It would be accurate to say I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person. In some logic-defying way, half-assedness takes more effort than just doing a good job (or doing nothing at all), and although this method is great when I’m “on,” it’s pretty sucky when I’m off, particularly because I know I’m capable of more, and so does everyone else. All of which is to say I pretty much dropped the ball on Father’s Day, am full of the appropriate amount of shame and regret, and am glad that at least preschool took up the slack with art projects and chocolate chip cookies packaged in a paper bag that Wombat embellished with real snakeskin recently inhabited by the class ball python. Very Pinterest.
“This is me and this is Dad and we’re hiding behind this wall spying on girls,” I kid you not.
Otherwise, my contribution to yesterday’s festivities was whipping out some Father’s Day books sent by HarperCollins, turning the weekend to-do list nagging down a few notches, and bringing Simon a cup of coffee in bed, where he was buried in children.
I feel the need to clarify here that although I brought him the coffee, even endured the stench and poured it into the mug myself (a task rewarded with the word “brave”), I didn’t actually make the coffee because I don’t actually know how to operate a coffeemaker. Is that the saddest thing you’ve ever heard, or just one of the saddest? I imagine it would be worse if I were a coffee drinker who didn’t know how to make her own coffee, but this is where I tell you that I fancy a glass of wine or champagne not infrequently, yet I’ve opened maybe five bottles in my life, combined. It helps that I don’t drink alone and therefore can always pass the buck, but still, it’s kind of pathetic.
So, mostly unrelated to Father’s Day, but very related to my incompetence at many things I should be ashamed to be incompetent at as a thirty-four-year-old wife and mother of two, I’ve been toying with the idea of working my way through a list of things I should at least be able to do but can’t/won’t/don’t, many of which I’ve identified because they would make my [poor, beleaguered] husband’s life easier. This isn’t any kind of Life List of Awesome Things about How Awesome I Am/Aspire To Be, and taken out of context it could give a particular type of person complicated feelings about my relationship to feminism and its intersection with married life, but, eh, it doesn’t really have anything to do with that. It has to do with my natural complacency about what things are My Jobs and what things are His Jobs, and it’s also a reflection of how lazy I am about learning new things. I’m in no way saying it’s not okay to split up tasks according to each partner’s strengths and/or weaknesses, I’m just saying that I feel like even if I’m not the Designated Coffee Brewer/Cocktail Mixer/Garbage Taker-Outer, I should at least know how to brew a pot/mix the perfect martini. (I do know how to take the garbage out, I just don’t. It’s icky and awkward and there are always cobwebs on the bin outside, and I will go so far as to stack garbage next to the kitchen trash if it means avoiding taking the full bag outside, and obviously I need to sack up and be a grown-up about this because COME ON.)
Please note that I’m not saying any of this is going to happen in any kind of formal, organized, sponsored (HA) way (or at all, actually), but I thought I’d put it out there/here, if only because I’m curious what you’d put on a similar list if you had one. So far I have:
–Brew a pot of coffee.
–Mix the perfect martini.
–Open a bottle of champagne without flinching.
–Open a bottle of wine without whining.
–Grill a hamburger.
–Take out the trash when it needs to be taken out.
–Change lightbulbs. (I did this last week; it’s not hard, but it just feels like a Man Job, so it didn’t even occur to me to do it myself until it just…occurred to me to do it myself, duh, and it was no big deal and I’d really like to shift my paradigm so things like this stop feeling like Man Jobs)
–Carbonate water with the intimidating homemade carbonation thingy Simon built that involves a big scary tank and big scary tubes and the possibility of something blowing up in my face. (You guys, he wears safety glasses when he uses it. I’m thinking of adding a helmet.)
–Use the weedwacker.
–Do stuff that requires getting on a ladder.
–Learn to belay him at the climbing gym.
What am I forgetting?