さまざまの言葉… random items

April 10, 2008

Filed under: family — rithban @ 5:00 am

I stumbled across a blog called Dad’s House, and a collision between the author and another writer.

It got me thinking, that making light of common petty pains is as old as man (read the old Greek comedies). I’ve also seen such humor sting out of the blue, without warning. One never knows when cutting humor will strike a deeply personal chord in other person.

I’m not divorced, but that doesn’t reduce my own personal irritation with the stereotype that men (married or divorced) are incompetent, fools, lazy, narcissistic, or plain borderline evil. Can anybody come up with something more creative than these clichés? It seems that many people still cling to some of their ’60 and ’70s angst.

Though the producers of such stereotypes likely won’t be dissuaded, as a counter anecdote, last summer I kicked my wife out of the house for a week to give her a break. I did this fearlessly as my mom taught all her kids to take care of themselves, including cooking, cleaning, laundry — and mom didn’t raise sissies. Consequently, with no wife at home the kids and I had a ball. The domestic front was immediately conquered with the kids’ co-operation. The house was cleaned and laundry done daily, and we ate fabulously. (I’m a little more strict than my wife for nutrition. Kudos to mom for teaching me to cook, and kudos to my wife for ensuring our kids can cook.) I found it interesting that my wife was a little crestfallen that the kids weren’t bemoaning her absence, and that “Team Gooberfish” was a little better at housekeeping… but she got some good fishing time in at the lake along with visiting her folks.

That week was a lot of work, and nightly I went to bed exhausted and a little lonely. I can only imagine doing that for years on end with the emotional wreckage of a death or divorce on top of it. My hat goes out to widowers and divorcees with kids.

As for the stereotypes, I don’t have much hope for the near future, but maybe in the next generation or two. We went from the 1950’s depiction of “perfect” households to today’s “dump on dad and family” stereotypes. Both are idealistic (one positive, one negative), so perhaps a swing towards a more happy median will happen at some point.

I can hope, can’t I?

Anyhow, I have felt my own irritation and can empathize with Dad’s House’s very human reaction.

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