December 22, 2003
December 22, 2003 - 3:09 p.m.
Going over Donner Pass Saturday night, Scratcher and I were forced to put on chains. It was snowing and sleeting - absolutely sloppy damp weather, freezing frickin' cold. We both hopped out of the car, digging in the trunk for an umbrella and the chains. When he grabbed the plastic tub's handle, I suddenly realized that, as the guy, he assumed he'd have to do the dirty work.
I want you to picture us, pulled over on I-80 at 6:15 p.m., trying to hit his brother's 7:00 p.m. cocktail party. We're both dressed up, me in lined silk pants and a sweater, him in clean Dickies and Docs. (You can take the boy out, but don't ask him to give up 3-hole Docs!) In that split second, my mouth opened to argue with him. Why should he have to put on the chains? It's my car; I can grapple with cable twist-ems. But then he grabbed the box and bent down. Like a doofus, like an ass, I stood over him with the umbrella, peering down while he yanked and equipped the car. And again, when it was time to take the chains off, I waited. Sure, both times I drove the car over the chains to help out a little, but all the frozen air and grimy hands were his.
I felt like such a dork.
When we arrived at the party, I went straight into the kitchen to help E (the sister-in-law). He washed up and headed for the bourbon. I looked up fifteen minutes later, a mess of red onion brunoise (for a smoked salmon plate) falling away from my knife. He'd brought me a vodka tonic with a squeeze. He leaned over and said, teamwork. Clinked my glass with his and walked away.
And I was righted. Brought right back into center. No more worrying about roles and balance. Not with this man.
There are gonna be people reading who think we're falling into some weird gender-role-based relationship. To you I say: bullshit. I can put chains on. He can cook. That's not the point. If I'd thrown a fit about helping with the chains, we both would have spent more time being cold and dirty than it took him alone. This wasn't a question of feminism; it was a question of what was fastest. And it's not that he thinks my role is in the kitchen - no, it's that he thinks capability is sexy. Frankly, so do I.
The party, by the way, was terrific. Especially the smoked salmon.
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