A couple we know has very, er, traditional ways of dividing work around the house. He will not allow her to be seen working outside beyond gardening, so painting the fence, taking out the trash, etc. are his tasks only.
My oh my is that not how we work over here at North 54th! In fact, I’d wager that I’m seen outside laboring away more than he is, particularly since I have assumed the mantle of painter. Why just today, he asked me to help with pouring the footings for the new front porch. I asked what it was I was going to be doing. He said simply holding the forms as he shoveled in the cement. Marvy, I thought; I won’t even have to change into grubby clothes (though I did anyway). Well, despite—or maybe because of—his past as a mason’s assistant, he hates to mix mud. So I offered to step in for a moment to give him a break. Turns out I’m a talented mixer, so he directed me to keep at it as we had to mix another batch and then another. So the poor neighbors were subjected to this sordid role-reversal. I saw a few passersby doing double-takes at him standing there with the hose and me hoeing down.
Oh well. I like lifting heavy things and honestly am a little miffed when it’s assumed a guy should be doing something instead of me.