I’ve become the woman who can’t sleep because she’s thinking about how to make raviolis. I lay in bed next to Boo, tossing and turning, until I can’t take it anymore. I reach for my phone at 1 am and Google “raviolis.” Yes. There it is! The recipe. But do I need to make the pasta from scratch?!
Another hour goes by and I discover that I can make raviolis with wanton wrappers or lasagna. Eyes closed now, I attempt to fall asleep. But my mind won’t stop thinking. This time it wonders: when did I become so domesticated?
Either two things have happened: 1)I’ve morphed into my mother. She is a housewife with a capital H. If there were ever a reality show about traditional Dominican housewives who do anything and everything for their cub, including making three separate meals because her kids are so damn picky, and they each want something different to eat, she’d be the staaaah, darling. Or 2) I love Boo so damn much that I want to make him happy, and feeding him great meals does the trick.
I believe it’s a mix of both. I grew up with a mother who catered to her husband and her children. So, to a certain extent, I am following suit. I am taking in some of Mami’s duties as mother and wife and filling that role in my relationship. Mami cooked every day. I cook about four out of the seven days of the week. Mami served Papi‘s plate first. I serve Boo’s plate first. I also bring him his plate, like Mami did for Papi. Difference is Boo waits for me to eat, and he also brings me my beverage.
Am I falling into and following societal gender roles? Probably. But I do love my man. Doing these things for him is my way of pleasing him. It makes me feel just as good as it does him. I don’t do these things unwillingly. I don’t feel forced or that these things are what “a woman should do.” I don’t think Mami or other women from back in the day can say the same thing.
And, though I really wish Boo would wash dishes from time to time, I know that he appreciates me, my meals and my efforts. That’s the difference between me and most traditional Dominican housewives with a capital H: I wouldn’t treat a man like my King if he didn’t treat me like his Queen. I have never been this way with any other man because no other man has respected me, loved me, and supported me the way Boo does.
So yes, I am a woman who can’t sleep at night because she’s thinking of a ravioli recipe. I dream of ways to surprise Boo with tasty meals. I am a domesticated woman who is following certain societal gender roles. Not because society and tradition dictate, not because it is expected, but because my heart and soul move me to be this very woman.