Tag Archives: Love Is Love

who pumps?

In your relationship, who is in charge of getting gas for the car?

Between ourselves, my wife and I joke about being in a Butch/Femme marriage but when anyone asks about stereotypical heterosexual roles we explain, “Whoever gets up first makes the coffee, last one up makes the bed. We take care of each other.”

There are many chores we do together. We take turns cooking, filling and emptying the dishwasher, helping each other when we can, and we always make financial decisions together. However, that said, after twenty years together some ‘household chores’ have become habitual to the point of expectation. I do the indoor stuff while she takes care of the outdoors.

I am not fulfilling some gender destiny, or cultural compulsion to exemplify femininity. Over the years we’ve discovered that I hate gardening. There’s something about bees, dirt under my fingernails, mosquitos, the smell of moldering leaves and weeds, the getting down, getting up again, down, up, and the wasps…well, it’s just not my thing. I found myself avoiding those chores when they needed doing, leaving them to Traf.

But I can’t sit around while she works so I took over the inside cleaning. I love the people who use our bathroom, so I clean it thoroughly to keep them protected. I’m careful when dusting all the treasures accumulated over decades. I move furniture when vacuuming, to get at the cat fur and dust that accumulate in hidden places. And I sort, wash, and dry the laundry keeping everyone in clean clothes, linens, and towels. Turns out, I feel much happier and fulfilled as things around me get straightened, sorted, put away. I love watching my labors produce cleanliness.

All of which makes me grateful my wife loves to get down and dirty, because I surely do not. It pleases Traf to grow a dazzling garden filled with fresh, healthy veggies every summer, delighting both taste buds and our wallets. Her careful lawn care and border of tiger and day lilies delight the neighborhood for weeks, even prompting strangers to stop and take photos. She also keeps the outdoor machines; cars, lawnmower, snow-blower, garage door, and all lamps/lights in good working order.

In relationships there’s a tit for tat, I give you this and expect that from you. If she starts to irritate me or I’m feeling underappreciated, I remind myself of what she does for me, or for us as a couple, that I have taken for granted before. I own it, after all these years we’ve both forgotten to be grateful and hurt each other, and we’ve learned from experience.

But, um, yep, I expect my wife to keep my car filled with gas.

If she starts feeling miffed about it, I hope she thinks of me cleaning the toilet following an episode of unfortunate digestive issues. In the same way, whenever I get pissy about sneezing from dust motes atop bookcases and fur-mice under couches, I think gratefully of Traf mowing the lawn on a hot summer day and up to her knees shoveling snow in winter.

I remind myself who I’m doing it FOR, my wife and family.

It is a privilege to take care of the woman I love.

Merry New Year, everyone!

spend eight minutes and bring a hanky

My smile is so big as I write this. While watching this short film, at minute 4:54 I saw for myself the growth of our society in the skillful portrayal of a parent getting a shock, sucking it up, and instantly choosing loving support. Yes, we slip a lot and yes, we have citizens howling and screaming to drag us back in time, but in the land of lawn mowers, oleanders, and teen dances we’ve come so far. Every single actor in this 8 minute production gave their absolute all to the project, every character springs to life fully 3-dimensional. And wow, do they tell a brilliant short story.

Go back up and watch it for yourself. It takes half the time of a coffee break. I’ll wait.

Told you so. Listen, spring dances start in a matter of weeks so please pass this wonderful short film around and help people see a story about the love and support our youngsters deserve from us.

I’ve got sympathy for teenagers, their hormones jump around, adulthood looms large, and they reject and demand responsibility for themselves simultaneously. They stew in an odd mix of fear, courage, paranoia, assumptions, growing self-awareness, dreams, options, and most of all worry. Their emotions are as raw and real now as yours were at that age.

We store memories as reminders of who we were once and sudden strong memories pop up in everyone’s mind once in a while. They swoop into your brain, peck at your ego, knock you down to size, and leave behind the same emotions you recorded in that moment. Remember? Of course you do. We all grow through adolescence and awkward young adulthood. You’re a survivor.

Prom night will be a night your teen will NEVER forget and you, their folks, will play significant roles in their lifelong recurring memory. Ask yourself, ‘How do I want my youngster to remember me long after I’m gone?’

Choose kindness and love. Choose your child.