Monday, October 16, 2006

Scary


For the most part, the single life agrees with me. However, I'm often told that I need to find a "good man." That's easier said than done, chicklets - if good men grew on trees, Yours Truly's blog would not exist. You know the old saying - "A good man is hard to find." Well, I could also say that a hard man is good to find, but that's another post entirely. Still, the archetypal Good Man is the proverbial brass ring of the dating world. Sounds like something I should want! But what does it mean?

Let's define "good," shall we? I'll leave out all the online profile stuff (has a sense of adventure! likes long walks in the moonlight!) and give you my personal bottom line: a good man pulls his weight in a relationship.

Readers, marriage is not in my future if I can't get me one of those men - and if there are none left, I will choose perpetual singlehood.

Listen, I know lots of good men. I'm aware that the male gender is not categorically lazy or selfish, but I have to say, I do not get favorable reports from most of my committed girlfriends. Tales of men who won't clean up after themselves, who won't help with the kids, who feign cluelessness when confronted about pee on the toilet seat/beard hairs in the sink/skidmarked underwear on the bedroom floor abound among married women. I've heard women refer to their first baby as their "second child," because their husband always acted so helpless. Too many of the women I know who've been married (or in long-term relationships) have relayed tales of being treated like cleaning, cooking, fucking machines by the man for whom they've forsaken all others. Hell, I have a friend whose boyfriend took off his dirty socks and threw them into her bedroom corner on their second date. Now, there's a suitor that wants to impress!

This may sound silly to some. "Ginger, what's a few dirty dishes? Some dirty clothes? It doesn't take you long to do it, does it?" Well, no, it doesn't, but that's not the point, poppets. The point is, if you make a mess and don't clean it up, you are disrespecting your partner. You are saying, in effect, "I won't do it, because I think it's your job, even though it's my mess." Not cool. Not even remotely cool, particularly if you do it day in and day out for years.

Mind you, husbands are not the root of all evil! I am not writing this post to condemn marriage as an institution. It can and does offer many benefits, for both partners. I've gotten some positive feedback from both husbands and wives. I know that there are men who pull their weight at home without being asked (my father is one of them, so you can blame him for my standards). I know that there are sloppy women, too. I know some happy wives who feel that their lives are much improved since they married. I'm a bit ambivalent as to whether marriage would actually improve my life, but when you meet a good person, things can change very quickly. I'm always open to change. Dear readers, constant change is life's only guarantee. As my Nan often says, "We make plans...and God laughs."

I'll tell you what, though; I am beyond petrified that I'll choose a guy who seems self-sufficient during courtship, only to revert to an adult childhood after the honeymoon. Reading this certainly hasn't helped. Seriously, check out the comments section - it's scarier than Night of the Living Dead.

Why are we still hearing these stories 30 years after the feminist revolution? If my significant other asked me where his boxers were, I would laugh, and not kindly. I follow my own rules, by the way. I've known where my panties were since I was three or four years old. No one waits on me, because I have four working limbs and a functioning brain. "Pull Your Weight" should be emblazoned on my family crest. Will there be times in a relationship when one partner needs support, and the other shoulders more work, to be supportive? Of course! Later on, should the other partner show their appreciation by maybe doing a little extra without being nagged? You betcha! Give and take. It goes both ways, or maybe I just think it should...in practice, it doesn't always work that way. Realizing this leaves me torn. How am I supposed to view a man as a full partner if he loses his ability to launder his own socks as soon as we get serious? How do I navigate the inevitable difficult times with an overgrown child who doesn't clean up after himself because it "hadn't occurred" to him? I'll be a mother to whatever children I bear, but not to the man who shares my bed. Does that mean I'll always sleep alone?

"Wife" is a job description, I'm often told. Well, "Husband" should be, too - and only good men need apply.

UPDATE: This is mind-blowing. Is it that difficult for women to speak honestly to their men? I've never had that problem...and I've never gotten married. Coincidence? Hmmm...

Hedonistic Pleasureseeker chimes in here.

