Maybe Not so Stupid After All

It was still dark, too dark, certainly too dark for me to be awake, but I was awake. Not only awake but I was cold, my body was aching from my muscles clenching, trying to cling to any remnant of the remembered warmth of my bed, (best not to think of that, it only makes me shiver more.)

It's a cold November morning and I'm shivering in the car on my way to the High School again, because it's Thursday. I can't help but think (again) that I must have been out of my mind to agree to doing this every Tues. and Thurs. morning. Ani has chamber orchestra at 6:45 am and as per our agreement I am taking her to the school. While I'm waiting for the car to warm up and shivering in the cold, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Ahn didn't have the right of it.

Ahn was a Vietnamese woman I worked with some years ago. Often we would talk about our marriage and families and Ahn told me that in her marriage she and her husband had an agreement as to the division of household chores. Their arrangement was such that Ahn was responsible for taking care of all things that were within the house and her husband was responsible for everything that was without.

Ahn did all the cooking, all the housecleaning, all the laundry, all of child care and bookkeeping. Every night she laid out clean clothes, socks and underwear for him to wear to work and made him his lunch for the next day. She helped the kids with their homework and anything else that they may have needed. When they built their home Ahn made all the decisions, she chose the carpet and wall colors, she did it all. Her husband wasn't expected to help with anything in the running of the household.

What her husband was responsible for was the care and maintenance of the cars, he was responsible for mowing the lawn, planting and weeding the garden and flowers and shoveling the walk in the winter.

I always thought this was an interesting arrangement, although I've always been of the opinion that Ahn was getting the short end of stick in this bargain. In theory it seemed to be a reasonable enough strategy, however, it always struck me as one of those plans that looked good on paper but in practice would surely fail due to the huge imbalance of the workloads. It just didn't seem fair.

However as I was listening to my teeth chatter while I waited for the window to defrost, I began to think that perhaps I had been too hasty in my dismissal of this plan when you consider this; Ahn never had to buy a car, she never had to change the oil on the car or take the car in for service and Ahn never even had to put gas in the car, for that matter. When Ahn had to be at work at 5:00 in the morning, her husband would get up at 4:00; shovel the walk, clear the snow off the car, start the car and let it run to warm up. When Ahn drove to work in the morning her car was warm, she wasn't shivering from the cold and her teeth were not chattering in her skull.

Perhaps she had the right of it all along, maybe striking such a bargain as this wasn't so very crazy after all. It almost may be worth it, to make such a bargain, to be able to sit in the warmth of a well maintained and preheated car on those cold, dark and bleak winter mornings.


Stupid cold! Stupid darkness! Stupid morning! Stupid car! Stupid chamber!

(These kind of posts I usually relegate to my live journal blog but for some reason I started it on this blog so I figured I would go ahead and post it here, besides I promised my knitting buddies I would post soon. The next post will have more knitting content.)

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