22 February 2011

Division of Labor (originally posted 18 January 2011 on Tumblr)

My husband had a few things to say about the formatting of this blog. Certainly it is a work in progress. Certainly his input is welcome and I thank him for reading. But the implication in his comments was that he could have done better, would have done better had I had the wisdom to enlist his help. There was accusation in the undercurrent of what I thought should have been a moment of encouragement, applause for having finally gotten around to one of the things we had discussed on so many occasions but never sat down to set up. 

I am not a computer person. As a result, I leave certain things up to him. Plugging in the TiVo, for example, or deciding which finance software to use to balance our budget and track my frequent burrito purchases. I am enormously grateful to him for the time he spends doing these things, as (I am sure) he is equally grateful to me for the time I spend turning his socks and undershirts right-side-out. This is something he could do before he puts his clothes into the laundry. His hands work. He simply chooses not too. 

Likewise, connecting the TiVo to the television and the cable box is also something I could do if I absolutely had to. I’m not a complete idiot. I would figure it out. I might be enormously unpleasant to be around for the duration of the project, but I am fairly certain that the magical box that contains seemingly endless diversion in its episodes of Criminal Minds and How I Met Your Mother could be brought under my dominion if I mustered up enough moxy. Also, and in the interests of full disclosure, I can actually cook. Not everything I make tastes like Frank’s Red Hot. It’s just that it’s easier for him to do certain tasks and vice versa.
As such, and in the interests of efficiency, I recognize that in all partnerships there should be a division of labor, but I’m not sure I agree that this necessarily means a division of power. I chose to set up this blog while he was at work and the baby was napping because:

(a)    I know he works long hours and our closets are still unorganized and there’s a leak under the kitchen sink and the dog and cats are still afraid of each other and there are more important things to do during the few precious and conscious hours that we actually get to spend together;
(b)   I am not a complete idiot.

I figured it out.

And actually it was not as frustrating or breakdown inducing as I had expected. Instead it felt wonderful to check off another item from that catalogue of things I think about wistfully but can never quite empower myself to achieve, a list that has only grown longer as time has gone by. Next on the menu, and in no particular order:
  • Locating my work trousers;
  • Teaching the dog (and baby) to not bite me;
  • Convincing my father to embrace the division of labor as it pertains to his taking out the trash and recycling.
Finally, because (as much as I love him) I still think he deserves this, I leave you with a picture of the man who spent all weekend telling me I ski like a grandma. Notice it was taken from above, because I am still upright.

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