Here's even more food for thought from PunkAss Blog.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginger. I just want to add to your list of people who have excellent husbands. I always felt, like you, that I would not marry if it meant falling into the traditional role of a wife/housekeeper. And I didn't. I waited until I met a man who is more than willing to help around the house. He doesn't leave messes, he cooks and washes dishes more than I do and makes me feel completely respected in our relationship. Marriage is wonderful if you have a true partner, but if one person doesn't give 100% it's not worth settling for.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Jennifer R said...

Okay, I just bitchranted right along with you on my site, but I have one more thing to add: WHAT WAS YOUR FRIEND THINKING to KEEP DATING Dirty Socks on Second Date Guy?!?!?!? The fact that she kept this dude just depresses me.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Linnaeus said...

I suppose one of the "benefits" of having spent most of my childhood in a single-parent household is that I learned to do basic chores and the upkeep of my own space.

Now, I won't say I'm the neatest guy on the planet (far from it), but it was telling when a woman who briefly roomed with me and my friend (while she was waiting for her condo to be completed) said that we were cleaner than some women she'd lived with.

As for laundry, not only do I not expect a live-in partner to do it, I actually tend to not trust anyone other than me to do my laundry. I've had too many instances of people not reading labels, using the wrong temperature of water, bleach when they shouldn't, etc. The results, shall we say, chagrined me.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say, I have an awesome husband. They are out there, if you look long enough. If you want *real* ranting about bad husbands, though, check out True Wife Confessions: http://truewifeconfessions.blogspot.com/

1:31 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Thanks all, for your honest input. Nice to hear from the happily commited - I know you're out there! Also, I have always felt that dividing chores along gender lines was a lazy default, so it's nice to hear Linnaeus back me up.

Anon, thanks for the link, although I'm kind of scared to click it.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

My boyfriend is great...we both pull our weight and we both slack. We each have our responsibilities, he cooks and I do dishes, because we both agree it isn't fair that one should do both. I don't want him to do the laundry because he thinks EVERYTHING can go through the dryer, so I do it all, and I don't care. We help each other out and it works out pretty well. I'm not saying it's always perfect, he can get just as snippy with me for leaving something out as I can be with him. There are good guys out there...they're few and far between, but it pays off to keep looking!

7:51 AM  
Anonymous hedonistic said...

I just found your blog and it's so funny, I used that exact same image for my OWN anti-marriage screed . . .

http://hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com/2006/04/07/if-youre-so-wonderful-why-are-you-still-single/

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Carolyn said...

Amen Sister!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Sister said...

So, here's the thing...Mr. Shakes drives me insane. He doesn't believe there's a place for anything; the screwdriver could as easily be in the tool chest as it could be in a dresser drawer in the spare bedroom. He also never remembers where he puts anything, so it's up to me to discern in which weird, nonsensical place he left the screwdriver this time.

He leaves stinky socks laying around. He can't find anything, even if it's right in front of his face. He's totally absent-minded. He leaves jelly on the sink. He spills crap everywhere and doesn't clean it up very well. He gets beard clippings in my toothbrush. And because he lives on Planet Mr. Shakes, none of these things will ever change.

Now, mind you, he doesn't leave jelly on the sink because he thinks it's my job to clean it up. He leaves jelly on the sink because he doesn't notice it. That's incomprehensible to me, but it's true. If I say, "Mr. Shakes, you left jelly on the sink," he says, "Oh, sorry!" and goes and cleans it up. Planet Mr. Shakes. His mind is just never on what he's doing at the moment. So he puts milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge, and sets his sweating soda on my book. And then he feels like a proper ass when I point out the milk is off and my book has a big ring on it.

But here's the other thing...he is a wonderful man and a great husband. He treats people well, he's fair, he's trustworthy, he's wickedly smart. He makes me laugh until my sides ache. He talks to me about interesting things. He tells me a hundred times a day that he loves me, and remembers my blog anniversary, and encourages and supports me. He's good in bed. And he knows he drives me batshit crazy, so he doesn't hold it against me when I need to bitch at him about it to blow off some steam.

That's the trade-off we've made. We're both going to try our darnedest not to do things that irritate the other, but when we fail, we're going to allow them to vent about it. And then we'll go back to trying.

