Friday, October 07, 2011

Gender Bender
The weird, old-fashioned gender roles are sort of confusing to us here. We are beseiged with 1950s type game shows and commercials here with women playing the dumb, just for show, not a brain cell in sight role. In practice, however, most of the men/dads we know are very enlightened and know how to do all of the household stuff and child raising stuff as well or better than the women.  And we are very proud of T, who often chooses to play the boys' game of pallamano/hand ball ultimate frisbee hybrid during gym class instead of the girls' pallavolo/volley ball despite all of the peer pressure to do the expected.

Now we all know that in our house, F, who mostly works at home, but even if he didn't, is the master of ceremonies. He cooks, he does the laundry, he dusts and mops, he seals T's text books in plastic liners and does the ironing. I clean the surfaces and make T clean her room once a week. And I am fully aware how lucky I am. And how good I have it. So this week F tailored by hand my boxy, unflattering gym t-shirts, which are the required wardrobe choice for teaching at the gyms. He took them in so they accentuate my waist and rolled up the sleeves for me to make my arms look longer. I am 5 foot one and a half inches, and I need all the help I can get. Then we had the bright idea to borrow a sewing machine from our friends Fabio and Anna Maria. The man in the couple has a regular office job, but is home for lunch sometimes with his daughters so he makes lunch and picks them up from school. The woman is a police officer with a crazy schedule and sometimes has to work through the night. He does a lot of work around the house but she is the only one allowed to do the ironing.

When F asked if he could borrow the sewing machine, Fabio turned to him delighted and asked "Does (K) sew?" To which F looked at him funny and transmitted telepathically, "No, have you met K. Of course she doesn't sew." Then Fabio said, "Well, anyway, have her ask my wife if she can borrow the machine." Um, okay.

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