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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Did someone just order a Victorian straight up?"

According to many of the women on CafeMom, a social network for mothers similar to MySpace or Facebook, the oldest tradition of women serving their man is still very much alive. I've heard stories of women who feel it's nearly forbidden to call their husband at work, and a large number of these women feel that their husband's work is done when he arrives home from his job. In terms of finances, some have an allowance given to them and others feel guilty even asking for money.

My wife informed me this morning that I'm one of the only husbands of CafeMom who does dishes or any kind of housework. Part of me is shocked that there are women who still have the service mentality, but then I realize that it takes the combination of a woman raised into this kind of thinking being married to a man who demands or even allows it. I suppose if a couple had no children and the woman wanted to serve all of her husband's needs because he provided a lavish lifestyle, that would be her way of showing her appreciation. In my opinion, the old fashioned mentality of woman serving her man goes against the kind of independence and equality that huge numbers of women have fought for. I certainly don't think that is the kind of relationship to bring children into, as it would most likely lead to women with no goals or dreams of their own and men who expect the same kind of treatment.

This reminds me of "Mona Lisa Smile", in which Julia Roberts is teaching at an all-girl school only to learn that it's a finishing school and the intention of many of the girls is to become nothing more than a housewife. Television shows such as Wife Swap demonstrate this situation regularly, as husbands and their wives learn that the housewife/servant scenario is not common practice when the man who's used to being served is told that he's lazy and the man who is used to doing his fair share is told that his wife is the lazy one who should be taking care of him.

Personally, as a father and husband I feel that I have two roles and my work is certainly not done each day when I arrive home from work just because I generate a paycheck. If the women who actually feel that serving their husband and maintaining the housewife persona is right and makes them happy, then there's really nothing wrong with it. I just know that I'd feel guilty if my wife felt so unsupported at home that she wouldn't dare call me at work or ask for help because she felt it was her sole responsibility. It's unfortunate that there are men out there who allow their women to serve them in such ways, and those who demand it. Some call it emasculating when a man does "a woman's work" but we're not living in the Victorian age when women were expected to serve and basically had no rights. My wife does what she can throughout the day in terms of housework, when she's not caring for our son (which is a job all in itself) and I do what I can to help. She does not have to ask for money, in fact she carries around the only ATM card.

There really is no right or wrong household dynamic, but for the sake of progress and respecting that husband and wife are equals I think the servant attitude is really best left in the age in which it was last considered common practice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing Of The Guards

My eyes are filled with prideful tears as our new president is sworn in and now addresses the country for the first time as our leader. With each new inauguration, I am filled with a sense of hope and optimism, acknowledging of the history of the nation and how far we've come, but never as much as today. The significance of today's ceremony is monumental, not only for the change that we need and voted for, but for the historical value in welcoming the first African American in the highest office.

I hope all who are not ready to embrace our new president will open their minds and accept that we made the right decision when prosperity returns to America. While I cannot guarantee that President Obama will be the one to lead us in the right direction, I haven't felt that we had anyone in office who could achieve that task in a very long time.

Forgive me for possibly adding more value to this moment than it holds, but I feel that the gesture made in putting Barack Obama into office is a huge step forward in the battle against racism which to this day remains my most hated movement or way of living.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Forgive The Silence.....


While the holidays are typically enjoyed as a time to relax and recharge the batteries for the next year, mine were filled with a mix of family tragedy and family drama which left me far too busy to sit down and provide you with any new material. I apologize for the "dead air" and I'm prepared to post far more often this year to make up for it.

Every year, resolutions are made and broken; usually in the same month. I've decided that my resolution will be to not need a resolution in order to achieve the goals I seek for myself and my family this year. First and foremost, buying our first home is heavy on our minds and, beyond that, finally achieving a healthy weight and maintaining it.

A personal goal of mine is to finally perch atop a stool behind a drum kit and see whether I've got what it takes or if I'll forever suffer the fate of playing air drums in my car knowing I couldn't hack it. I want to use this year to regain some of myself that's been lost over the years, for no reason other than me letting it slip away and turning my focus on my family. Perhaps some of who I used to be should stay in the past, but one key trait has stayed with me is my love of music and if I don't fully pursue my dream, I am not staying true to myself. A birthday gift from my sister was drum lessons from a local studio, at least enough to get me started. I've yet to get started and cash in on my gift and I feel like now is as good of a time as any. In my ultimate dream, I would become a studio musician working with local groups and then release my own solo CD. Fortune and fame are not what I seek, but rather the thrill of playing for any kind of crowd. OK, so a little fortune would be nice......

For now, I'll just enjoy watching our boy Gavin run around our place like a madman and see his personality change every day as it has, steadily. Whether there is a future in music for me or not, the present is quite enjoyable. For all of you, I hope this near year fulfills dreams and brings more happiness for everyone out there.