Dick and I have an understanding.  He is in charge of dealing with pests, generally excluding our children, but including sales people and insects.  I am in charge of dealing with event planning, ordering in restaurants, laundry and, generally, anything aesthetic with the kids or the house.   When I explain the division of labor to girlfriends, they are always concerned for me, assuming I’ve gotten the raw end of the deal. 

“That doesn’t sound fair to me.  What - he gets, like, one thing to do and you take care of everything else?”

Actually, the division of labor is more balanced than it appears.  For instance, if new curtains are needed for the family room than the selection would fall into my territory.  But if there’s any kind of annoying price negotiation that needs to occur, that would fall into Dick’s territory.   The division of labor works out nicely because it allows us to leverage our individual strengths for the benefit of the team. 

Dick’s individual strengths:  Keen, dispassionate logic/Smarts/Consumer advocacy

The benefit: An almost robotic ability to suppress emotions

Examples: When Dick encounters something terrifying, like a cockroach, he’s able to suppress the need to scream like a frightened girl.  He also posesses a lightning quick mind with a penchant for consumer awareness that’s better equipped him for seeing through the sales pitch of the guys who periodicaly show up on our doorstep with an over-abundance of deeply discounted meat.  If I were left to deal with such pests, we’d own a deep freeze with a lifetime supply of top sirloin that I’d be too terrified to eat and we wouldn’t live in Florida because my policy regarding insects is pretty straightforward: if they have thighs, they win.  End of story.

Samantha’s individual strengths:  Multi-tasker/Food Lover/Aesthete

The benefits: An ability to easily organize any event while simulateneously sorting laundry, placing a take-out Chinese food order, and color-coordinating outfits for the children based on their days of the week socks

Examples: I think I’ve emphasized my love of “the plan” in previous posts but suffice it to say that when Dick is faced with any decisions about how something should feel, look, taste, or smell he is immediately baffled.  Restaurant menus featuring more than one menu item completely confuse him.  While he may be perfectly capable of using logic to coordinate event scheduling, the route to get to the event venue, the timing, what everyone should wear, and what we’ll eat when we get there all falls to me. 

I guess, for us, it really is a case of two halves making a whole.  If science could combine Dick’s I.Q. with my E.Q., you’d have one incredibly well-rounded person.  Who knows, maybe Adam or Tabitha will turn out to be that double threat.  Or, maybe, the division of labor will continue for them and their future partners.  Maybe that’s just how solid relationships are supposed to work.   I hope so, because I’d hate to have to start killing bugs.

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