When I went into marriage, I knew I would take on the role of a dutiful wife, whatever the heck that meant.
But what I didn’t expect was to become my husband’s 24/7 personal shopper.
I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I’d guess it probably began in childhood with a mother who always stocked her boys’ closets and ironed their clothes.
But it also could have started when we were dating. I do seem to remember buying him a “cool” Abercrombie sweatshirt or two. I also definitely convinced him to wear a certain tight white polo I loved so much.
But while the early signs were there, I was still slightly taken aback when we settled into our routine as husband and wife — and I realized that I was now responsible for all shopping, forever and on.
It’s not like my husband abhors shopping or refuses to do it on some stubborn manly level. It’s just that it simply doesn’t cross his mind. He would be quite happy wearing tattered shirts and squeezing into jeans that may have fit a couple of kids ago. He wouldn’t notice until every last scrap of toilet paper was used up, would have no problem scrubbing his hair with a bar of soap, and might never wonder how the wet wipes disappear so quickly.
And while, from time to time, it amazes me how much shopping I do for everyone in this family — because, of course, our four children also need to be clothed, fed, and all that stuff — I also have to confess something.
I kind of enjoy it.
Because I know that if it came right down to it, my husband is fully capable of taking on the shopping responsibilities. I mean, maybe with a starter list or something from me, but still, he could do it. I’m pretty sure. Probably.
And like I am finally coming to realize, marriage is not a constant battlefield of who-does-what or an everlasting struggle to keep the “score” even, but at some times, an embracing of roles.
For me, shopping fulfills some kind of weird need deep inside of me to take on the nurturer and caretaker roles for my family and my husband. I like shopping, I like making sure he has nice, respectable clothes for work and play, and when it comes right down to it, I suspect that part of my “love language” is taking care of the small things in our marriage.
Do I hear lyrics to a popular song in here somewhere? I just shopped to say I love you?
Call me crazy, but somehow, through every new shirt, shiny pair of shoes, or bottle of cologne that I buy because I love the smell (hey, I’m not a saint), yes — I am really saying, I love you.
And if I happen to have a coupon, then I really, really love you.
Do you do the shopping in your relationship? Does it bother you?
Image via j&j brusie photography