Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm using a few of my days (sort of) off before classes start to do some organizing, laundry, and general huswifery. We had a lot of people over right before the holidays, and between that, letting things slide for finals, and then going to my parents' for a few weeks and leaving my partner J home by himself, things need to get straightened back up. J does the majority of our housework, like dishes, cooking, and sweeping/mopping, but he's not very good at landing things where they need to go (or at least, where I think they need to go). And my sewing machine is in the shop with something wrong in the bobbin case, so I might as well make the office/sewing room usable again before I make more messes in there. My poor house plants in the office aren't too happy with J's overwatering and underwatering over the holiday, but that's also partly because our little town of Overcast has been so cloudy all winter.

I feel bad sometimes about all the housework J does, because sometimes it feels like we're replicating the old academic roles of disengaged academic and housebound non-academic spouse with the genders reversed, but then I get over it. Our third anniversary (of dating, not marriage) is this weekend, and we moved in together permanently about six months ago. We started dating in college right after I'd decided to move halfway across the country from Snow City to Overcast to go to Snooty U for grad school, and we planned on dating only for the rest of that academic year. Well, that didn't work out, and we decided to go long distance even though he had another two years of college left (I know, robbing the cradle). He graduated this spring and moved out here, which kind of put his career on hold because there's only work in his field here during the summer. He's working at a wine store for the winter, which is at least something he enjoys and which gets us free wine, but I worry that for all my feminism I'm just replicating old gender roles. At least he's not supporting me through grad school and we don't have that sitting between us. Living together certainly lets us afford a better apartment than either of us could afford separately, but that doesn't bother me so much. I think we're doing ok with it by talking the issue to death every time something happens, but I hate to make someone a trailing spouse since (I hate to admit it) I'm not sure that I would be able to be the trailing spouse myself.

Back to the organizing. My desk has been taken over by stacks of paper, electronics, and piles of art that need frames or hangers or just wall space. And a puzzle we started before Christmas and haven't finished yet. I have a little collection of vintage souvenir plates, and I got six more for Christmas that have to get put up somewhere, plus prints and photos that have been sitting around for months. I'm much less productive trying to write on the couch or at the kitchen table (couch + computer = Internet for me), so getting the desk cleared up and organized again will get me back to work. And I'm telling myself I need a few days to recover from being with my family for the holiday (I just flew back to Overcast the day before the first post here). Plus there's the problem that my sewing pile and fabric stash overflowed from its dresser in the spare bedroom and all over my desk chair, so that has to get taken care of and put away somewhere first. And then some felllowship applications will get written, and there will be a research trip later this month, and then I will do some sewing as a reward.


  1. This blog is somewhat creeping me out-- you sound like me, but if I'd gone the academic route instead of my husband. Bizzaro world!

    I appreciate the ability to talk something to death, that at least those kind of gender issues get talked about in a relationship. J doesn't blanche when I mention feminism (he is, in some ways, more progressively feminist than I am).

    Since I started working at a university, I've always wanted to take an intro gender studies class, but since I'm staff, they get filled up before I can get registered (sad face). I've done lots of reading on my own, but I have trouble with academic texts without any class/lecture/support. Obviously not an academic. I'd just like to be able to articulate myself better. Instead of saying, "problematic", I'd like to know better how to explain why something seems wrong. I'm going to go look at your blog roll!

  2. lol, sorry it's creeping you out! Your blog is what finally pushed me into doing my own. Other than the craftiness, I think it speaks to the problems of the academy as a system for women that we both have similar problems with academic jobs, etc. :D

    Have you read Commenting there can get a little . . . strident, but the posts are good and very much more about practical feminism than theoretical/academic feminism. My J and I took a lot of gender studies in college (we went to school together, but never took classes together) and I think it's helped our relationship a lot to be both aware of the issues. But "gender is a social construct" can only get you so far when you're talking about who should do the dishes! Or have you talked to any professors about auditing a course? If you don't need the credit for a continuing degree, most professors I know are more than happy to make audit exceptions for university staff.