September 10, 2010
I also supervise our maid, which Ralf never helps out with.
Ralf handles all 'projects', such as the garden, garage and bathroom fixtures, as well as interfacing with any Bavarian handymen. He also bathes the kids about once a week, files our taxes and insurance claims and plans our vacations.
Our kids aren't very clean.
Some of the things I used to do in the US now fall to him because they either require more boyish charm or knowledge of German bureacracy than I have or more patience than I can muster without my head exploding.
Things recently came to a head when it was time to buy K's school supplies. We got a list from the teacher and you know how the Eskimos have 13 words for snow? Well, those wacky seal-fur wearing nomads with their frozen water obsession don't have a patch on the Germans, who have about 51 words for 'notebook.'
To make a long story short, I delegated the procurement of school supplies to Ralf.
I suppose as a married man with a wife known not to be in a wheelchair or hospital, Ralf may have lost some face doing women's work like buying school supplies. Which he then grumbled about at home.
Ralf: I'm pretty sure I'm the only man in Germany who isn't divorced or widowed that has to go buy school supplies for their kids.
Me: Really? That's probably why most of the German men we know are divorced.
Actually, that's not fair. Although there are a number of single dads at our Kindergarten, two are widowed, and none of our married friends are divorced yet.
Then we had our recurring, 'You want me to buy school supplies, let's move back to California' discussion while I was making dinner.
Now, of course, I can make fun of Ralf for just about anything. For example:
"I'm the only man in Germany who has to put the toilet seat down!"
"I'm the only man in Germany who has to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket!"
"I'm the only man in Germany who has to carry his dishes to the kitchen!"
You get the idea.