I thought this post was going to be about the Happy Housewife as a Happy Hostess--lots of tips from Martha about throwing a party, and some fun anecdotes about the party we threw this weekend. And I may still write that post, but in reality, actual party preparations brought up a whole other post.
For the first time since starting this project, I got a hint of the kind of resentment I imagine could be par for the course for women who live this lifestyle permanently. It turned out, due to a combination of Mark's work commitments, Mark's underestimation of how much work is involved in throwing a party, and my inability to say no before I got really angry, that the bulk of the pre-party preparations fell to me. I spent nearly a whole day (six plus hours) driving around, hitting a total of 8 stores (which, given how long it takes to get anywhere out here, is a lot), buying party supplies. I ran to the butcher, the hardware store, the beer and wine store, multiple grocery stores. And, by the end of the day, I was very, very angry.
It wasn't just that I felt I was being left with the majority of the preparations for a party that wasn't my idea in the first place--that was irritating, but dealable. My major resentment came from the fact that my taking charge of all of the party prep was expected. It wasn't something that was discussed or agreed upon, it fell on me by default. From what I've seen, this isn't something many women would find to be unusual. In my life, it is unusual, so I noticed, and I chafed.
In my situation, this expectation was just plain ridiculous. I may be doing this project, and I may be home all day, but I'm not a housewife. I work more than full-time. I bring home more than 50% off the bacon. Taking charge of this kind of thing is not in my contract. For me, then, this was just an oversight, a mistake. I don't expect it will happen again. But the experience brought something up that I've been thinking a lot about--how does this type of thing work for women who do take on full-time homemaker roles? Would this type of resentment be a factor? Would it be warranted?
Please weigh in. I wouldn't wish how mad I was about this on anybody--and I assume that those of you who have relationships with more separated household roles have a way to deal with this kind of thing, or else you'd hate each other. So fill me in?