Recently I was at lunch with a friend, a mother of two who is supporting her family as an editor while her unemployed husband figures out his next move. She mentioned that although he had always been a capable cook, he spent more time in the kitchen now that he was home. And she liked that she didn't have to worry about making dinner anymore. "What about you?" she asked. "Do you cook?"
"I'm trying," I said. "I did a couple of weeks ago. Pork-shoulder stew with polenta. To my great surprise, it was delicious, but then I got busy and didn't do it again for the rest of the month." She laughed. "'I'm trying?'" she said. "You sound like a guy. A wife could never say that. They can't try to cook dinner for the family. They have to."
"But I am the guy," I said. "The cooking isn't my responsibility. It's his."
I have been "the guy" for all eight years of my marriage. My husband is an artist who, from the moment our now six-year-old daughter was born, has been her primary caregiv...