Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Marriage Ends the Comfort Zone

I've been sitting on this post for a years. I felt like I'm not in position to talk or anything until, well, wedding bells and all that. But why wait? Who knows? Maybe it'll explode into an interesting conversation. 

I like to be comfortable. Who doesn't? But there is the understanding that when in public, one's appearance can have ramifications. Respect, assumptions regarding intelligence, looking responsible enough to handle a mortgage. 

When I leave the house, I am no longer as comfortable as I would be in my jammies. Arriving home, I clamber swiftly, joyfully into 100% cotton tees and pajama pants courtesy of the men's department, since I have a sneaking suspicion the dudes are given softer fabric. 

"Aaaaaaaaaah!" Dinner tastes so much better. 

As a child, I always envisioned what my married life would be like. No, no, not living in a castle with a pony and Prince Charming; my life not changing much, except I would be pottering about an apartment whilst in my hand-me-down (meaning broken-in) sleepwear. 

My logic was that a husband is like a family member like any other. I can hang out in pajamas around my mother, my father, my brothers, my sisters, right? Because they love me as I am, and wouldn't hold it against me if I am comfortable. 

But as I get older, observe the state of marriage in real and television life, it is obvious that my previously childish view of wedded bliss is kinda off. Wedded bliss is not about being comfortable. Bummer. 

In "Working Late and Working It" of the now-long dead Up All Night, Chris, who is the stay-at-home daddy, it getting frustrated when his wife Reagan tosses off her worksuit for stained and stretched maternity wear. He knows that it would be suicide to come out and say it, and his fellow STAHD Reed explains to him that he makes sure to look good for his wife, and she returns the favor.
She doesn't get the hint (and he can't breathe in his skin-tight jeans), which eventually leads to a showdown with Reagan storming out of the room. But after a chat with a buddy, she puts on something for dinner that isn't . . . gross. 

I've come across quite a few articles on this topic, from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's observations to an answer to a debate if unconditional love is the enemy of lust. Sarah responded no, sweatpants are. Rebbetzin Palatnick addresses this around the 29 minute mark.
Betty White, one of the funniest women on earth, once said that when she knew her husband was coming home, she swiped on a fresh coat of lipstick. I was unsettled when I first heard that years ago, but on closer consideration . . .
The love between a man and his wife is not bound in blood, as is the love between a parent and child. The connection between a man and woman cannot be equated; the love is not unconditional, for one thing. Of course it is conditional in how that spouse was chosen in the first place. 

My vision of marriage has now changed. So much for a pajama pal. Yet how can I cook supper freely, if splashing sauces and juices on stain-friendly jammies are no longer an option? I guess I better stock up on some aprons.


Daniel Saunders said...

I would think that part of it depends on your husband. You can't really answer questions like this in the abstract.

On the other hand, if you want a husband who dresses smartly (as I get the impression you do from your dressing for men posts), you probably have to dress smartly yourself.

Maya Resnikoff said...

I'm going to second that it really depends on the two people involved. My husband changes out of work clothes as soon as he comes home, and it suits me just fine. What he's putting on isn't stained, but it isn't formal or anything of that sort. I feel like it lets me see all the different ways that he looks good- I see him in work clothes in the morning, and in casual things at night, and those are two versions of him, both of which I enjoy. DO I get a kick from seeing him all dressed up? Sure. But I also get a kick from getting to see him in a t-shirt, which some people (e.g. students) probably don't even believe that he owns.

Shifra said...

Agreed with Maya--my husband and I change out of our work clothes at night too and we're very comfortable like that. I do see the merit of dressing up for your hubby, but if it's not necessary for the relationship, then there are other ways of showing respect/care for each other