I am a bad wife

Back when I was in school in Ukraine one of the forms of entertainment was to organize beauty pageants. Since my self-esteem was never higher than my school desk I didn’t really participate. The competitions were always for the ‘pretty girls’. I was that odd one who is not really fat but not skinny either so she can’t hang with us. Long story short I was peeling potatoes this morning and remembered how I lost the only beauty pageant I ever participated in because I didn’t know how to tie a tie. Brutal small-town Ukrainian pageants. 
 
I believe I was in 8th grade or so when someone decided it would be a good idea to have a pageant in my class (quick update on the Ukrainian system of education: we all go to the same class since grade 1 up until grade 11). Anyway, someone somewhere wanted to do it and since I was a girl and I was in my class I kinda had to participate. Not going to lie: I was excited. When your entertainment options are limited you kinda have to roll with the punches. I prepped, I even wrote a poem for the ‘talent’ segment and I don’t remember the poem itself but it was super sassy and I felt stellar about myself. Oh the cocky 14 year old me.

Two of the ‘rounds’ of this bizarre pageant were a) you have to show the judges how well you can tie a man’s tie (boys had to participate at this point) and b) how fast can you peel a potato. Hardcore post-soviet teenage entertainment, I tell you. As you might have guessed: I couldn’t give a crap about tying a dude’s tie and I was pretty spoiled with the love from my family which resulted in me rarely doing the cooking (or peeling for that matter).

I was pronounced ‘Miss Cuteness’ (most likely because of my sassy poem) but I took it and ran with it. To my surprise, the lack of my tie tying skills did not escape the eyes of my classmates and thus started one of the many spans of bullying I had to go through while in school. The girls started calling me белоручка which roughly translates as a softie, someone who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty, usually a royal.

I couldn’t care less. I was bullied for so many things but this one? I just shrugged it off. I don’t think I knew the word ‘feminist’ at that time but I definitely had something boiling inside of me.

So this morning when I was peeling a potato (like a boss, I might add) I thought back to that time. I thought about the things people said to me throughout my life. ‘No one will ever want to marry you’, ‘You will be a horrible wife’, ‘No men will ever love you ‘cause you can’t even get your hands dirty/you can’t even cook’, etc. You might not believe me but I am laughing right now. As much as I wanted to find true love and someone to spend the rest of my life with, I knew that there were more important things relevant to my journey.

I am a ‘bad wife’ because I don’t ‘please’ my husband with constant cooking (Andrew is way better at it than I am anyway). I am a ‘bad wife’ because I care about a passionate talk if my partner needs one right now over finishing doing dishes. I am a ‘bad wife’ because I treat my husband as a partner, as an equal, because I believe that both of us have to contribute to our success as a couple and as individuals.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you should and shouldn’t do in your relationship. It is yours and no one else’s. There are couples who eat out all the time and have someone come in and clean their place. There are couples where one of the partners chooses not to work. There are couples who are hoarders and it is none of our business what is happening behind the closed doors.

I still don’t know how to tie a tie, I admit. But I also know that I have a partner who will show me how if I ask. Isn’t it fantastic?

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