My Husband Sleeps for Only 5 Hours a Day

There’s quite a lot to digest in that one heading, isn’t there?

  1. I recently got married (it has literally been only a week).
  2. I wish I could say it was why I haven’t posted, but it isn’t. I wish I could say I’ve just been swamped with work (yes, I have a day job!) and wedding prep and whatnot, but that’s not true either. Ladies and gentlemen, the real reason is…I’m just lazy. Sorry.
  3. My husband and I get along fine, despite our marriage being arranged (I like the way the woman who did my makeup for the baraat phrased it: “You were introduced to each other by your parents.”).
  4. We have our own place which we are trying to fill with basic necessities a few small items at a time. Yesterday we bought spoons, because even though we eat with my in-laws, I enjoy drinking tea a lot (we were using the sieve handle to stir before that).
  5. I’ve started using “we” a lot.
  6. We are both exhausted by the multiple wedding events, although ours was a comparitively simple South Asian wedding with only(!) a nikkah at home, a baraat and finally a valima.
  7. Despite that, my husband only sleeps for 5 hours. Or so he says; as someone who sleeps for however long I can get away with it, I wouldn’t know. He sleeps when I sleep and wakes up when I wake up but who knows whether he stays in bed all night.

No, he doesn’t have insomnia, unlike me. His masochistic tendencies are still under debate. I believe he’s just one of the few lucky bastards who literally only needs 5 hours of sleep to function, like my Taye Abbu (that’s elder paternal uncle to you non-South-Asian folks).

I am envious. So many hours in the day are lost to sleep (followed by hours lost stuck in traffic), hours which could be spent reading or writing or watching shows or meeting friends or a thousand other fun and/or constructive things that aren’t sleep.

But sadly, that is not for me. My biology fails me.

Oh well. I hope he spends some of those extra hours in his day cooking or cleaning.

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That One Commercial

If you’re living in the subcontinent and are even on one social media website, you’ve probably seen it – the commercial about the father apologizing to his daughter because he never did household chores, and thus ingrained the idea in his daughter that chores are a woman’s work.

Which, okay, is a nice message and all, and it’s palatable enough that even anti-feminists but pro-liberals agree with it; but honestly, I am so tired of it and of the discourse around it. It’s, frankly, childish and reductionist.

Like, thanks, Generic-Desi-Dad, for finally understanding how shitty of a person you were and are – but only when it was your own daughter who had to face the problems you happily dumped on your wife. As if your wife wasn’t someone’s daughter. As if your wife wasn’t a person who deserved to have her feelings heard and her needs met and maybe, just maybe, a weekend the way you got one.

But what’s the point now, man? You’re one foot in the grave and so is your wife, and your daughter and her husband are just going to repeat the cycle. It’s not going to give your wife, or the countless other women you helped put down directly and indirectly throughout the years. You can cry all you want, but there is no redemption for you.

It’s not just the commercial that’s terrible, it’s what people say when they share. “Help your mothers/sisters/wives with household chores” – as if it isn’t also YOUR house, you selfish, arrogant, misogynistic man; as if those chores aren’t YOUR chores to do as well. No, when you do them you’re “helping”, wow, so good of you, so kind, so liberal, so revolutionary. When you don’t “help” then no problem. When we do them, it’s our job apparently. It’s our lot in life and aren’t you a dear for making our lives easier?

You don’t get to make the work excuse – do you think you would be able to perform as well as you do at your job unless you had us around to make sure your home is neat and tidy and clean? To quiet the children and soothe the in-laws and make the food you eat and clean the place you live in so you’re not rolling in filth? You think household chores only involves physical labour? Hah.

Fuck you. Fuck your politics and fuck your world view. Fuck your very existence, because in the end all it does is make more work for us – to pick up after you when you don’t do chores, and to praise you when you do do them.

I am old, I am disabled, and I am tired.