I've always been very proud of being OK bending gender roles. I wear men's clothing. Dwight and I have each done the stay at home parent thing. I know that I don't have a lot of feminine traits, and I'm perfectly fine with men who do.
So why do I get upset when Dwight is so 180 degrees from what my dad was like?
Dad was very mechanically inclined. A problem solver. Could fix anything. I have some of this, but not nearly as much as he had, and not nearly enough to do everything that needs done, it seems. But my mechanical abilities and problem solving skills are still far and away more than Dwight's. I don't say that as a put down, it's just a fact. He's way more tactful than I am. He's tons more socially adept. A far better parent. More calm. More able to function with people. More able to relax. There are plenty of things that he does better.
I know it's irrational. I know it's stupid. In general, we do a good job of complementing each other. Where I lack, he fills in. On some days it feels like the relationship is split 80-20%, with me doing eighty percent, and usually that doesn't bother me. Because I know that on other days it's 80-20, with him carrying me. Then days like today happen, when it infuriates me that he can't do the things I expect of him. That he can't do the things the I can't do; that I need done. That he can't do the things that dad was able to do.
Like assembling Ken's new-to-him trail-a-bike. By his account, he was simply taking his time assessing the situation before tackling the project. I jumped in head first and started doing. That's how I am. Frustration quickly set in. The back bike rack had to go. The seat needed taken off. The bushing wasn't the right size. This needed tightened. Something else needed loosened. None of the tools were where I put them. UGH!
During all this, what was Dwight doing? I'm still not sure. Nothing helpful at the moment, and that's what I noticed most. It was putting together a bike. And I had all together too much difficulty doing so. I'm not sure whether I'm more embarrassed that I couldn't do it, or that a part of me really hoped Dwight would do it. He's the one more into bikes anyway.
But the fact that I fell into stereotypical gender roles tears me apart. I can only hope he accepts my apology for this infraction.