Ok. Ok. (I’m not sure if Evan got that from me; or I from him.) I’m in the middle of reading The Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewives by Caitlin Flanagan. I have realized I will probably have to hunt down and read most of the books that she quotes from, which might not be too bad, due to some sound interesting. I promised you all that I would write when I’m done, but I HAVE to get this off my chest. Really, I might be able to raise a flag and get some support here.
I just finish reading “The Wifely Duty,” this is the point where I actually flip the bird at the book. I was with Flanagan during the preface as she mourns the death of her mother, who will not be immortalized in the way her writer of a father will be with an archive in a college somewhere. I understood the heartache and the fear of not being remembered, but I believe the lessons of motherhood and fatherhood are passed down through the heart and memories. (I follow my great-grandmother’s advice, though I never met her, because her daughter and granddaughters followed and taught it.) In “The Virgin Bride,” I agreed with Flanagan that the wedding industry is CRAZY, and all you have to do is watch one episode of Bridezilla to know that. But I think this phenomom is due to sauve marketing and advertising of the bridal industry feeding off of the greed and selfishness in modern American culture versus that feminism fatally wounded the white wedding as it was known. (More on these subjects later) But to say that it is MY duty, and my duty alone, to keep the passion alive in my marriage, is enough for me to want to burn the book and be thankful that I bought it second hand so that there is no record of me reading it. Wait, I guess I screwed that up when I decided to write about the book on this blog.
Like many young wives and mothers, I work my ass off, just like many young husbands and fathers work their asses off. I have even actually had this discussion with a marriage counselor who said that many couples in their twenties and early thirties have a diminished sex life. The counselor maintained this was due to the hard work and stress both partners were dealing with. Those years are crucial to people who are building their careers, and these are also the years that there are small children in the house, who are taking up a lot of time and energy. Once the working partner(s) make some head way in their career and the children start doing things for themselves, the couple reinitiates their sex life.
To say that it is the wife’s duty to make the husband satisfied is insulting. It takes two. Without going too much into my own marriage (just in case my husband does read it, because you know he will now that I wrote about him), let’s just say he wants it on the days that there was no sleep the night before, teething, fighting, pressing buttons, peeing, vomiting, and of course chores. It never fails that the day he comes home from a stressful day to fall asleep on the couch to the noise of Finding Nemo and couch sliding is the day I’ve been wistfully fantasizing about when the boys go to bed and it’s the two of us. If I remember my human biology right or even the sex course, I believe it takes two people. I have a hard time believing that all those sexless marriages are due to a working mother’s resistance to her husband not cleaning up after the kids, which is just as comical as Greek actors running around the stage with paper maché penises agreeing to peace. Hell, if that’s all it took to get world peace, much less a husband to remember that you have to wash children’s hands and faces after ice cream, women would be refraining from sex all the time. The fact is that is doesn’t work, and in the end, women just have too much to do than to add wear sex lingerie as you cook dinner so you can give your husband a BJ the moment you finished putting the children to bed.
Really, who wants chore sex?
The fact of the matter is that if the husband and wife help each other out, they will be more willing to jump enthusiastically in bed because they will have the energy. While my husband wistfully remembers the time before the boys, he has to think even further back to a time before he was building a company from the ground up. And I will look forward to the time I can drop the boys off at my mom’s.