Relationship Column: No, I Won’t be Your June Cleaver

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 Alex Parker

The Kitty Foremans, Marion Cunninghams, and June Cleavers of 20th century television have created an image of the perfect housewife and mother. Another way of looking at it is that these fictional women have raised the bar, making it impossible for females today to even compete. It seems that guys have the notion that taking care of them should be the number one priority. Being a 20-year-old girl, I don’t agree.

Now, I don’t have a boyfriend to take care of currently, but I did for four years. I’m all too familiar with, “Babe, I’m thirsty; baby, I’m hungry; sweetie, can you get something for me?”  In my head all I’m thinking is,” Oh, you’re thirsty? Well guess what…so am I!” In most cases, if I want something, I get up and get it myself. Unless my significant other is already up, then I’ll ask. Now I don’t want to come of as cold or frigid. Of course there were plenty of instances over the course of my four-year relationship that I would haul my lazy butt off the couch and get whatever it was that my boyfriend wanted.

It’s the bigger picture I find a problem with. I’ve asked my guy friends what they expect of their future wives and there was one answer that the majority of them came up with. They want a stay-at-home wife who will cook, clean, and take care of them and the kids, if they have any. I tried explaining to them that that is a primitive idea and quite unrealistic. But no, no, they’re going to make plenty of money because that’s what they’re supposed to do as the breadwinners. They’re going to come home from work and expect dinner ready, kick their shoes off, open a beer, and watch TV. Sounds like an episode of That 70’s Show, doesn’t it?

All the while, I’m sitting there thinking,” Yeah right,” for more than one reason. First off there’s no way on this Earth that I’ll ever be amenable to that, it’s just not the way I’m wired. I’m all for the, give a little to get a little, principle. Second, in this day and state of economy, it takes two separate incomes to raise a family and live comfortably. If that’s the situation you find yourself in when it’s time to get married, the rest of the work like cleaning, food shopping, cooking, and taking care of the kids should be divided up. It’s not reasonable to think that after working all day, your wife is going to come home and truly want to do everything for you.

Now boys, I know the idea of doing any sort of manual labor is terrifying, but you’re going to have to help, especially when it comes to the heavy lifting. Women are natural caretakers so, if you take the initiative to do something without us asking, we will love it. We will also probably not ask you to do anything else for the rest of the day or the few days preceding. Thinking a little bit preemptively and just helping us out every once and a while may end up benefitting you in the long run.

The bottom line here is, no, I will not be your 1950’s housewife. I will be inclined to take care of you sometimes due to my genetic makeup. However, I will also expect some help. Women haven’t been creeping their way up the corporate ladder just to come home and take a step back in time.

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