1950s again

When we first visited Chris’s paternal grandma in Patterson Lake our first week back in Melbourne, she was so excited to tell me that she had bought a little present for me that she’d give to me later. As I looked at her sink, I noticed a little heart-shaped scrub sponge sitting on it. “Oh, Yvonne, I got one just for you,” she said, as she gestured toward the sponge. “It’s very useful and good for cleaning stains and spoons with the mouth (of the sponge)!”

His Nana looks at me and thinks of her grand-daughter-in-law cleaning for her grandson. As Chris said when Nana was not nearby, “Wow, it’s like we’re in the 1950s again.”

To be fair, it was sweet of her to think of me. I just wish it wasn’t with such stereotypical gender roles.

Nana actually picked one out in different colors for all of her granddaughters, plus her three grand-daughter-in-laws. My female cousins-in-law were not enthused as we picked out our little “surprise” gifts out of Nana’s secret bag this evening. We all feigned our excitement over this domestic gift and then went to the next room to laugh about it altogether.

“I told Andy, ‘Look at what Nana got us to clean our house together,’” one of them said to us. “I emphasized that it was a gift for both of us, not just for me.”

“Oh yeah,” the second one said. “Because all I do other than raise her three great-grandchildren is clean Rob’s house all day.”

For the first couple of years, I didn’t always see the very opinionated sides of Chris’s family, but it’s refreshing and a complete relief to know that not everyone is happy with everything.

The great thing here is that Chris’s Nana got to live to see her first three grandsons get married so far, even if she wasn’t able to make it all the way to our California wedding. The not so great thing here is that her mindset is still stuck in a time when wives were really just there to cook, clean, and care for the home and kids. Well, I guess in her case, she didn’t do much cooking or cleaning because she had hired help, but she certainly expects her granddaughters and grand-daughter-in-laws to be doing that for her grandsons.

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