Saturday, April 19, 2008

Superhero Tuesday (or Men Are NOT the Enemy)

Hub called me last Monday and dove right into the conversation with an accusation. "Do ALL women believe their husbands are imbeciles???"

*awkward pause*

"Ummmm" I say, "well, some women just, well um, get worked up about things like toothpaste and toilet paper rolls and garbage. I guess. Why??"

"All the women at work talk about their husbands like they're complete idiots, like they're a fourth child, like it's just easier when they're not around. Do you feel that way?"

"Ummmmm" I say, "well I think that you know when I'm struggling and you take up the slack, and I know when you're struggling and I take up the slack."

"Like what kind of slack do you take up?"

"Ummmmmmmmm. . ."


It's been several years now since I issued the official declaration in my house: "There is only room for ONE superhero in this house, and I'M HER!"

Following Monday's very stilted and shady conversation, in which I desperately wanted to tell him "no honey. not all women think their husbands are complete morons", I had a day that has since become known as Superhero Tuesday.

On said Tuesday, I got up early and packed M's lunch - a toasted tuna sandwich on wheat with green leaf lettuce, some baby carrots, and a red apple - then I got ready for work and got there 10 minutes earlier than normal. I stayed on task pretty well while at work (which means I tried not to be too distracted by visions of sneaking out early and spending a few hours alone in the bookstore running through my head).

Then, at lunch, I stopped by the store to get grated parmesan cheese and cash. Then I went home and made myself something to eat, fed the dogs, vacuumed half the house, pulled the bedding off the guest bed and pulled all the bathroom rugs up and pulled M's shower curtain down and got them ready for the wash.

I came home after work and immediately started water boiling for ravioli, started some edamame in the pressure cooker, and began vacuuming again - including the bathroom vents and some of the baseboards and window sills - pulled the dogs' bedding and stuck it in the wash.

Meanwhile, M put the ravioli in the pan and finished cooking it. Then made himself a plate and put regular parmesan - not the freshly grated stuff I bought (even though I had told him that's why I bought it) - on his raviolis and began to eat. Because I was vacuuming, the edamame were oversteamed.

After eating, I went and got groceries, came home and carried them ALL in myself and put them away. I did the dishes and wiped the counters. I packed M's lunch for the next day, swapped out more laundry, ironed a shirt for M and set out his clothes for the next day (every time I do this - about once a week lately - the words "my wife dresses me" go through my head), laid down makeshift bedding for the dogs while theirs was in the wash, washed my own brown feet (filthy from walking around on unmopped floors), and wrote about Superhero Tuesday in my journal. All the while, sick M slept on the couch.

Let me just say this kind of day is rare. (And even that would be an understatement.)

However, the fact that I do 3 tasks for M's 1 is just the way it is.

Does that make him a moron? Does that make him inept? An imbecile? Lazy?

None of the above.

He's a man. As such, he's not into the details as much as I am. As such, he can't multi-task like I can. I'm a superhero!

Many men are married to superheroes and they will never be able to catch up with us. We can't help it and neither can they. They still think they are smart and fabulous and that our superhero powers are the result of the "push" our bodies have because of the antibodies our bodies are pumping out in a desperate attempt to fight off the cold he's already come down with.

That's just the way it is. Don't be hatin'!


hayngrl101 said...

Hmm. Ahem. Well, I agree that are not imbeciles, lazy, etc. but they ARE something else. I've no idea what to call it..

But. It actually bugs me sometimes... I mean, I've read in the bloggin world where women have these doting hubs who wake in the night to feed the baby, do the dishes after a long day at work, send flowers, write love notes, etc. etc. Is this reality for some women? Because if it is, I gotta get me summa dat!

My question is, is this stark contrast really okay?

Stella said...

I think there are women out there who do have imbecile lazy husbands. And I think there are women out there who have that husband that get up in the middle of the night with the baby and bring home flowers and do the dishes. They are the minority and I have to wonder if they are exaggerating sometimes.
My husband has his days where he is GREAT. The house is clean, the kids are fed, everything is fabulous. And I have my days where I do might be one.
My husband is not an idiot, usually, but he is something. Like hayngrl said, I have no idea what to call it!

The MomBabe said...

I think a lot of what it comes down to is expectations. My husband and I have expectations about how to raise our kids, how clean our home is, how our yard looks... We both give what we can, and sometimes I give more, and sometimes he gives more.

It's not that they're imbeciles, it's just that I'm at home staring at the dust on the ceiling fan...Of course he doesn't notice.

There are lazy men. There are guys that think women should be their slaves. It's an unfortunate way of thinking. Thankfully, I didn't CHOOSE to be with one of those types. Because it really does come down to choice. You can complain about your marriage, you can complain about your situation, but that was the choice you made.

Kimberly said...

Niiice! I like that way of putting it. It's not their imbecility, it's our wonderfulness that's the sticking point.

My hubby more the supportive helping out type, but he helps out in his own ways, not necessarily in the ways I'd like (like picking up after himself). I'm glad though. On my good days, I really enjoy being a superhero.

