Saturday, January 06, 2007

Who's going to be the primary source of archaic assumptions?

I read the NYT article "Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying" to reassure myself that it was OK that Mr. T&A and I got hitched after only making it about 1/3 of the way through our "1001 Questions to Answer Before You Get Married" book. The article only has 15 questions, which is a much more reasonable number than 1001, for which I give them props.

However, the questions drove me absolutely batshit, and have been bugging me for weeks now because of the article's seemingly permanent spot on the list of Most Emailed Articles, which is normally a nice source of work-avoidance for me. Check out #1:

Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

You may say I'm a dreamer, but isn't it possible for two people to share caregiving responsibilities? Even if not, why do you have to decide years in advance who the main baby-raiser is going to be? Wouldn't it be reasonable to decide that, for instance, the person for whom it makes the most sense to take time off from work given their job situation at the time the aforementioned children arrive will do it?

And then we have # 3:

Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

"Manage the chores"? Unless they mean "who will berate the gardener if he trims the shrubbery in a less than symmetrical fashion," I can only think this means "Who will end up doing the huge majority of the chores and will end up thanking the other partner for 'helping' if he sometimes does the dishes?"

In the interest of winnowing the number of questions yet farther, I propose they could replace these two with the following:

Woman, have you discarded your starry-eyed college-feminist visions of an equal partnership and accepted your inescapable fate as the primary caregiver and chore-doer?

And, end rant. Tune in next week when I explain why the Pussycat Dolls are not good role models for little girls.

No comments: