I read a blog yesterday by the writers at Freakonomics. I have talked about them before and how much I love the mysteries they solve. But this article was more open ended in nature. Why do women ride as passengers in cars more than men?
This fairly innocuous practice surely doesn't have any real implication does it? We definitely aren't a matriarchel soceity and we are moving away from a patriarchal soceity, but little things like who does the dishes and who gets to drive to the movies still are often divided along gender lines. So what? Someone has to do these chores. I love it when Jeff cooks. However, more often than not it will be Manwich, spaghetti, breakfast for dinner or something that is prepackaged and comes out of the oven completed. I love to cook, and would swiftly get bored with the above options. Part of it is of course that my mother loved to cook and she cooked 99% of the meals in our house. I had that as a role model. I think the one area where we need to improve is the dishes. If I cook then someone else (right now that can't be trusted to a 4 year old) needs to clean up. I don't create some crazy mess that is impossible to clean up but often I find that at best a half hearted attempt has been made at cleaning up the dishes, normally with several pots and pans lingering in the sink.
So this driving thing only makes sense. My dad drove when I was kid, I don't particularly love driving, Jeff seems to enjoy it so I let him drive. It really doesn't feel like I am giving up any power, I control at least half of the financial decisions so who cares about who drives? Does it make a difference? I am modeling for Jac and Mia that women are bad drivers or shouldn't be behind the wheel? I don't think so.
Another factor in this balance is that Jeff has this weird innate ability to 'know' a city or town before ever having been there. He studies maps, he actually reads maps for pleasure, you heard me correctly. He will spend countless hours and evenings buried in an almanac, almost as if he enjoys them.....
So when we go someplace he rarely even needs navigation. He already knows all the information in his head and is confident enough that if he does make a wrong turn, with his knowledge of the city and the direction of the sun he can find his way. Hmmm. So what good am I? I am the appendix of car driving and the pinky toe of navigation. I certainly have at the very least average driving skills and I would say above average (if I studied I could do even better) navigation skills. But in a marriage, what we have found is just like the appendix when the spouse is so much better at a certain area you just jettison that skill and let it languish, allowing you to concentrate on the areas where you are more skilled than your spouse (and there are many!). What we really need in our house is someone who is really good at cleaning, oh yeah, maybe that is Jac!
Who drives in your family?