Reasons I’m Getting Married – Domesticity/Directing

For anyone that knows us, it’s no secret that I’m the domestic one in the relationship. I get a particular mental/emotional boost from cooking/cleaning/organizing that I’m not really sure Sylvia will ever be in to. Granted, she likes to cook and, man can she make a mean pasta, but I’m the one that tends to really get satisfaction from making a big meal and playing host, especially if it’s for a bunch of our friends. Cleaning though is totally my realm and I’m happy that way. Nothing relaxes me more than doing the dishes or sweeping or mopping the floor and not having any competition from Sylvia helps keep things nice and happy between the two of us. I love experimenting with some new idea that I learned in a cooking class; and I’m sure I’d cement my domestic role if I were to actually get back into using my sewing machine more often. It’s not necessarily all roses all the time, but the challenge of keeping a home clean and ready to make a meal or host some friends is one that is just part of who I am.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole nature of domesticity lately and how it relates to relationships, particularly ours. I think it’s mostly been on my mind more lately because I’ve been in conversations with more random or new people and they’re always surprised and happy that I like doing the stuff that used to be the domain of the traditional 1950s housewife. Apparently there’s something about the very concept of a man who makes a point of cleaning or tidying up the house or trying to make a fancy meal for people that’s just foreign to a lot of people. I’m honestly kind of offended about it all because I’m sure that it’s not that uncommon at all; it’s probably a case of some advertising machine that still has enough momentum to keep telling the country/world at large that it’s not masculine enough to have any attention to the detail regarding where they live or to have some pride in maintaining their domestic space. There used to be a taboo against women being anything but collected and tidy in the home and that’s been shattered; there should be some end to the idea that a man can’t be anything but a slob around the house. Someone was telling me the other day that there are vacuum cleaner clubs that are almost entirely filled with men. They apparently get together and talk about vacuum cleaners like classic car guys do and I do think it’s a bit weird, but it’s cool too.

Sylvia often tells me that she feels bad that I pick up and clean our place and she just doesn’t, but the thing she tends to forget is that my maintenance of the house is the one that enables us to relax and recharge and that is what allows her to do what she’s good at which is being the best life director there is. Technically she calls it her cruise director hat, but regardless of what it’s called, she’s the one that largely maintains and organizes our lives outside of the house. It’s a huge concept in my mind and she makes it look just as easy to me as my cooking and cleaning at the same time probably looks to her.

Paula Abdul once sang that opposites attract, but I think what is more accurate is that opposing complementary traits attract. Just being completely different than someone could spell all kinds of disaster if the two of you aren’t compatible in any way. Being two different people who have talents/skills/passions that help support each other, as opposed to just being different, is pretty neat because you as a couple really do become more than the sum of your parts than would otherwise be the case.

I’m hoping that one day Sylvia can understand and accept that I’m just into being at home and organizing or mopping or washing the dishes and that she can just be happy about not having to worry about it. I sure know that I’m happy about her ability and willingness to create a framework or schedule or throw out crazy ideas of stuff to do that we can talk about. It’s a huge weight off of my mind that I don’t have to worry that we’re just not going to have any fun because Sylvia’s got that bit of creativity covered in a way that I’m not sure that I’d ever be able to handle. With the home as my domain and the rest of the world as hers, I tend to kind of feel like we could take on the world and I can’t imagine a better feeling than that. If it were an actual economic viability one day, I think that Sylvia and I would have a bit of an issue regarding any children because I’d fight like crazy to be the stay at home dad. We’ll see though because the times they are changing in that regard thankfully.

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