Thursday, October 25

Playing Wife

I was supposed to go out tonight with work people- space in the back of a bar at been reserved and there would be large pitchers of beer, pizza and rivalry (there are Red Sox and Rockies fans at my office). I was excited, Matt was excited. A night out was something to look forward to!

But Matt got sick, felt sick all day, and I decided better to go home and make some soup and take care of him since he takes such good care of me when I'm sick. When I told the organizer of the event, a fellow Red Sox and Patriots fan she said, "I totally understand." When I told other co-workers they all said, "Ahh, yes have to take care of your man." One even said, "Seriously? I guess you have to start practicing being the wife. If it was me, I'd be like- whatever go to bed I'm going out."

When I started to think about it more tonight I wondered, would they have given me a hard time if he was just my live in boyfriend? Is it because we are making some kind of larger commitment and I will now play the "wife" role that it is okay that I choose to go home and take care of him rather than drink some beers and have a pizza with work friends? I would hope that most women in committed relationships who love and care about their partners would choose this too if the situation warranted it. I would also hope that no matter what level of commitment they have made to this partner that it would be okay with whoever they were canceling plans with. We are supposed to care for and take care of the ones we love, chosen family or related family. I don't think it means that we are being the "wife" or the "husband" when we want to take care of them, it is just us being human beings and caring for each other.
I guess it just kind of left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth when I started to think about it. I almost felt like they were putting me into some kind of anti-feminist role because I chose this over going out. And when I thought about it more, if the situation had been last year when I was living with Katie, and she was sick and had told me and I had had plans with her and other people, I probably would have gone home to make sure she was okay too and made her soup and bought fresh bread and apple sauce.
Now that doesn't mean I'm not happy to become a wife and in many ways play into that role. Taking care of the house, I love cleaning! Preparing good meals, I really enjoy cooking when I'm motivated. I'm excited to have a household to care for and organize and clean and make warm and inviting and happy and healthy. And, what makes me even more excited is that I know Matt wants to help with those things, he wants to truly be my partner. He takes care of me, and cancels plans to do so, when I'm sick so wouldn't I do the same for him? Well yes, I would and I did and it doesn't mean I'm practicing being the "wife" because, really I already know how, whatever that means, and I'm going to be a damn good one.

2 comments:

Matt said...

I know just that feeling. It seems like some people can't appreciate that you could genuinely want to do stuff like take care of their significant other when they feel bad. Like it's purely an obligation.

That's certainly not the case for me - under most circumstances, I would want to help you feel better more than I'd want to hang out with my friends or take part in whatever other normal plans I might have.

There seems to be some element of our society that is intent on perpetuating this notion of the significant other as some sort of burden, which is just foreign to our relationship (and really, most all of the loving relationships in our lives). Definitely much better this way.

Katie said...

I would stay home and make soup and applesauce for you too!!