We grilled a bunch of food for dinner last night and I let Paul, one of our guests, take over the grilling. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know how to start the gas grill.
The fact that my husband handles all the outdoor, manly grill cooking and I am in charge of the girly indoor food preparation is another example of why men and women will always have a division of labor, at least in my house.
Here’s how I figure it: I could learn how to turn on the grill, even though it involves turning a knob that releases explosive gas and at the same time holding a lighter next to said gas hole. I could do it. I just don’t feel like it right now.
Because if I learn how to turn the grill on, I’ll end up doing all the outdoor cooking and all the indoor cooking. And the gender division of labor will go all askew and the earth might go off its axis a little bit. And that’s not a good thing for anyone. Least of all me.
The same goes for the cleaning. I’m in charge of the inside cleaning, just like all the non-feminist generations before me, and my husband is in charge of the grass and yard clean-up. He also considers the garage his territory. I’m perfectly capable of cutting the grass and weed whacking and trimming bushes, but please don’t tell my husband. Because before you could say Why are these people not hiring a yard service, I’d be doing it all, while my husband would be bragging about how he is fine with his wife having bigger biceps than him.
Since I quit my job to stay home with babies (otherwise known as sacrificing my at-the-time moderately lucrative career for you little apple-juice-breath ingrates) I’ve been slightly uncomfortable with this system. It’s so ridiculously Leave it to Beaver that it almost makes me want to figure out how to start the grill. Almost.
When I was in the thick of my stay-at-home mom years, my niece Emily came to visit from California. She was about 8 and was fascinated by our household set-up. She told my sister, “Mom, it’s so cool. Tim brings home the bacon and Diane cooks it!” I winced so hard I got a little bit sick.
As it turned out last night, Paul quickly figured out how to start the grill. And then he expertly grilled chicken, shrimp, zucchini, portobello mushrooms and red peppers that I put on top of pasta which I effeminately cooked in a pot on the stove.
Even though it’s embarrassing and even slightly nauseating, I’m surprisingly fine with it. More than anything, I don’t want to have to do all the work.
Labels: cooking, grilling, housework, yardwork