OK got to be one of my least favourite questions. It’s definitely up there with being as annoying as somebody saying ‘you’ve probably not found the right man yet!’. Yes that’s exactly why I’m with a woman because I’m so unlucky in love and I haven’t been swept off my feet by my dream man so I’ve settled for something…for now. People should really engage their brain before they speak. As if it’s so crazy that I’ve fallen head over heels in love and with a woman!
When I was younger and more naive I thought being a lesbian would mean we would paint each others nails and do each others hair…how wrong was I? L hates nail polish, especially bright red (which I wear often just to annoy her) and the closest we’ve got to her doing my hair was her tying it up for me in labour, holding it while I puke when I’m drunk or her picking it out the bath and muttering under her breath how she preferred it when I was pregnant and didn’t molt like a dog! So not exactly the girly pampering I had envisaged.
The assumption that there are male and female roles in every relationship is so old fashioned. It’s all about stereotyping and we all do it but I find it a really hard question to answer as neither of us are trying to be a man.
Our appearance: We walked through a bar in Dublin when some lad shouted about L ‘look at the dyke’. She responded with ‘bet I’ve had more women than you!’ Pure genius! He was gobsmacked and all of his mates started laughing at him. I was so proud of her! It still is one of my most favourite one liners (and there are many) that I’ve heard come out of her mouth. So yes she looks what people would label a lesbian. She’s got short hair she waxes up like she has had an unfortunate meeting with a plug socket, she would never wear a dress or a skirt (unless she’s changed her mind for our wedding?), she’s a bit allergic to exercise and gets a stitch eating salad so that makes her a bit chunky and she wears ‘comfortable shoes’ you know the fashionable brogue type or flip flops if it’s over 10 degrees. Then there is me slim with long hair and if I put one ounce of effort into getting ready I’m asked if i’m going to a disco ‘no L. I’m just not going to the shops in my tracksuit bottoms’. I have to call our friends for advice on makeup or the like as she doesn’t have a clue and I love getting dressed up and being pampered. The bonus is we are the same shoe size so we do share shoes. What a perk! But no one has ever assumed I’m gay and if I go to gay bars nobody talks to me I guess because people think I’m straight whereas L will get chatted up within seconds of being there…might just be that she’s funnier than me or better looking but it’s really annoying.
Careers: We are the opposite with work too. I do a very stereotypical male job. As soon as I mention I work shifts I am asked if I am a nurse. When I tell people I am a Firefighter they usually don’t believe me and when people see me driving the fire engine around they assume I’m on my work experience because I look about 12 in my uniform! Then L has this big important job where she manages loads of people and has to be all smiley, professional and pleasant (most of the time) in a customer service based role. But then she comes home where she is happy being miserable as she hates people and she hates talking to them. God forbid I would ask her to call a company about something at home. Supposedly that’s not her department.
DIY – a man’s world! Well surely this would be the decider. Whoever does the most DIY they are the man. Hmm well I ripped out our bathroom suite and boarded out our loft and L decorated the house from top to bottom, tiled the bathroom and also loves gardening. This is harder than I thought. Yikes!
Home: making sure the washing is up to date is L’s job. I do the ironing. But she hates changing the bedding. Supposedly its up there with being one of the worst things to do along with checking the post and driving all the way from Newcastle to South Shields(12 miles!). She also hates putting the wheelie bin out on a Thursday night and the time we had a dead rat in the garden guess who had to dispose of that! It’s times like that when I do wish there was a man around. Or it doesn’t necessarily have to be a man maybe just some hired help who we can give all the shit jobs to. When it comes to cooking that’s split too. I do most of it in the week as I’m around more and L does more at the weekend apart from pancakes on a Saturday morning which is my job. Although when we had just had our first child it didn’t go down too well when we were having an argument and L said ‘just make sure there is dinner ready for me getting home from work’. I was fuming. Who does she think she is?! That’s absurd for her to even say such a thing. I was annoyed for ages but she actually had a fair point it just was probably said the wrong way.
Rock up Roger. That’s what I call L. Whenever we go anywhere she’s not thought ahead about what she/we/the kids might need. I’m called the faffer. I dash around the house before we go running through a virtual list in my head of all the things we might need. What if it rains…check! I have the waterproofs. Snacks…I have snacks for L and the kids and if G doesn’t want Breadsticks I have rice cakes and if we need money I have my purse and a spare key for the car just in case and toys to keep the kids amused and we might pass a post box so I’ll take that letter with me and oh yes the shopping bags just in case and the pram. Have we got the double buggy and the rain covers and the sling for when one of them doesn’t want to go in? And tablets for L she might get a headache sore stomach or some other minor ailment oh and calpol for the kids. L on the other hand gets in the car empty handed not a care in the world and says ‘We are not going to Addis Abbaba! There are shops if we need anything!’ Infuriating. Came back to bite her once though when we were out shopping and I went off on my own. I received a frantic telephone call from L and was told to meet her in Mothercare. There she was with G force in her pram naked with a blanket round her giggling away. When I asked what had happened supposedly there was a poonami and it went everywhere but I hadn’t put the spare clothes in the bag! Serves you right rock up Roger!
You would think two women living together it would be all hunky dory and clean and tidy but my word when she has been home it’s like a tasmanian devil has popped by for lunch. She’s so messy it’s unreal, she leaves dishes piled in the sink, can’t clean as you go in the kitchen, doesn’t dry herself before getting out the shower leaving the floor wet, squeezes the toothpaste from the top of the tube and never ever changes the toilet roll. Wow I feel like a weight has been lifted getting that all off my chest – it’s good to share. But can’t be all that bad as we are still together 11 years later!
Top and bottom of it is there is no black and white line between man and woman jobs or roles for us we are both equal. There’s no man in our relationship just two women working hard to compromise and share the load but it wont stop me wishing there was a man around sometimes especially when there’s a dead rat in the garden but I’m not waiting for the ‘right’ man to come along! For anything proper manly we have our friend Steve who has lots of power tools!