Month Five

Dear Husband,
I’m not quite sure how it happened but I seem to have permanently taken over the daily chores of making the lunches, washing up the dishes and ensuring that all the clothes are clean. Without a word those tasks seem to have transferred squarely to me. No more it seems are we the two independent people who largely looked after themselves together. Now I’m the one that gets asked do we have anything to eat? Have I got any clean underwear? Can I wear this shirt with these pants? What should I pack…well lets see…have you looked in the fridge? Have you looked in the drawer? Have you looked in the mirror? Have you looked at yourself recently and realised that you are suddenly unable to make decisions that weren’t that hard 6 months ago?? Just curious…A couple of weeks back, you jokingly told me that my job as a wife was to “put away, put up and put out”. Maybe there was more to that than I thought? I must admit that I have pushed back a bit on some of the clothes issues though. I will wash and I still fold but I don’t know squat about men’s fashion and you really are big enough to make the decisions about what you want to pack when you go away. You are not 3 and I am not your mother.
Now I’m not saying that this is a totally unfair situation. That I seem to be the one that now does the lions share of washing in the house and the making sure that there is enough food to be had when required that is. You actually cook a lot more than I do which suits me just fine. Well apart from the needing to use every pot and pan in the place occasionally and the somewhat haphazard approach to the culinary offerings that emerge from our kitchen. I am my mother’s daughter I guess but when in the kitchen, I have a few simple rules of thumb:
· When I cook something I’ve never cooked before, I read the recipe first and if theres a reference I don’t understand, I figure it out. When the recipe asks that you “cream” a couple of ingredients together I assume that theres a reason they didn’t use the words “add”, “mix” or “stir”. They’re not exactly a substitute.
· When greasing equipment that is going to go into the oven, I don’t stick my hand into the butter, especially unwashed, and then proceed to coat as required. I use that butter for my sandwiches man!
· Not so much on the cooking but still on the general hygiene in the kitchen, if I have used a tea towel to wipe down a dirty bench, I don’t hang it back up again to be used when wiping clean dishes – the washing machine is a much better place for it.
· I find another helpful thing to do when cooking is to figure out what ingredients I have in my possession before I start cooking and realise that I might be missing a pretty major ingredient. Substituting mid stride is a pain in the butt. I’ll admit that it does not necessitate that the result will taste awful but just because sugar and fat cover a multitude of sins (except on your waistline) this does not mean it’s always a good idea.
· I also feel that if you go to the trouble of buying specific items in your kitchen to fit a certain purpose, then you may as well use them for that purpose. Like say a “mixing” bowl for when you want to “mix” things. Doesn’t seem all that complicated really. You criticise me for using steel wool on the cutlery because it leaves unnecessary scratches but its fine for you to use electric beaters on the container that belongs to the kitchen scales? Like that doesn’t leave a mark at all? I’m just saying…
So occasionally it seems that we could each do with a little more personal space than the kitchen currently affords or indeed that maybe we afford each other. A familiar refrain it seems. I believe it is a valid point that I can’t kill you with my bare hands if I can’t actually reach you. I also think it might be fair to say that I wouldn’t actually want to kill you with my bare hands sometimes if I had a little more personal down time. This is not precisely to do with having or not having company but if I leave the room, you often want to know what I’m doing. If I’m in the same room, you frequently want to be doing something with me (if not to me). Apparently the stuff that you do on your own is only done when I’ve basically told you to go and find something with which to occupy yourself.
I’d say here that I imagine this is what having children is like but I’m pretty sure all my friends who are mothers would each scoff heartily and sound like they’re having a coughing fit but perhaps the illustration might help you understand the level of frustration I have found in having to continually explain myself and remain constantly available in my own home. Sometimes I really like being an antisocial entity that makes inroads into the moulding of the couch whilst being lost in a book or engrossed in audio visual stimulation. I actually enjoy sitting through seven seasons of The West Wing and not moving or talking (obviously here I do not mean the entire seven series in one sitting because that would take just shy of a full week with no sleep!). And since I don’t have to remain emotionally available 24/7 to ensure that you grow up as a nourished and stable human being, I consider it as a personal gift from you to me when I can still remain just a little bit selfish at least a small part of the time whilst I’m at home.
As such, we have now come to the agreement or arrangement that if you meet me halfway and allow me at least an hour or so of personal space each night (so I can do things that bore you) then I will come the other half and make sure I reserve time when you can have my undivided attention. This whole business is very much still a work in progress however so who knows if it will work but at least we’re trying to work it out right?
Until next time,
Your loving wife