This morning, after the alarm went off, my husband hit the snooze button, rolled over and wrapped his arm around my waist. I tried opening my eyes and from what I could gather, it was very dark, so I knew it was early. Very early. Too early for either one of us to wake up naturally, and we are morning people. Seven minutes later, the alarm went off again and this time he shut it off and got up to shower and shave. I threw the covers off and left our nice warm bed to go into the kitchen to make his lunch and coffee and a bagel with butter and jelly for breakfast (at his request).
Many of my friends do not understand why I do this for my husband. They tease me about being Joan Cleaver (I am SO NOT her) and doing so much to take care of him. It’s true. I do the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. And I worked full time. Right now, I am in the middle of changing careers and have been home for a while so it is a bit easier. However, even when I was teaching and was off in the summer, I still always got up to make him breakfast and lunch and to see him off to work. Sometimes I would go out and walk/jog as soon as he left since it was cool out and other times, if I was tired, I would crawl back into bed and go back to sleep. My husband tells me to go back to sleep and that I do not have to get up with him, but I want to. He is the man I waited over 30 years to find and I want to do these small gestures as a way of showing my love for him. Plus he works hard and takes care of me in other ways.
Many of you reading this must be thinking that I should be ashamed of myself doing the traditional things that women did many years ago and fought so hard to break away from. Well, guess what? I enjoy it! Maybe because I do not have children, it’s the nurturing instinct coming out in me. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a traditional Italian home where my mother did all of the housework and cooking. And stayed home with my brother and I until we were of school age. And kept the house clean (along with me, her trusty helper). And did the grocery shopping. And the dusting and the vacuuming…you get the point. However, my father worked hard to provide for us and worked very, very long hours. On weekends, while I was dusting and my mom was vacuuming, he and my brother would take care of the outside work, though somehow, I was dragged into that sometimes, too. I don’t like outside work.
I am totally for women’s rights and am proud that we have come so very far in America. But I enjoy taking care of my husband and I love him and he appreciates it. He always thanks me for cooking him a nice meal and one day, he came out and said…and this is a quote, “I live like a king.” Although Ralph Kramden came into mind for a split second, that made me feel really good. I try my best to keep our home clean, our pantry stocked and our bellies full. For him and for me. And guess what? It works. For us. Quite well.