Email me if you have something to say. I like you.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Come live in my sexist little world for a moment.

On the surface, a lot of my friends and I seem traditional. Housewives. We have children, we work less than our husbands or not at all. If we do work, we command much lower incomes than our manly partners*. As a result, we come across to some as beleaguered housewives with no say in our futures. Perhaps some of us fit the description, but the balance of power varies as much in our marriages as it does in any other romantic relationship, children or no children, one, two or zero jobs. Our political views vary as much as others', too. But I digress.

What I really want to discuss is an inequity that anecdotal evidence would indicate is nearly universal. When a man and a woman love each other very much - so much they create one or more children together - the woman is doomed to shorten her pre-party routine so she can get the children ready for the sitter and the sitter ready for them. The routine varies. Some mommies leave a prepared dinner; some order take-out, with or without careful attention to everyone's preferences. Some mommies bathe the children or order the children to bathe themselves. Or explain the bath time routine to the sitter. Or nag the children's father to do it, because he doesn't care really if they're clean or not. In fact, his nose and eyes are not as sensitive as hers, nor does he recognize their outfits by smell or sight as the same ones they've been wearing for two days**. And mommies have to make sure the house is clean, because most sitters will only leave it as tidy as they found it. If you leave a small mess, they assume you won't notice a bigger one. Then there's the toddler hurling himself at the bathroom door and yelling until you invite him in, so he can try on your make-up and ask one hundred annorable (annoying + adorable) questions. Don't forget all those questions sitters have, which you must be able to answer or risk appearing incompetent. "When do they go to bed?" "How do you handle it if they misbehave?" "How old are they and what are their names?"

I propose a solution: The Pre-Party Drink for Ladies. As soon as your personal Master of the Universe (or whatever) returns from his manly day, leave to meet the ladies for a drink. In a bar. Do not pass go, do not prepare or order a dinner you won't be eating, do not do a damn thing other than grab your coat and wallet. You may collect two-hundred dollars, for your bar tab. Meet your lady friends an hour before you planned to be out and let your husband handle the sitter transition and meet you there, mission accomplished without your help. The Pre-Party Drink is not just for unemployed ladies, because my careful research shows I've heard from a bunch of mothers with real jobs that they perform the same service in their homes, no matter how tired they are from their busy days.

The Pre-Party Drink for Ladies also solves another problem. When ladies have an extra cocktail or two, everybody gets laid. Wheeee! they are adorable. When men over-indulge, they charm no one, least of all their wives.

"You are disgusting. I don't even want to talk to you."

"Stop snoring!"

"Go sleep in the other room, you jerk."

Get the picture? Nobody wins. In addition to other fine qualities, the Pre-Party Drink for Ladies helps make up for the fact that mothers' schedules are more likely to be thrown under the bus when a child is sick or school is canceled unexpectedly. My children counted themselves lucky yesterday, when they had a snow day. Would TF have painstakingly crafted these Inauguration Day Cupcakes? I think not! Mother of the Year, here I come.

Inaugural Cupcakes

Namasté, y'all!

* I'd like to pre-respond to two potential objections to that one, because that's the kind of gal I am.
  1. You may think being a stay-at-home parent is "the hardest job in the world." I disagree. Parents who work outside the home are still ultimately responsible for their children, twenty-four hours a day. And they have jobs. Exhausting! Being a stay-at-home parent is a privilege. If you don't like it, quit feeling sorry for yourself and don't do it. Sure, there are some frustrating days, but my friend Julie said it best: "You can do whatever you want, all day long. You just have to convince some fairly unreasonable people to do it with you." Well put.
  2. You may claim income doesn't make one job more important than another, that it's all about job satisfaction and passion and blahblahblah. Income does matter. Money pays for a lot of stuff, like food, housing, college for the kids and fab shoes. And health insurance. Although lower pay doesn't render my employment unworthy of respect, it is what it is, yo. I can't pay those bills. Like it or not, most lawyers make more than most freelance writers/Pilates teachers.
** My sister-in-law and I determined what makes Secret Service Dudes so fine. First, they would take a bullet for you. That's hot. Second, they are all about the details. Unlike most men, your Secret Service Boyfriend or Husband will not be leaving any crumbs on the counter or whiskers in the sink. Rowrrr.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came to read your bolg through Otis' RER, and I must say you had me in stiches. I am now going to spend too much time going back through your older posts, instead of doing laundry and all that other stuff that as the Mommy, I am the only one that knows how to do. Kepp the funnies comming!