Friday, January 14, 2011

Downsizing: A Gender Perspective

Husband and I are extraordinarily compatible. We generally agree on whether video games are a good use of time (no) and on acceptable amount of debt (paying interest makes both of us break out in hives), and when we aren't in total agreement, we normally show some flexibility. I humor his need to see The Sons of Katie Elder every time it's scheduled, and he doesn't roll his eyes (much) when I can't miss So You Think You Can Dance.

It's interesting, then, that our ideas of downsizing have taken different twists.

As we have reared the Boys, all accommodations have had to be supersized. The house at the corner of Drainage Street and Halfway Down the Hill is enormous, in excess of three times the size of the house where we lived before moving to Small Town. With its five bedrooms and eighty-gazillion windows, it has been the perfect house for a large family.

Similarly, when we were expecting Boy#3 22 years ago we switched from sedans to Suburbans. These planet-sized hunks of Detroit metal have just enough interior space for growing boys, plus the 16 duffel bags,  dozen laptops, eight or nine backpacks, coats, hats, earphones, ice chest, etc., required for a weekend trip, or for the 42 bags of groceries required for a Tuesday dinner.

We're discovering now that downsizing means different things to the two of us.

"You know, we probably ought to be looking for someplace smaller, like a condo," Husband remarked as he opened the last utility bill. I didn't respond, but my heart was accomplishing an anatomical impossibility by putting its foot down. "I don't think so!" Heart yelled. "Where would my precious snowflakes sleep when they come home from college? And after they get married, how will I have my 13 grandchildren over to play if we're in a CONDO?"

But then we went out to eat, and for the umpteen-hundredth time I wrestled our battleship into a parking place meant for a rowboat.

"Man, I can't wait until we get a smaller car," I said. There was silence, then a voice from the passenger seat.

"But if we get a smaller car, how will we all travel together?"

I'm not sure we have this figured out yet.

1 comment:

  1. 13 grand-children will not fit into a smaller vehicle. Think positive!