Monday, July 27, 2009

Unicorns do not exist....

Unicorns do not exist....



Ah ha ha ha.. this one for my sister who keeps swearing he is out there...
You all know who I am talking about. The guy who is sensitive, understanding, loving and caring. The guy who comes home from work and says, "Oh my love, my sweet, I know you have had a hard day with the kids. Why don't you let me make dinner and then you can have a nice hot bath while I do the dishes." She swears that the more high maintenance women she knows have husbands who help equally with the chores and do not complain. These husbands who put in full days at the office and never burden wives with problems and yet instead come home smiling and help out with the kids and really notice and appreciate all that their wives do for them. To my sister I say simply that UNICORNS DO NOT EXIST! No more than this man exists. What? It's true! No, I am not a man hater but lets face facts... he is just not out there. My husband is pretty great but even he is only some of these things some of the time but absolutely never all of these things all of the time or even most of these things some of the time. He, like all the rest of the husbands of the women I know, comes home from work thinking that he is now "off the clock." I made this term up, he has never used it. I am not even sure he consciously thinks that way but never the less he is "off the clock" when he walks through our front door. It's a general term I use which is not just related to work but related to all things in life ranging from laundry, bills, music lessons, kids, dinners, to dishes. He can’t even be bothered to listen to me talk about whatever issue might be in front of me at the moment. (He will, however, definitely clock in for sex but only if I am on top and only if he doesn't have to initiate it and will definitely clock in for a BJ. What a lucky girl am I? But that is a whole other blog...Where was I now? Oh yes... It is somehow ingrained in them that this is all the further their obligation goes. Work and come home. I have thought and thought on this. Where could it have come from. Heck, even Ward Cleaver mowed the lawn now and again, he piddled in the garage when June needed something fixed. He attended a few Parent teacher meetings, and was always responsible for punishing the boys. So what model of man did they see that made them think they could just "clock out " like this? I keep coming back to the 70's when we as women started to say that we wanted to be the ones to go to work. When we started to want careers. Was it then that the leaders of the man group said, "Well, OK we will let you have your little careers but only as long as it does not cause any more work for us and only as long as you are still able to keep up with your regular work load. Only then will we allow it." I don't know who runs the man group or even if there is one but they all seem to get these ideas from somewhere? Why does it never occur to my husband that I too work 30+ hours per week in addition to watching three kids, and that every last chore in the house might become a bit overwhelming? 3 kids, a full time job, laundry, dishes, breakfast, lunch and dinner, vacuuming, dusting, toilet cleaning, bed making, refereeing, taking out the trash, grocery shopping, and bill paying all in one day is really a super human feat yet every woman I know is expected to do it. To do it day in and day out. All of this going through our heads, we have a constant running inventory of what needs to be done and when, who needs to be where and why and what they need to take when they go. We are constantly ticking away in our minds what the next bill due is and the next repair on the house will need to be. We already know that we are almost out of shampoo and that the kid’s favorite breakfast cereal is running dangerously low. We know that the dance costume is missing a button, that the laundry is piling up, that your blue socks have a hole in them and that the cat needs food. So the husband wonders why, when he has the audacity to look at me after one of those long days and say, "Uh I'm out of clean underwear. When do you think you might get to that laundry pile? or Babe did you happen to get milk today. I've been saying since yesterday that we are out," that I finally lose it and freak out or scream. He looks at me like I have three heads and is like Jeez what's your problem? (The most funny part of it all to me is that after 8 years of marriage he still doesn't know not to say those things.. That it never bodes well for him.) He wonders why he just got yelled at? Really? You try doing in one week what we do in one day. It would never happen. If I leave the kids home with my husband I am lucky to come home to a house that is the way I left it. A male friend of mine laughed once when telling me that when he was left to watch his two boys his wife always came home, "in the hole." What he meant by that was that she was much worse off than when she left the house. He could barely keep up with the two boys let alone keep them from destroying the house. Let's not even dare talk about him actually accomplishing a chore. Watching the boys was all he could handle.Yet his wife did that and kept their house sparkling. He laughed to me that he had no idea how she does it but I doubt she will ever know he feels this way. God forbid, that might give her license to relax and take a moment off. Instead we all just keep trucking along, keep pushing forward with all that is on our plates and there is no end and no help in sight. These unicorns just do not exist. So what is my answer to all of this to this problem we are facing, and Oh yes I do have one! But ,I am saving it. I want to make sure you are good and ready to hear it. For now I want you to keep on thinking about how miraculous what you do every day really is. I want you to keep stepping outside yourself and looking in at what you have accomplished and really give yourself some credit for how hard you have worked. And what he heck.. it never killed anyone to dream about a unicorn now and then.....