Thursday, May 5, 2011

Masculinity

I do a lot of things that only "chicks" are supposed to do. As a result, I get razzed in hyper-testosterone environments and endure the occasional tampon reference. I suppose there's something primal about the ancient and primitive shame of menstruation, so I try not to take it personally.

And I've come to realize that I've really been showing my slip on this blog. Been posting a lot of soft stuff. Like poetry. I know that typically only 16 year old girls post poetry on their blog. I am well aware. Although I mostly just publish Larry's poetry now. He's kind of a pansy too.

Anyways. I just think we should acknowledge the fact that we still have these assumptions and prejudices about masculine/feminine roles. And in a marriage you must deal with this.

Over the years, my wife and I have noticed that we don't neatly fit into gender roles that are sometimes still expected of us (especially in the conservative Christian world). Our view (I really did ask my wife about this and she signed off on it) is that a marriage is a partnership where certain responsibilities must be fulfilled, and often it doesn't matter if it's the chick or the dude.

Ways in which my wife is more like a man and I am more like a woman:

1. I usually wash the dishes and she usually takes out the trash.

2. I will sometimes eat pizza and tostadas with a fork. She always eats them with her hands.

3. I like to talk through problems ad nauseum. She is prone to shutting off all communication. Silent treatment.

4. I am much more likely to take a long bath.

5. If something needs fixed around the house, she is much more eager to fix it, and more capable. Unless it requires brute force. I have the brute force.

6. She is able to let our nine month old cry in her crib for 5 minutes. The self-soothing thing. I must be held by the collar while my feet churn in place to keep me from going into our daughter's room and picking her up.

7. She donates blood and I don't because I hate needles. The one time I donated was when we were dating, and I did it to impress her. Then I passed out.

8. When my wife was pregnant, she managed to avoid getting hemorrhoids, which women sometimes develop during pregnancy and delivery. I on the other hand managed to develop hemorrhoids myself. I know that's gross. I'm not supposed to blog about hemorrhoids. You cringe every time your eyes run over that word, hearing your inner voice say "hemorrhoids". But I'm all about getting our imperfections out in the open, and I will wear you down by the sheer number of times I type hemorrhoids in this paragraph. Because I'm doing you a favor. There's actually a good chance that you, yes you, sometime in your life will get hemorrhoids. And you will be embarrassed about it and will probably wait for a long long time before even bringing it up with your doctor, letting it get way worse than it needed to be. So I'm drawing back the curtain and exposing the real or maybe just metaphorical hemorrhoids we all must face ("the hemorrhoids of the soul"), keeping it from becoming 10 feet tall, like the giant Adenoids in Gravity's Rainbow:

Sub-sub's chalk drawing of an Adenoids Monster, sparing you the image of a Hemorrhoids Monster, which, come to think of it, would look very similar.

So fear not. Drink lots of water. Eat lots of fiber. Take lots of standing breaks at your desk job. And if hemorrhoids show up anyway, don't hide it. Shine a light on your hemorrhoids and it will go away.

9. She is a better cook and I am a better baker. Katie will look at our refrigerator and cupboards and throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, sprinkling some spices, and end up with a tasty dish. But if I don't have a recipe with precise measurements to work with, it really ruffles my apron.

Of course there are many, many ways in which I am like a man (which I am) and she is not. Those obviously don't need to be detailed because they are the assumptions we all have about male and female roles. But as a for-instance: I am in charge of the killing and dispensing of rodents in the house. Now before you go judging me, you should know that I tried the live-traps and they just didn't work. And when the pests are on the larger side of the rodentia family (or order--whatever), it's hard to be patient and not kill the suckers. My conscience is somewhat clear though. I refuse to use poisons that would compromise the toxic free sanctity of our home. I use a crossbow.  

3 comments:

whatyoudream said...

Blogger is missing a "Like" button. I don't have anything to say about this post, I just like it.

TheUnderToad said...

I swear to God, two nights ago, John said to me after a fight, "Don't take this the wrong way honey, because it is meant to be a compliment. In many ways, I feel like I married Dog. What I hate most about you I hated most about him. But there was a reason he was my best friend in college..." He went on with some gushy we "make him a better person" crap that I started to fall asleep during. Anyway. This post surprised me not at all.

Sub-sub-librarian said...

The levels of revelation here, and the possibilities for psychoanalytic type diagnoses, boggles the mind (a phrase my father used to say a lot, "it boggles my mind"--other phrases I somewhat fondly remember him saying while I was growing up: "it's like talking to a brick wall" and "dollars to donuts").

And there is no doubt that my friends make me a better person. I'm tempted to quote the Beatles. But I've never done that before and now's not the time to start.