An (un)traditional Christmas

We decided to keep to a very small budget on present buying after our Wedding earlier in the year. Nonetheless, we still went out during December and enjoyed the festivities. I had planned a special day out for my Wife and asked her if she wanted to take the day off for it and she did. I booked her into the Spa for the afternoon. After I finished work, I picked her up and took her to dinner, the theater and Christmas markets. She was really impressed with it all and it was so lovely to see her happy with what I had planned for her.
A week before Christmas was her work’s Christmas party. The night before it, we spent hours decided on what she was going to wear, eventually settling for the very first outfit she tried on: a black satin dress and soft pick high heels. Whilst I put dresses, skirts and blouses back on hangers, she sent me a list of things needing done whilst she was out at her party the following night. Presents wrapping, light bulbs changing, clean sheets for her mother who was soon to be staying, bathroom cleaning etc. She glanced across and asked if I received the list with nothing more than an expectation for it simply to be done. I’d hoped I could sit back and relax whilst she was out but as she stood there looking beautiful in her dress, I couldn’t bring myself to argue. So I just said ‘sure’ and an expectation was set. A strategy that I feel she has employed many times before.
The following night, as she was out partying, I got on with everything on the list. I received a rather nonchalant text from her that said ‘oh, will you polish my boots too, I forgot to add it to the list’. I was a little shocked. Could you imagine a Husband sending that to his Wife! I know that if I wrote that to her, I’d probably find my boots in the bin. What surprised me was that I actually did it. She did need them in a couple of days time anyway. In the end, it was worth it. I went to pick her up at 1am and she was very grateful for all my hard work.
Despite her mother staying with us on the lead-up to Christmas, we actually spent Christmas day at her sister’s a few hours drive away. On Christmas morning I was really surprised to have received tea-towels from her older sister and husband. I mean, who gives their new brother-in-law tea towels? And it wasn’t ‘tounge-in-cheek’ or mocking or with a winking eye. They just thought it was a nice gift. And, well, I suppose it was. Our relationship works with my Wife as the Boss but I am uncomfortable at the thought of others seeing it that way too. Perhaps it’s my fragile masculinity. But maybe it’s OK that others see us this way too. For centuries, the Husband has been the one who has been head-of-the-household, and no one thinks less of a Wife because of it. I mean, brides have parties where they are given ‘bridal aprons’ before their wedding and all sort’s of kitchen appliances. All ready to be a good little house-wife. And it doesn’t mean they form a lesser part of the marriage.
My Wife was the one cooking the Christmas diner. I helped her out and done all the washing up as she cooked. After the meal, I would usually be the first one who gets up first to clear everything away. Just before I had the chance, my Wife turned to me and said ‘Why don’t you clear the table for us?’ In my head I thought ‘ What about the other men who didn’t help at all. I was in the Kitchen all day’. But since I didn’t want to make a scene, I got up and started clearing up, expecting the other Husbands to lend a brotherly hand. They didn’t.
Well that was at least until her mother and Wives joined me in the kitchen whilst she and the other men stayed in the dining room. I could hear them talk about the US election. On the flip side, rather amusingly, I was asked for a ‘man’s opinion’ on where to go for the best shoe and dress sales. To be honest, I was rather flattered that they asked me. Their husbands don’t really care about fashion and my Wife told them that I always arrange shopping trips for her and mostly pick out what she wears. That was true and I really do enjoy shopping for her. But I felt like I was being treated like the Wife in the marriage and that I should really be in the dining room with the other men. Is this what it’s going to be like from now on? Everyone else seeing me as her Wife. Has the expectation been set out from the start because I took her name? It suppose that’s not necessarily the case but it might just mean I’ll be getting gifts like tea-towels from now.

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