Monday, July 6, 2009

Appearance and Function (or Gender Roles)

I think the relationship Chris and I share works on many levels. So if anyone were to ask me how we've been able to stay together for the past seventeen years, I'd have to say that, in addition to Chris having the patience of a saint when it comes to living with me, we are opposites in ways that matter.

For example, Chris is left brain, and I'm right brain. This means that he's logical and common sense, and I'm crazy and creative.

Another example. Some gay couples would hate to read this, but I think it's true where Chris and I are concerned: He's the male in the relationship, and I'm the female. There are times when the roles are reversed, depending on what we're talking about, but, by and large, Chris attends to most of the masculine aspects of our relationship, including yard work, anything mechanical, and everything to do with computers. And I, on the other hand, attend to the feminine aspects of our relationship, including planning meals, cooking, housecleaning, and the like.

This led me to a conclusion about our relationship which typifies what we share in many different respects: Chris is all about function, and I'm all about looks.

For instance, today, Chris and I worked in our recreation room to ready it for the delivery of a sectional sofa we ordered from Jordan's Casual Home in Langley several weeks ago. Part of this involved moving all of our audio and video equipment (that is, the flat screen TV, DVR, DVD player, amplifier, VCR, and CD player) to the wall beside the fireplace. Once the equipment was in place, Chris was on it in terms of reconnecting everything and making sure it worked. Although I can do it if I have to, this type of thing doesn't come easily to me, and I'd just as soon avoid it if I can. But Chris loves it and digs right in, making sure that we have the ability to turn on the TV later and have it work.

I, on the other hand, had the vacuum in my hand. As Chris worked on reconnecting the cables, I vacuumed the carpet all around the entertainment system, ensuring all of the lint, bits of styrofoam, and pieces of packing paper were cleaned up so we'd have a clean room in which to enjoy watching TV this evening.

Just like when we paint a room in the house. Chris is all about getting the job done, but I'm all about making sure the job not only gets done, but also that it's done right so that the result looks great, giving us something to be proud of in the end.

What can I say? This arrangement that we instinctually have between us has been in place for years and seems to work well for us. I care more about how we "look" than he does, which means that, when it comes time to decorating the rooms in our home, Chris stays out of the way and lets me do my thing. I think he's been very happy with the results so far, whether I've put together the first home we shared together in Vancouver's Yaletown, or the townhouse we bought together in Victoria, or the first detached house we bought together in __________.

It works. I can't argue with that.

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