Separate but equal


It’s one of my and my husband’s favorite debates: are men and women really equal? As far back as I can remember, I’ve held my ground and insisted that I want to be treated the same as him, that I’m just as smart, capable and strong. I’m confident that we are equal in many things, but I’m happy to say I’m OK not being equal with him in these:
1. Outdoor chores: Though I’ve actually offered to mow the lawn now and then, my husband won’t hear of it. It has less to do with the kind offer and more to do with the fact that I’m not nearly the perfectionist that he is, and I’m pretty sure I would cause him great distress if I mowed with all my crooked lines. I’m also fine with sitting out on the fertilizing, the removal and planting of trees, and the moving of huge landscaping rocks.
2. Grilling: The kitchen is generally my domain, but the grill is his responsibility, no, his specialty. I tried to work it once and nearly burned my face off, so I’ve happily passed the torch of all things grilled to my husband. I know it’s some sort of ancient need most men have when the caveman instinct kicks in. They have the need to create fire and throw on slabs of animal flesh to cook for their families. And he does make a mean steak.

3. Gross specimen removal: Spiders, rats and poor, dead rabbits our dog loves to attack. These less-than-desirable creatures are strictly reserved for my husband. I’m not going to further women’s rights by grabbing rubber gloves and disposing of a dead animal.
4. Handling customer service problems: Now this one is specific to our relationship dynamic — he is a gifted salesman and I’m a writer. Which one would you think is better with navigating the tricky world of negotiation and subtle, harmless manipulation? Any coupon that wasn’t accepted, deal that wasn’t honored or customer service puffery is usually handled by my husband. It’s not that I can’t deal with these situations, but I’m far too passive and too much of a people pleaser to get much done.
5. Tech stuff: While I proudly have my iPhone figured out enough to make calls and play PhotoHunt, my husband is my personal tech support guy. He can fix computer, television and confusing baby equipment problems in the blink of an eye. He acts like it’s no big deal, but I know he’s secretly proud when he can take a look at a device and patch up the problem right away.
Of course, these are just a few examples. And trust me, I could go on about the things I’m capable of that he is more than happy to leave to me. But I’ll give him this one, because I’m a woman and I can selflessly put others ahead of myself.

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