The hot tar roofin' argument


Last night I had this incredible urge to take my husband outside and whoop him on our front lawn, redneck style. Every now and then we have these little arguments that married people have, arguments that are nothing about the stupid things you're arguing about so much as they are over control in the relationship. As soon as he realizes that I rule school WE WON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS.

We were having a semi-heated conversation that could've stemmed from a number of things: His telling me at 11 p.m. that he needs his suit cleaned and pressed for an important meeting this morning since he is allergic to taking it to the dry cleaner himself at any time before the last minute; or his suggestion that if I re-organized my time I might be able to squeeze an extra half hour out to do more household chores. Because there is NOTHING sexier than when a husband hints that the chore area of household duties might be slacking. NOTHING SEXIER. Except possibly the words that fell from Chris's mouth next.

"I don't think you realize how hard I work," I said to him, the heat rising in my cheeks. Hi! My skin is turning red from rage RUN NOW. Run! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. "I work a job at home, tend to our kids, and keep the house in working order. I work harder than anyone I know."

I realize that I was making a semi-universal statement, and also that he plugs in serious time at the studio. A studio where he doesn't chase around two children ages five and under. A studio where his work is work and his home life is his home life.

"Yeah, well have you ever tar-roofed? I know you don't work harder than a tar roofer," he retorted, citing his summer as a hot tar roofer. "That is the most physically taxing job EVER."

At this point Andi shot straight up from the couch with a bewildered look and listened intensely. This was the point in the conversation where we apparently got sucked into some odd, Dr. Who-ish third dimension - because in the real world, a man would not compare a woman's job to that of a hot tar roofer. It's not only a stupid analogy, it's dangerous.

"Excuse me?" I asked incredulously. "You mean to say that a hot tar roofer has a more physically taxing job than that of a pregnant woman or a woman in labor?"

"If I was standing with a hot tar roofer on one side and a pregnant woman on the other side, yes. I would say that the hot tar roofer has a harder job."

"RIGHT. I was in labor for 13 hours with Liam and birthing both boys nearly tore me in half. I had stitches all down my taint. But YOU still believe that it's just not physically taxing enough."

"Well, OK," Chris said, after pausing for a moment. "The labor part may be more physically taxing. But not the pregnancy. Everybody cares for you and pampers you!" He then listed a string of duties supposedly inherent to a hot tar roofer but I didn't know because I had stopped paying attention.

The final verdict is that Chris still firmly believes the unbelievable, universal notion that the state of being pregnant is not as physically taxing as the job of a hot tar roofer. A woman whose own body is depleting its own resources because it is growing another life. This even after witnessing my difficult first pregnancy - and half of my second one - the one where I threw up half my body weight, lost weight my first trimester, and was unable to hardly work because of the barfing, swelling, and fatigue.

It's too bad that I'm not a hot tar roofer (are you serious? Is it really harder than being knocked up?). See? I told you - NOTHING sexier.

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