Tag Archives: women’s work

Women’s Work

My girlfriend became extremely uncomfortable with my father’s drinking habits, so she tried to stay away from him at all costs.  The only time we would see him is when we would walk past him when we left or came back into the house or when we would make dinner for the three of us.  It was not easy to avoid my father as the kitchen and the entrance to the house led to the living room where my father spent all of his days.

Even though my father made my girlfriend uncomfortable, she was always polite and patient with my father.  In one particular incident, my father was crying to my girlfriend and told her that “he is not like this”.  She simply replied “it’s ok, one day you will get better”.

You would think that my father would respect the fact that she was so nice to him, despite the horrible state he would always be in.  However, the more my father drank, the more bitter he became.  It seemed like every time I would talk to him, or even walk past him, he would stop me just to complain about something or somebody.  This time, it was not my mother who my father had to complain about, it was my girlfriend he had a problem with.

The first time my father started to complain about my girlfriend, he called me into the living room and tried to have a heart to heart with me, asking me why I did too much around the house and why my girlfriend did not do enough.  Basically, what my father saw was that I made dinner, I did the dishes, I did the laundry and I let the dog out all the time and my girlfriend should have been doing all of that.

What really happened was that I helped my girlfriend make dinner, I helped her with the dishes and I helped her carry our heavy laundry basket to the basement so we could do laundry.  I let our dog outside when my father was awake because my girlfriend did not want to be alone in the same room as my father, so I let our dog out so my girlfriend did not have to encounter my father.

But, it did not matter what was really going on.  I remember him saying “why are you letting the dog out, why can’t she do it?” and he questioned why I always had to do things with my girlfriend.  Basically stating how my girlfriend was controlling and manipulating me into doing things she should have been doing – the “women’s work”.