This is a serious one, Batman, and should you turn out to be a dude, I apologize in advance for the potential irrelevance of this rant. On the other hand, half the point of this post is that I shouldn't need to apologize to a man for talking about lady-stuff, so if you've got a twig and berries, read it and weep. As time goes on, I know I'll rant a lot more about the American system of gender identification and categorization and how it is thoroughly messing up, well, everything, but for now let's start with the basics.
Ryan is out of town this weekend. My reflexive actions were the following: first was to buy an oversized bottle of Pinot Grigio and plan out a slew of cheesy movies and crappy reality TV that I knew he wouldn't care about watching (why do I even care? yet I do...). I sloughed around the apartment in pajamas all day (which I fully justified, since it was a snow day anyhow, and snow days don't count as real days) and didn't wash my hair. That evening, I became vaguely despondent at being left alone, and shortly after that (and the Pinot) kicked in, I painted my toenails. This morning, I made myself a latte, bacon, and eggs, and dove right back into the indulgent cheesy television.
I am endlessly grateful that Ryan is not the kind of guy who disapproves of greasy hair, lazy TV indulgence, or wine-induce bouts of productivity (I finished making our wedding invitations!); in fact, he often jumps (or slumps) right in with me. Still, my choice of how to spend my time felt motivated by a sense that as a woman, I am almost obligated to save up my unladylike behavior for when the man is away.
I'll be honest; I have not closed the bathroom door in over twenty-four hours. I haven't even looked at a hairbrush, and while I have certainly brushed my teeth and washed my face, I am currently wearing the same grungy pajamas as I was the night Ryan left. When I went out to run some errands yesterday afternoon, I literally just put a hat on and went out as I was. I almost contemplated putting on a smear of makeup, but meh. I'm not even going to get in to the hour I spent picking at my toenails, or that incident in the bathroom last night...
Okay, Batman. I am an empowered, successful (as much as a young teacher can be in these times), and socially liberal woman living near a reasonably large city in a supposedly progressive decade. Why do I still save up all my un-ladylike behavior for when my man is away? Even further, why do I feel most obligated to do so as young, engaged, childless woman?
If I were married, there would be a sense of imposed complacency that allowed for less-than-elegant behavior to fly on the grounds that, welp, we're married and he's stuck with me, oogly hangnails and all. Even when one is home, it's totally cool to fart - copiously - in front of your husband. "Dudes" might not like it, but that's just the hetero-normative standard.
If I had a child, then there's every excuse I'd ever need. Spent an hour sitting on the kitchen floor reading labels because I wanted to prove to myself that there were processed sugar and ungodly amounts of preservatives in every canned soup we had? No problem, that's just because my kids were driving me kind of crazy. Didn't wash that sweatshirt after splashing the least-sugary soup on it, and continued to wear it for three days? Hey, you do these things when you're busy with your children.
You know, after writing this, I think I've decided to not give two little craps about saving up my femininity for show. We've never been an overly genderized couple in any way, but I definitely held back on a lot. As soon as Ryan gets home, he'd better be ready for burps and unwashed socks out the wazoo.