On my bad days...well...he just better watch out. =P

Sue said...

I don't know. I agree with MomBabe. Expectations are the key. I think almost all men are perfectly capable of working and helping around the house and multi-tasking.

The expectation in our marriage, from day one, was that my husband and I would be partners, sharing the workload in every way. I worked while he finished college and he got used to cooking and doing the laundry. We've both had turns being the stay-at-home parent and that makes us both very aware and appreciative of what's involved.

Now that he is working full-time and I'm working part-time from home, he still - yes, honestly - helps with the dishes and does the laundry and helps however he can.

See, I'm not sure why that is hard to believe. It's really hard for me to believe that there are still men, in this day and age, who come home and let their wives wait on them. I can't understand how that could be reality. (Not that anyone in this post was saying their husbands are that way, I'm just saying - does that really still happen? Are there really men who come home and relax while their wives scurry around? As a wife, that would absolutely infuriate me.)

Anonymous said...

hmmmm - way to turn it into a positive. I am one of those women who refers to my DH as "my fourth child" and you provided a fresh new perspective. Plus pointed out how it must feel from the guy's view...standing around the water cooler, questioning his worth! I'm gonna experiment w/ focusing on all he DOES do, and not the inequity of what I do in comparison. I'll keep ya posted!

Tyler said...

Just stepped into this blog by way of Celia's link to her "Let Me Hear Your Body Talk" post (which I thoroughly enjoyed). Reading this blog, I feel like I've accidentally stepped into the mother's lounge or ladies room and have overheard things I shouldn't have. It makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm thinking I'm not the target audience on this one.

But before I want hubby to help more? Ask him politely, sincerely, and most importantly directly. Don't hint, don't imply, don't sigh when you say it, just come out and ask. Make a list if you have to. He may surprise you...or he may just confirm that he's a lazy imbecile. Either way you won't have to wonder any more.

Mitch said...

I don't call myself a super-hero but just in the last 24 hours I:

(1) invited my friend (Tyler) over for Sunday dinner to help eat the huge Sunday dinner my wife is going to make this afternoon so there wouldn't be so much leftovers
(2) I was the one that found the pacifier for our 18 month old (I don't know how it got on top of the refridgerator)
(3) I was the one that gave our 18 month old some snacks so he'd stop crying before dinner last night
(4) I was the one running around the apartment playing hide and seek with our 18 month old this morning while his mom could get a few more minutes of shut eye.

Ha, take that!

hayngrl101 said...

Thank you, Tyler. I think you hit this nail right on the head. I know that for me personally, I've had this very conversation (strained?) with my DH because at times I have this unreal expectation for him to 1) read my mind; and 2) do it MY WAY or else. On the few times this topic has come up in our marriage, he has always reminded me that I have to tell him or ask him directly. (duh)...

And thanks to you, Mitch. Your comment is a great reminder for me as well, to remember that it is DH who plays with the kids, rough houses with them, etc. to help keep them underfoot. I stink at throwing a football, so I am grateful that he can take this 'task' on to make sure our boy gets some individual attention.

A few more thoughts... I am guilty of calling my dh my 5th child. Its not a slam per se, it just feels this way at times when I have to do certain chores for him that I do for my own kids. I think that in my case, this is strictly a birth order thing, tho. I was the 2nd child of 8 and he was the baby. And, his family still treats him that way... and he enjoys being mothered, esp. when he's sick.

One last thought. I think the dh's vary widely based on OUR own personal style. I think that there are some different types of women: women who are princesses and end up with men who dote NONSTOP (in other words, HE picked out the ring, designed it, had it sized perfectly with no input and SHE would not change it at all); women who are workhorses who end up with men who let their wives carry the lion's share of the work (SHE picked out the ring, had it sized, and possibly contributed some $ and He just went along for the ride); women who are partners and end up with men who are partners also, but might occassionally forget to be thoughtful, or need a list of potential gifts to buy along with sizes, colors, etc.

Sometimes I wonder if I just get caught up in playing the role of Martyr since after all, I do EVERYTHING (dramatic sigh) around the house.. er.. except that the dishes are still undone, laundry needs folding, and the floor has not been vacuumed in I-don't-know-how-long. :p

hayngrl101 said...

k what i meant by my last cooment, last paragraph is that i say that i do it all, but in reality, i don't. i often fail to give credit where credit is due.

Mitch said...

Thanks for giving some credit... but I have to clarify my comment:
(1) I invited my friend to eat my wife's dinner... she wasn't upset, but she said, you might want to ask first next time
(2) I found the pacifier and gave it to our 18 month old... as my wife stared me down since she's the one that put it on the refrigerator and didn't want our 18 month to find it.
(3) Another stare down after I gave my little Derek some snacks before dinner (because my wife knows he won't eat dinner as well)
(4) And playing hind and seek in our little apartment is NOT the best activity while someone is trying to sleep... that's all they'll be doing (TRYing to sleep)...

Last comment... the super hero wives we have DO do everything and are greatly under appreciated.

I actually read your blog with a new sense of gratitude for my wife... and hopefully I'll let you know about it more often.