There's no such thing as a perfect relationship. What matters is whether the pros outweigh the cons, and whether you've come up with a decent strategy to accommodate the cons--it's no more glamorous or romantic than that, I'm afraid. But also no harder than that, either.

Marriage doesn't make your life richer, but the right partner does.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous ginmar said...

I read some of this stuff---oddly enough, it's mostly by those conservative shills----and I just thank God I'm unmarried. Too many guys seem to think women are potential employees.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Thanks ladies, for being so forthcoming with such personal info.

There's no such thing as a perfect relationship. What matters is whether the pros outweigh the cons, and whether you've come up with a decent strategy to accommodate the cons--it's no more glamorous or romantic than that, I'm afraid. But also no harder than that, either.

Shakes Sis, I think that sums it up perfectly. I'm certainly no angel, but my main issue with relationships is whether both sides are getting as good as they give.

Ginmar, I understand what you mean - I've always found it funny how conservatives push marriage as a panacea that cures all societal ills, yet they seem to actually experience less satisfaction within their relationships. I wouldn't say that I thank god I'm not married, but I definitely realize that it's been better for me to remain single up to this point.

jenniferR, my friend picked up the socks and waved them in his face, saying "isn't it a little EARLY for this??" LOL. He got the point. They continued to date for quite a few months, actually.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

I definitely agree that the household work should be shared equally. That said, if one partner works more than the other, then the other person naturally should have to do more housework.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Sage said...

I think marriage is an outdated institution to begin with. (I say more here.) But I've been living with a guy for a few years who is cleanliness-challenged. Previously I lived with two neat-freaks. I prefer the slob. I don't clean up after him though because I hate cleaning too, and I'm willing to have a messy house. We're not lazy; it's a low priority for us. The kitchen and bathrooms are hygenic, but there's a path through the stuff everywhere else. Every once in a while we go nuts and tidy up. It's more satisfying cleaning a big mess from time to time than stressing over little messes every day. That's my strategy anyway.

Marriage is overrated, and so is a spotless house. Just say no!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

You know, the only ones who really have anything to gain from marriage are women anyway.

In a world where bachelors handle all their domestic and financial affairs anyway, why would he risk signing off his financial security, consider having children when custody can be pulled out from under his feet, and desire to marry when all a female brings to the table is a twat.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Kreshna Iceheart said...

No offense, Ginger, but frankly, I'm not sure how exactly to comment on a blog that starts with "WHY DO I HAVE TO GET MARRIED? I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG." but ends with "DOES THAT MEAN I'LL ALWAYS SLEEP ALONE?"

Le me put it this way: I'm a 30 years-old single guy, and I'm not interested in marriage at all. And of course, people don't talk about the things they're not interested with. I'm interested in Harley bikes, thus I discuss about them. I'm interested in modding my PC, thus I talk about it. I'm interested in war history, and I do discuss about them. However, have I ever discussed about my expectations about marriage? Have I ever talked about my ideal future wife? Of course not.

Sheesh... Make up your mind, lady.

-Kresh

12:11 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Kresh,
The above illustration is supposed to be ironic...THUS, it's supposed to be darkly funny.

And they say feminists don't have a sense of humor!

Sheesh, indeed. If you don't want to talk about your expectations about marriage, or your ideal future wife, why did you leave a comment?

9:24 AM  
Blogger Kreshna Iceheart said...

Ginger: Sheesh, indeed. If you don't want to talk about your expectations about marriage, or your ideal future wife, why did you leave a comment?

I left the comment in regards to the ambivalence of your blog, NOT to discuss about my ideal future wife. The second paragraph is merely for illustration, that people who's really not interested in marriage doesn't usually discuss about it.

If I claim that I'm not interested in Care Bears, yet making a blog about it (or otherwise invite people to talk about it), doesn't it say something about the credibility of my claim?


Ginger: The above illustration is supposed to be ironic...THUS, it's supposed to be darkly funny.

And they say feminists don't have a sense of humor!


Alright then. Buh-bye.

-Kresh

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Kresh, way to miss the point.

I wrote the post to discuss the reasons for my ambivalence towards marriage. That WAS the point. Clear now?

Don't go getting your jockeys in a twist. Obviously something in the post hit a nerve, or you wouldn't keep coming back here.

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