Today is Tuesday, when I normally work from home catching up on paperwork, Mary Kay orders and other duties in my home office. A few hours ago, my husband called and said he is having some dental problems, so could I make an appointment for him?
Now, he obviously has a phone and time to call me to make his appointment. But, being the good wife, I called the dentist's office. The conversation went something like this:
"Where is exactly is the pain he is experiencing?"
"I don't know."
"Is it localized?"
"I don't know."
"Did this pain just start?"
"I don't know"
I got the appointment and called him back to make sure it worked in his schedule. I left two messages on his cell phone. He finally calls me back and tells me that time slot won't work for him. So I call the office back and cancel.
This entire episode took about 45 minutes. It would have taken about five minutes for him to do it himself. So why didn't he?
I have decided that most men spend their entire lives being taken care of. They go from being taken care of by their mothers to being taken care of by their wives. They probably don't even realize it, but they like it that way. They want it that way. They see no reason to change.
When a woman gets married and becomes a wife and later a mother, her entire system of priorities change. She learns to put the needs of everyone else first and put herself last. Men never learn to do this. In general, they go on exactly as they did before the wife and children came into the picture.
Say your husband's friend "Frank" calls him up to go golfing. The process goes like this:
1. Put golf clubs in trunk.
2. Meet Frank at golf course.
Now say your friend "Mary" calls and wants to meet a restaurant with you and some other friends to catch up. Your process would go like this:
1. Make dinner so that no one will starve and you will not get repeated calls at restaurant saying "I'm hungry, when are you coming home?"
2. Supervise homework because husband will be sleeping on couch when he comes home rather than help daughter with geometry.
3. Call husband to make sure he will be home in time to transport children to and from activities.
4. Call mother-in-law to beg her to pick up children from activities as husband has made a pit stop at the driving range on the way home from work.
5. Drive kids to activities yourself
6. Look for something in your closet to wear that does not scream "I am a soccer mom."
7. Stop at gas station because your gas tank is empty from transporting children, and stop at ATM machine since you have given out all of your cash for lunch money tomorrow.
By the time you accomplish all of this, Mary and the girls left the restaurant half an hour ago. I imagine it is easier to get national security clearance than for a mother to plan an evening out.
I have made it a priority in my life not to allow the dependent man syndrome to continue. My own son helps with laundry, cooking, cleaning and pet care. He will grow up to do auto maintenance and yard work like his dad. I will be darned, however, if he will have any excuse for leaving laundry on the floor beside the hamper or dishes in the sink next to the dishwasher for his wife to pick up. Some girl is going to thank me someday.
And if he ever calls his wife at work and asks her to make an appointment for him because his tooth hurts, I will go over there and give him a smack-down.