So my parents just moved house.
I'm so thrilled for them 'cause it's the kind of home they've always dreamt of living in. Although it's coming rather later than they'd have preferred, it eventually happened and for that I'm grateful. It's much bigger than where they were and to see them arrange their new rooms is akin to watching 3yr old boys let loose in a toy shop.
Notice I said rooms?
For as long as I can remember my parents have always stayed in separate bedrooms. I don't think this impacted negatively on their marriage as they're obviously still cool, and also the fact that they sha snuck/sneak into the other's room at night to sleep together most nights probably helps.
A while back, just before they moved in finally, I went over to see what was going on. My mum was there with one of her BFFs, they've been besties since their early 20s. She's a Grandmum like my mum.
My mum was taking her round to see the house. When she entered the Master's bedroom she became very animated. You see, there are two large bedrooms in the house. One is ensuite, one has its bathroom outside the room. The room that's ensuite (Master's) was taken by my dad, my mum took the other. There were no arguments about this whatsoever, in fact they've both got reasons why they prefer their chosen bedrooms over the other.
"The tiles here would have been nicer if they were blue, you should give it a feminine touch" Aunty B said to my mum about the Master's bathroom.
"No aunty, this is daddy's room. Mummy's room is there, her bathroom is over there" I said, pointing in the opposite direction to my mum's bathroom
"WHAT RUBBISH!!" Aunty B suddenly flared. "What nonsense Esther? What absolute rubbish? Why should he get the room with the bathroom? Is he better than you? Don't you also want a room with a bathroom?"
"No I don't really mind", my normally headstrong Mum muttered uncertainly
"Lai lai o! Me I can't have that nonsense. I won't take it. I will never agree to such an unjust arrangement. If it were me I will insist on taking this one and he can move into the other one, or any other place he chooses".
At that point I laughed at nothing in particular and louder than I should have, to diffuse the situation and change the topic.
But I've got to say, it did make me wonder...
I don't agree with her that my mum should have battled with my dad over who gets the Master's bedroom. My parents have been married peacefully for at least forty years and their somewhat traditional methods have worked for them just fine.
I don't know if Aunty B was coming from a feminist's standpoint or just being troublesome. I couldn't help but wonder if this is the kind of advise she gives her daughters and if, perhaps this played a part in the lack of success of the first one's marriage.
But I digress...
Could something be said for our parents' traditional methods? Is "the struggle for equality" a reason so many marriages are not making it these days?
You know, I feel conflicted. I'm an unrepentant feminist. I also know how to dissociate feminism from gender roles, especially within a marriage. But the truth is that the line is sometimes very thin. Or maybe it's not even just feminism, maybe times and things are simply changing and most women today aren't willing to play second fiddle to their husbands. Maybe women today are working harder than the men and bringing in more money than their husbands and that makes our mothers' brand of docility or submissiveness a concept that's becoming alien.
I'm not sure what direction I'm going with this post to be honest. I guess I've just been imagining how things would be if my mother suddenly decides to go all raging "feminist" on my father. The poor man would be so confused! 😂😂😂
In any case, I believe each couple is unique and each couple should find what works for them and stick to it.
That said... Can we talk about Aunty B for a minute? Do you have a mother or friends like that? Or are you yourself Aunty B?