Thursday, July 16, 2015

Confounding Roger

Dear John,
 
I'm sleeping in this tee-shirt tonight. I don't think I told you: Becky got one for me and I love it. If I can't sleep with you, at least I can sleep in this shirt.
 
Today I was thinking about our pre-marital counseling, and particularly pondering one question that Roger asked us: Who was going to do what? I grew up in the 1950s with a stay-at-home mom, and I was determined that, even though we'd both be working full time, you wouldn't have to lift a finger at home. You were equally determined to split the housework 50-50. So we argued it out in front of an open-mouthed Roger, who had never expected to see the argument go that way.
 
You won, of course - you had logic on your side. Who did what was an ever-shifting picture, but the bottom line was that we were equally responsible for everything. Who did what depended on who was best at it and had time. And health issues were often a consideration. We each enjoyed doing things that made the other one happy. You enjoyed vacuuming, and it was fine with me for you to take that job. But you could not be trusted to dust; I would invariably find you an hour later, sitting on the floor reading a book that you'd run across. We were equally good at bathrooms. You mowed and I took care of the flower beds. We enjoyed doing the shopping together. You did the finances and I had the kitchen - unless pizza or cookies were involved, and then you took over. It worked because we love each other. And it was good that Roger made us talk about it before we were married.
 
It's bedtime. Tonight I'll go to sleep remembering those early years. I think it's easier getting married right out of college. We didn't each bring our stuff and our routines - we had no routines yet and no stuff. We built our adult lives together. And part of that began when Roger asked us that question. Thank you for insisting on going halves. Thank you for feeling responsible for things at home. Thank your father for me, for raising you that way. I can't wait to meet him. For now, give both of your parents a hug for me. I'd be there if I could!
 
Waiting for my turn,
Joan.

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