I've never been a girly-girl. I don't think anyone could ever accuse me of that. I played a lot of sports as a kid. I even stuck with soccer for 12 years. I don't often wear dresses. I don't usually wear makeup. I don't like bows in my hair. If given a choice between playing poker with my husband or watching a Meg Ryan movie with his friends' wives, I'd choose the former.
However, I know guys need their man-time. I get it. I know I'm not welcome at poker night, which is kind of cool because I don't really know how to play. Besides, they usually end up arguing over poker-related minutiae, which is a one-way ticket to Snoresville for me. I like hanging with the guys, but up to a point.
With the prospect of being Susie Homemaker for the next few months looming over my head, I'm chewing my nails a bit more than usual. It's so old-fashioned, so feminine, so not me. Plus, I like having a job. Not necessarily working, mind you, but making my own money. My parents taught me that I have to take care of myself because no one else is going to do it for me.
Now, I have to let my husband take care of me. That's an almost foreign concept for me. Let someone else pay for my stuff. Heck, it's not even my stuff any more. It's our stuff. Lunger will buy the stuff and I will cook it, clean it, and iron it. Weird. Just, weird.
I'm so used to being self-sufficient. I can easily entertain myself. I happily go to the movies by myself. I gladly eat in restaurants alone. What is it like to truly have someone with you, all the time?
I had roommates in college, but it's not quite the same, is it? Living with a spouse is a horse of a different color. I had another taste of it last weekend, when I visited my husband in Canada.
May 6th was his slava, or Saint George's Day. The celebration consists mostly of having a ton of friends over to eat a gargantuan amount of food. Cabbage rolls, roasted lamb, roasted pork, schnitzels (chicken and veal), mashed potatoes, potato salad, salad salad, cookies, cakes, soup, etc. and so on. There were just over 20 people there, so there weren't exactly enough seats. My husband and I served instead of sitting.
Growing up in my house, it was every man for himself. If we wanted something to eat or drink, we raided the fridge. If we had people over, the meal was served buffet-style.
This all leads to the concept of the woman as homemaker for me. Gender roles are more clearly, traditionally defined in my husband's family. I always thought I would hate a setup like this. As if this sort of partioned lifestyle was archaic and unequal. That's not really the case.
Housework is shared because Lunger's parents both have jobs outside the home. That's how it will be when I work, eventually. If I'm not working, I think it's only fair that I take care of the everday household maintenance. It's not something I'm used to doing, but that doesn't make it sexist.
Basically, what I'm getting at here is that I have to redefine myself again. This time, as a wife. That doesn't mean aprons, high heels, and hair-curlers. It means I have to think and act as a couple. I've been married for two years, but we haven't worked on the everyday living stuff because we've been in different countries.
After this weekend, I'm starting to see that I like filling some of those traditional feminine roles. I like serving guests. It makes me feel useful, like I'm taking care of people. And God knows, I like to do that. Just call me Miss Fix-It. Doing things for people is nice, even if you're just mixing them a Crown and Coke.
I see this new person emerging from the old, selfish, child-me. It's like I've said subconsciously to myself, "Ok it's your turn to be the grownup." That doesn't mean I'm not hip, though, darn it. I still like to listen to the White Stripes full blast while I clean things.
And I'll never give up my funky thrift store t-shirts and my Vans with the pink elephants on them, even when I do have kids. So there.