I am so thankful I am not a Russian wife.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. All the Russian or Armenian Russian women I know are really nice and they are wonderful wives and mothers. It’s just – they are so different from me.
A little background: I grew up in a family where both parents worked full time. My dad helped a lot with things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc. He had no problem taking care of us, he knew the basic routine, knew what we ate, knew what things were expected from us, etc. I wouldn’t say he did 50% of the work in the home, but he did a lot compared to most dads I knew.
My husband’s cousin has to have his mother take care of his laundry, cooking, cleaning, ironing and more if his wife leaves town. Yep. He can’t do his own laundry or cook for himself. You see, most of the men we know live with their mothers before they get married, then they live with their wives. They never really know how to take care of themselves. This isn’t an across the board type of thing. I know a couple Russian/Armenian men who can cook, make coffee, do some laundry and could probably keep a house in decent shape if they had to. My husband can do laundry and clean, but the most cooking he does is sandwiches, leftovers, and fried eggs. He hates ironing but can do it if he has to. He can take care of our son for a few days if he has to. Though the amount of junk food, juice and cookies increases dramatically while the amount of rules followed decreases dramatically. He can follow our routine pretty well and dress, bathe, and put him to bed.
Now that we have the background out of the way, here is why I am glad I am not a Russian wife.
One example: My MIL’s birthday was on Friday. She had worked several nights late, and then was up several nights really late cooking. I thought she must be going to have friends over on her birthday, but apparently I was wrong. (this is where it would come in really handy to have a Russian daughter-in-law because I can’t cook a single thing she does. I have tried a few and I failed miserably.)
So, she was up late and then on Friday she filled our grocery bags with tons of stuff and took it to work. It turns out she was making food to take to work to celebrate her birthday with her friends at work. At a restaurant. No, you don’t have to read that twice. She works at a Russian restaurant and she took food to have dinner with them. After they closed up they all had dinner together and some glasses of vodka or wine and celebrated. They gave her some flowers and such, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that she had to cook her own birthday meal. These women can obviously cook. In fact, that is how it usually goes. If you do something for your birthday it isn’t going to get pedicures and coffee or lunch or perhaps seeing a movie with a friend (like I would do). You cook a huge amount of food, have people over, and then have to clean it all up. It baffles me. I’d never have a birthday party in my adult life.
So, today is her day off and she is tired because she worked a lot of overtime last week, and she really needs to rest, and she says her headaches. And does she rest? No. She cooks all day long. She tells me that her friend might come over later for dinner. A friend. Might come over.
Seriously? I love my friends. I ain’t gonna cook all day for them. I’m talking like 8 hours. I might do a nice lasagna that takes 2 hours. Maybe. If I want to do something special. More likely we will meet somewhere and go out.
I love that she wants to give of herself – that cooking for others makes her happy. I love that she is thankful she CAN feed her family and friends. I love that she loves to cook (cause I don’t have to very much anymore). But honestly, I’m glad I’m not her.