Last January, on the day of the Women’s March, Tom and I hired a cleaning lady for the first time.
At the time I was employed and growing more resentful toward Tom with each passing weekday. When I had no job, I kept the house clean. And now that I had a full-time job, most of the housekeeping still fell on me, simply because I cared more.
We fought so much about chores that we finally agreed, to keep the peace, to hire a cleaner once a month.
The rest of the month I would do most of the cleaning (insert exhaustive list here), and Tom would be responsible for taking out the garbage (once a week), and vacuuming (every two weeks).
Maria arrived at 10AM Sunday morning and spent four hours cleaning the apartment from top to bottom. Then she asked us to check her work.
“You check,” Tom said from the couch, “You’re better at that stuff than I am.”
The women and men marching out in the streets, I probably should have joined them.
Later, feeling cabin fevered, Tom and I went out for dinner. As we walked to the subway a woman rushed by us, nearly knocking Tom off the sidewalk.
Tom righted himself and threw her a dirty look.
“That hard-charging cow just tried to box me out of the sidewalk!” he said.
“Tom!” I glanced around the street, hoping no angry feminist overheard and was rushing him with the pointy end of a picket. “You can’t say that! It’s the Women’s March!”
“I know,” he said, “I have to be extra sexist today.”
If you’re appalled by Tom’s behavior, let me assure you, I would never marry a sexist. Tom is multi-faceted man, full of complexities.
He has more close female friends than the average man yet doesn’t hesitate to refer to the lot of them as “bitches.”
When it comes to relationships, he’s surprisingly a trusted resource for advice. He’ll listen attentively and provide keen insights, but with less tact than you’re accustomed to.
“Yeah he’s not going to call you back.”
“I don’t see this working out. He’s a doofus.”
“You shouldn’t have said that. You’re a doofus.”
“Man, you got the axe/got chopped? That sucks. But you’ll get over it.”
My cousin once said, “Wow, Tom’s advice is pretty good but listening to it is like getting stabbed in the stomach.”
And when it comes to me, there are no limits to his love. Only to his vocabulary.
“Do you love me?” I’ll ask him.
“Of course,” he’ll say, “You’re very nice. That’s why I bought you.”
Some of Tom’s other thoughts on “women” things:
On childbirth: “Sounds like a big pain in the vagina.”
On women who only have ugly friends: “Your friends should be a range of attractiveness. If they’re all a bunch of brown-baggers then there’s something up with your self-esteem.”
On my remarking that The Princess Bride had no strong female characters: “It’s a movie, Betty, not a fucking diversity conference.”
On any movie in which love/marriage/any relationship is central to the plot: “Sounds like one of those women movies.”
Happy Thursday! Here’s to catching one of those women movies and spending quality time with your beautiful-on-the-inside friends.