Friday, July 19, 2019

Tell Me Something Girl, Are You Happy In This Modern World

As I prepare to make a dinner recipe called Dump Casserole I see that there is no turning back, I am officially in another part of my life. I've always equated casseroles with all things boring.  When the cook phones in her culinary efforts and puts her creativity to nap.
I wonder sometimes if other women my age feel like I do, caught in this in-between.  I would think similar to the upside-down but with a bunch of old birds instead of young kids.
Related image
I am in between old and young but I'm also in-between the modern gal and say my mom's version of a woman.  Its an odd place to be.  I ride my bike like a youngster and live in a small Brooklyn apartment. I don't get my hair done, I get it cut.  I can't quite figure how to shop in the women's departments, so I still buy juniors.  Yet, I am beginning to entertain the idea of retirement and my face shows signs of aging, big highway-size signs, which is really depressing.  I do wife type things but it feels strange just to say the word.  I was considering my mom today, where she was in her life at 57 as compared to me.  She had 7 kids and was working full time at her restaurant with literally no free time of her own but still managed to furnish a huge house with antiques, redecorate and help raise grand kids.  She didn't do bad things or deviate from the program like I do.  I don't remember her complaining about her life although she did confide about a lot of work issues. She rarely got sick or took any time off.  There were no big vacations for her, eventually just a trailer at a peaceful lake where they would enjoy weekends with my dad's brother and wife living next door.  Mostly, all the living was being put into the future, for post retirement.   So in almost every way she ran circles around my womanhood.  I whine through my entire week and piss away my days off a good amount of time with various mental health issues. Basically, I'm just an uglier version of my 14 year old self.

Its hard to understand how to be a 57 woman today.  I imagine it's equally puzzling for men.  Terms like breadwinner, head of the household, husband, all have somewhat outdated definitions.  Do we rewrite our partnership laws or try to modify the current structure?
A nice big Greek Salad with gifted Feta from a coworker
I make food most always.  Some days I don't feel able and he'll buy take-out or jointly we'll figure out a plan.  Lately the cooking or at least the hunting and gathering portion is being shared more often. But if we were keeping score, I'd definitely be due some retro pay.  Probably pretty common, we split most things down the middle.  But when it comes to vacations, I feel a little bit girly in that I dream of being whisked away for an adventure.  Girls feel that we are always still dating in some ways, like we want day adventures and to be asked out occasionally.  And I just realized that I think of vacations as the reward for doing a good job all year.  Like that big bottle of Scotch you'd give to your amazing super for Christmas.  These are roles after all, right?  Or do I have it all wrong?  Is that a gross misrepresentation of the partnership?  Does he feel he should get a reward from me? I'm very aware I do these various things each day for us both and it's not always fun.  I don't always want to do it but many times I do.  Its part of living our life and for that life, I'm very grateful.  When you cohabit-ate, you naturally do what works until you feel the scales starting to tip too far. I imagine he feels the same though about his role.  Who wants to be the responsible one all the time?  But the days of the husband coming home announcing a surprise trip to Hawaii is not part of this new reality. You have to negotiate your time off from both jobs.  This takes a bit of the romance out of it but I would not be cool with being out of the planning part either.
Like I say, I'm caught in the in-between, sometimes not knowing how to be.  Modern girls have made great strides in so many ways but given the choice to create your own partnership, this gal is struggling with what that looks like in this next phase of life.

Dump Casserole Recipe

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