Bette Davis once commented that having separate bathrooms was the key to marital happiness. While I appreciate where she’s coming from, not everyone can afford real estate with His and Hers privies. Most of us, however, can afford other everyday conveniences that are used separately by couples who are cohabiting.
I was reminded of this just today when I reached into the kitchen drawer to get my can opener to make salmon sandwiches for lunch. I had to push aside my husband’s black-handled can opener to dig around for my breast-cancer-supporting pink-handled one. The thing is, my husband insists he cannot make my pink one work and I refuse to give up my pink one for his black one. Thus, two can openers.
That got me thinking about all the other His and Hers items that contribute toward marital harmony in our home. Obviously, we could never jam both sets of clothes, his and mine, into one closet. Naturally, I get the larger, master bedroom closet and as in previous homes, he gets the guest room closet, which in the case of our current home is actually two. Our guest room has two smaller His and Hers closets so he’s not really all that deprived. Perhaps you have a similar arrangement in your own home.
The closet issue is repeated downstairs for coats. Our larger main coat closet inside the front door is reserved entirely for my own coats, jackets, scarves, shoes, boots, and purses. I have shoe organizers stacked on the top shelf, basket organizers for my purses, and all my scarves are filed in hanging canvas cubby organizers that are normally used for shoes. Hubby’s coats, jackets, and shoes are stored in the back hall closet by the door to the garage. After all, that’s the entrance he uses most of the time anyway. I even thoughtfully put a shoe rack for him by the door. It’s a system that works extremely well for me.
In case you’re starting to think he’s treated like a second-class citizen, you can disabuse yourself of that notion immediately. His man-cave is much larger than my she-den; his La-Z-Boy is leather because he spends so many hours in it and it must be durable to withstand the endless hours of watching sports, while my La-Z-Girl is more affordable fabric.
Televisions are probably the most important item to be delineated as his and hers in our home because I have no more interest in watching 24/7 sports than he has in watching reruns of The Crown or Downton Abby. His television is newer and much bigger than mine because, of course, size matters big-time to guys. We each have our own headphones so we do not have to deal with dueling television noises. His vehicle is newer, more expensive, and classier than my hand-me-down SUV. So, you see, he’s not deprived in any way.
Boys and girls also have different cosmetic and personal care needs, something that every woman on the planet knows and understands. Therefore, our products are more expensive, more exclusive, and more precious than the generic male bar of soap, economy-sized bottle of Dove Shampoo For Men that will last for at least five years, and a giant can of antiperspirant required by the men in our lives. That leaves more room in the bathroom for our own vast supply of exclusive products for women, which is only fair and reasonable. Right?
You might be surprised to learn that we even have separate soups in our house. Most of the time I make and eat homemade soups from scratch, but when that option is out of stock, I prefer Progresso soups which are only available in the United States. So, when we visit the U.S. I return with several dozen cans. Hubby loves Campbell’s Chunky which I think tastes like dog food, but that’s his personal preference so I buy it in bulk too. That’s what love is all about.
We have not yet resorted to His and Hers beds but that is probably because we have a King-size bed that gives us lots of room to maneuver, and he does not snore, a deal-breaker for many couples on the bed front. He does object to the ceiling fan going full-time over our bed but that’s only because he’s never gone through menopause. If he had, he would understand.
Otherwise, we are compatible in so many ways, at least as long as we have our own separate televisions, recliners, shampoo and toiletries, soup, vehicles, and other everyday essentials. Fortunately, he shares my sensibilities about politics and finances and we have a lot of laughs together, so I think we should be together for a while longer. And, this has all been accomplished while sharing one master bathroom so I think we’re good. What keeps your marriage working harmoniously?