A couple of weeks ago I posted this on Twitter: Married Ladies: do you ever wonder if your husband is being deliberately annoying or if he's just that inconsiderate naturally?
I was pretty irritated with the mister, who had done several of my least favorite things all in one day, pretty much all of which include him doing something without even thinking, for one second, how that might inconvenience me, annoy me, create more work for me, or be downright rude.
The responses I got to my irritated post were pretty funny. “I wonder the same thing every day.” “All the time.” “YYYEEEEEESSSSS.”
These responses started me thinking.
The mister never accuses me of being inconsiderate. Annoying, sure. Bitchy? Sometimes, and he’d be right. Inconsiderate? Never. He, on the other hand, is forgiving, laid back, and really, really inconsiderate. And thinking of my friends in steady relationships, I don’t think those women could be called inconsiderate either, while their mates very well might be.
Are women more aware of how our actions and inactions impact others? Are women more aware of their significant other’s comfort and solicitous of that comfort? Is it because we think about others more while men are more inwardly focused? Is it some innate, estrogen enhanced characteristic?
Or is it societal? Are we trained to focus more on others, to take care of others, to do the dirty work and the heavy lifting for someone else?
Looking back, I can count on one hand how many loads of laundry my father has done and how many times he’s done a load of dishes. I can remember my mother picking up after him and rolling her eyes as she shoveled his magazines and books back into the basket by the couch, an action I often mirror as I scoop up dirty socks and put them in the hamper. I wonder how much of my actions are learned from this behavior.
The mister, too, actually. His own mother picked up after him, did his laundry, washed his dishes and took care of him, took care of his father. Even when she worked in the evenings, she’d cook dinner and leave for work, never getting the chance to eat herself. When the mister lived on his own, she’d still come by and “help” him clean. How much of his leave-it-and-the-wife’ll-get-it-for-me behavior is learned?
And how stupid am I for perpetuating that? He leaves it and I get it. Sure, I get annoyed and I rail at him, and we have our little standoffs where I refuse to replace the toilet paper and will in fact carry my own roll in and out of the bathroom and just leave him to fend for himself, but when push comes to shove, I always give in. Someone has to clean up, put away, make the calls, think about something other than themselves. So far, it's been me. I wonder if it always will be.