I’m a pretty considerate spouse and mother. I look for ways to be helpful, or to make life a little easier for those around me. I make sure my husband’s special coffee thermos is clean before he heads off to work. I refill supplies of everything my family wants or needs: shampoo, toilet paper, snacks, seltzer. I make home cooked meals most nights. I leave nice notes. I sing them out of bed each morning when they sleep through an alarm (sing, YELL, don’t get caught up in semantics)! I fill the ice cube trays and make the coffee. I enjoy taking care of my family.
I know what you’re thinking: “YOU ARE AMAZING, and living with you must be MAGICAL.” And that is accurate. However, I do have a few shortcomings. (Whaaaat?) I’ve come to realize that if my husband had these same shortcomings, it would be absolutely unacceptable. Like UNH-UH. Not-cool. Dick-move-unacceptable.
They’re called double standards, people– and I’ve found their silver lining.
ONE: HAIR IN THE DRAIN
Apparently, I’ve been inadvertently knitting a hair scarf for the bathroom drain. In my defense, I didn’t know! (Twirling hair meets valley girl accent.) I’m as blind as a bat, and often shower before putting in my contacts. After my husband kindly brought the issue to my attention, I popped on my spectacles and examined the drain. To my horror, I saw very clearly that we had a HAIRY situation! My. Bad. Totally not cool.
NUMBER TWO: PLUNGE THE TOILET (See what I did there?)
I realize there is no need to entrench ourselves in the bowels of such a private matter. I’ll flush out the confusion right away– if I’m the one who ‘did the deed,’ ‘dropped the kids off at the pool,’ ‘backed one out,’ or ‘dropped it like it’s hot,’ then I will care for my own clog. (I felt my ratings plunge there!)
The issue is the kids. I don’t know if I’m going to have to start sprinkling Colon Blow in their cereal, but something unruly is happening in the bathroom when kids have to go. Not just my kids– ALL KIDS. Their friends do it too. There is no explanation for the ungodly redwood logs that kids can produce and leave festering in the toilet without so much as considering a courtesy flush. (We knew someone who used to do this in college on purpose! I wonder why he never found his forever love?)
Aaaaanyway. When the kids leave a log and cause a clog–I play dumb and write my blog. I slap a sign on the door and hope Dad isn’t on the late train.
THREE: OVERRIDE HIS PARENTING
Let’s face it. Tony Danza doesn’t live here. Who’s the Boss? I am.
I am the parent who lives and breathes the day to day of this family–and unlike (most) men, my radar for moods, tudes, sickness, sneakiness, and sass can detect the direction the day is going in. I know the ins and outs of that ‘wonky eye’ that tells me she’s too tired for another sleepover (even though her mouth is telling me she’s not). I know that “I’ll shower tomorrow morning” is BS because he’s a twelve-year-old boy (who never follows through on any shower promises). And I know that my husband is a great dad, who really knows his kids, and is perfectly capable of making good parenting decisions. I also know that I can occasionally pull the mom card, when I know better.
I’m going to follow Oprah’s lead here and ask that you spare me your letters of disapproval. I limit my overrides whenever possible.
FOUR: GUSHING OVER GORGEOUS GUYS LIKE GOSLING
I speak very liberally about celebrity men I’d like to bone. You should be all caught up on my feelings for Ryan Gosling, and also what his shirtless body does to me. But there are more. Ryan Reynolds. Chris Martin. George Michael. George Clooney. Tom Brady (before I was clued in on his friendship with the Donald). Brad Pitt back in the day. Tom Cruise (what was I thinking?). The guy from Lion. I’m blushing just thinking about them.
But my guy doesn’t talk about women like I talk about men…at least not in front of me. I’M GLAD– I wouldn’t be okay with it. I know he’s had subtle female celebrity crushes over the years, and that’s sweet. But if he said some of the things I say about Ryan Gosling, or Chris Martin (pounding up and down on his piano chair, wailing his love songs to me)… I’d be crushed! (Crushed by his adoration for someone else…not Chris Martin, silly.)
FIVE: ANYTHING SCARY OR LABORIOUS
Bug in the house? Him.
Smell gas? Send him.
Possible break in? Honey, go have a look.
Three feet of snow? He’ll shovel.
Basement floods? His fix.
Car breaks down. Him.
Toilet? See number 2 (baha!)
And so much more.
I don’t know who this post says more about, my husband or myself. Of this I’m certain: I’m lucky to have him. He’s wildly lucky to have me, too–Guess who handles things like dog poop, homework, and head lice?