Rosanne, of course. If we need to negotiate with someone, get redress from a company or solve most interpersonal issues outside the home, she is the “go-to” person. She has the strength to deal with recalcitrant companies, unmoving customer service reps and more. While she may not be able to lift as much weight as I can, due to her natural size, she is still always out there in the garden tossing around mulch, bales of straw, moving tables and more. She can be tough as proverbial nails when necessary and that is a good balance to my own softer, less confrontational ways. We would have missed out on a lot in our lives had she not had these great skills.

We still have some fairly standard gender roles, too. I am the chief animal trapper, spider remover, ladder climber and electrician in the house. She is great a laundry and cleaning — something I am woefully poor at. She makes a fine lasagna and banana bread and I can build basic structures, hammer nails, and re-pipe the kitchen or the garden irrigation, when necessary. Still, even with these, it still feels like we are a bit different from our friends, family and especially those relationships you might see on television. While we may be different, I don’t really feel uncomfortable in these roles. It can just feel odd when your own life is so different. You notice it more due to the contrast with the world around you.

That said, I love to cook and Rosanne loves teaching college. I love quiet nights at home and she enjoys rock concerts. I stick to the speed limit when driving (mostly) while Rosanne can be a bit of a speed demon on the roads. To each their own and more power to them, I say. Viva la difference. Even if you feel a little different that others, embrace it, enjoy it and make the most of it!


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