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-   -   Honey, you drive. My wife can drive! (

Gene 08-20-2019 11:22 AM

I don’t have a few more generations, so I won’t see how the man/woman thing sorts out. There are many people who do not want any change and prefer the 19th century, though if they had lived in it, they wouldn’t like it. Too bad history does not seem to be taught much anymore.

We just try to get the work and play done. Sometimes one of us in charge, sometimes the other, more likely no one. On short trailer trips, I usually drive. We have a road that descends half a mile in less than 8 miles after a steep driveway. Barb is glad to have me drove down or up the side of a mountain. For my part, the curvy, steep road means nothing and when she is driving the motor vehicles alone, it means nothing to her either, but towing is different. She is glad to have me do the work. Thus we start and end every trip with me driving—seems like simple division of labor without any other reason. I also am better at maneuvering into tight spots—I have better vision and can see the relationships between objects better (spatial relations). Because I can visualize like that, I am also the primary designer of our house remodels. That is often “women’s work” and Barb took a while to acknowledge I was a better designer. However, she is much better at seeing color relationships, so she makes the final decisions about paint colors. We discuss and sometimes argue, but we always come to a joint decision. Sometimes one of us is worn out by it and gives in, but you have to accept your decisions and move on.

Over the years we have learned what each does better and who wants to be boss about something. When we first got together, it was automatic I drove. We never gave it any thought, but on one road trip my back hurt so much driving, we changed and she drove much more. I found out I liked being a slug in the passenger seat. I sometimes drive more because of weather, traffic, challenging terrain or just because I feel like it. Sometimes Barb want to drive most of the day. We hope we are making such decisions as friends, not based on sexual divides.

If my wife had been born a generation later when girls were encouraged to be involved in athletics, she would have been a good long distance runner—she has that type of body. Of course, she would have had her knee surgery a long time ago rather than last month. Maybe she would have gone on to medical school instead of excelling at lab work, a more traditional “woman’s job”. Maybe I would have been a decorator, the only straight male one.

No one here is a better cook. We cook differently. Barb likes it more than me. So far we drive differently but don’t hit anything. I think Barb likes driving more than me (although if I had a sports car, maybe things would change—can you do a four wheel drift with an SUV?). Making decisions on who is in charge for the moment should be based on who wants to do it and who is better at it and we try to follow that, though probably have some learning yet to learn.

Whether a woman should tow should be based on skill and desire. Some women are scared of it and it is better they don’t drive. The fear was probably from being taught that they couldn’t do something like that when they were kids and while that can be changed, not everyone wants to change it. Skill can be learned—when we were learning how to RV, we were in the Mojave Desert on our first long trip about a month after we bought the Airstream. How convenient—empty well paved roads in the middle of nowhere. Barb said it was time for her to drive and then she did. She was the lucky one. I had to pull that trailer out of the dealer lot and drove through a city and into a campground with virtually no experience scared I was going to destroy our brand new expensive toy and maybe tear down a few street signs and flatten the electric pedestal.

Yes, Raven, the south is more “traditional.” Having also grown up in the north, the west is another experience. There were a lot of independent women in early western history, but later the culture of both the south and north came here and created something hard to pin down, a blend which is made even more complex by the effects of Spanish and Indian cultures which preceded the “American” one. We just try to do what works and after 33 years together, I guess it works.

LRaymond 08-22-2019 11:32 AM

Wife Driving!!
Congrats to your wife. It took me probably 3000 miles before I was actually anxious to try driving. I thought, no problem, it's nothing but highway; but how wrong I was. I took over driving with all the confidence in the world, then the highway (2 lane) went to very narrow 2-lane through a few small towns with lots of lights and turns, etc.

Anyway, alls well that ends well. The only scary issue I had was driving too fast on the interstate going over a mountain pass trying to pass a truck. Needless to say, I woke up real quick when the suction and wind from the truck began to make my 30' classic jump around. Slowed down and pulled over. Caught my breath and continued on my way towards Salt Lake City.


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