“So which one of you is going to wear a tux at the wedding?”
It tickles me when people assume that in all lesbian couples one of you is, of course, the bloke. To to be fair, I did once cut my hair too short and ended up looking uncannily like McCauley Culkin (not in the cute Home Alone sense, more akin to his pale-traumatised-by-young-fame teenage breakdown phase). And don’t get me wrong – I would love nothing more than to see my partner Helen sporting a little dickie bow and spats merrily tap dancing her way down the aisle.
Perhaps some people are confused with the fact there is no obvious role, so to deal with this lesbionic (?) mystery there is the assumption that there must be some sort of formula linked to traditional relationships. So I took a moment to reflect upon the activities that in my previous experience belonged to the “man’s” domain and how those are now divided between us two gals.
- Spider catching – stereotypically an amazing scenario for any male to flaunt his ability to come to the rescue as your knight in shining armour. Maybe that is a sexist assumption, but truth be told I have always tended to squeal in a corner while my previous boyfriends step-up and take charge of the rogue arachnid. Big problem now I’m dating Helen. It’s the first time in my life where I have been with someone much more wimpy than myself (I had no idea that was even possible). So when it comes to dealing with our 8 legged friends, I have reluctantly had to step up to the web. Well, only after my plan – which was to hold the dog towards the ceiling and use her as a dust spider buster – failed.
- DIY – it’s one of my greatest joys seeing my partner Helen in the throes of DIY. She actually bought her own professional angle grinder. That’s the intensity of her toolkit. The mere sight of her with these tools would emasculate Arnold Schwarznegger in a split second. If you were to humanize DIY abilities, she would be the Incredible Hulk beating his chest and roaring while my brother-in-law would be a meek six-year-old girl with bunches picking her nose. You get the picture.
- Carving Sunday roasts – Another challenge to which I have risen to nobly. I used to get grossed out by prizing apart the icky little thigh joints on roast chicken, but alas no more. I have conquered that fear, and my partner looks up to me with respect and admiration as I deliver that perfectly-carved bird to the table.
- Jam jar lid-opening – That’s one for Helen. My gym instructor unashamedly told me – mid-body pump class – that I had noodle arms. Not even udons; the thin delicate rice noodle sort.
- Impressive chat to woo the parents – having dated a stockbroker previously, I always slumped smugly into the sofa (to zone out and focus solely on the nibbles tray) when hearing that the conversation between my Dad and my boyfriend had turned to stocks, shares and the economy. I would tune in every now and again, with crudité or handful of Wotsits in bouche, to nod and agree with the latest point on macro economic policy, thanking the lord that he was dazzling the parents while I could focus on the more important snack tray (and ensuring Mother Pukka wasn’t getting too gung ho on the Skips). Luckily Helen takes this one for the team too. The first meeting with Ma and Pa, and BOOM, like a pro already discussing the future of the EU’s economy. AND football, Helen loves football, and can engage in that classic football ‘bants’ with Dad so he can pretend, if he closes his eyes, that all is normal and his daughter isn’t a lesbian. It’s sometimes a soothing exercise for everyone.
Written by: Karen Whitehouse.