Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Be My Wife, Please!

I am giving a dinner party tonight, an experience which always gives me extreme pleasure. I love to cook, plan, entertain, make my house all pretty, pick good music, put interesting people together. What I don't like to do is pick up the dry cleaning, take out the garbage, run out and get that one forgotten ingredient - and then the next one, too, replace the light bulbs which always seem to burn out on the day of my gathering, take out the dog - you know, all those things a husband might do - if one was in the picture.

When I had a husband, I was probably too harsh, wished he would do all those things better, imagined that somewhere out there was someone who just "knew" all those things that needed to be done without my telling him. This, I realized, was a metaphor for much in my life. I had always liked to be "in charge", yet had wanted to be taken care of. I had wanted someone to magically know what I needed/wanted without my having to express it.

As a working woman, there have been many times, and continue to be many times, when I feel like I could use a wife. (When I used to be doing kids' laundries at 5 AM before getting ready to go to work, I often wondered if my male counterparts were doing the same.) A few friends of mine already have personal assistants, another one is hiring one to help pick up many pieces. I suppose that with a personal assistant, the spoken agreement is for the employer/needy one to state exactly what she/he needs, and the hired one to provide that. While it is not a relationship of equality, like a marriage should be, it surely seems like good practice for expressing what one needs outright. Maybe I should get an assistant just so I can practice asking for what I want!

On the other hand, I am also enjoying owning the state of doing it alone, and learning the strength of independence and self-sustenance. Recently I successfully assembled my new bed, a most husbandly task if ever there was one. And today I assembled my new tables, cursing like any red-blooded man in the process! So as I continue my preparations for my dinner party, I realize I am pretty proud of doing it alone. I just wish some magic person would show up to take out the garbage!

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