Gender stereotypes… Guilty as charged.

The Svendsen clan is going on holiday to Norway soon and we’re having friends stay at our house in Gran Canaria while we’re out. These friends are two very normal, male friends of ours – two decent, responsible and more-or-less mature 30-something men.

So how do I stock the house for them in our absence….?

Beer. And toilet paper.

It was completely unintentional, but as I was unpacking the groceries I realized what my subconscious had accomplished. It made me laugh a little because, yeah… Men… beer… toilet paper… Duh.

I’m sure when said friends arrive and see how I stocked for their visit, they’ll offer me a virtual high-five and wonder why I wasted money on the toilet paper.

So am I guilty of gender stereotyping now? Are the gender police going to come after me about my archaic view of male roles in society? Should I have substituted the beer for white wine and the toilet paper for scented bath bubbles?

I’m so over all these debates raging about gender in the news these days – about who said what about whom during whatever sensational interview. If a woman wants to focus all her attention on her family, let her. If she wants to work 60 hours a week and build a nursery in her office, let her. If she wants to sit around and drink beer and wipe her bum with toilet paper all day, for goodness sake…. let her.

My life right now is almost a dictionary-perfect version of old-school stereotypes. I haven’t worked for two years because we moved overseas for my husband’s career. I put my management consulting career on hold to take care of my family and support our life abroad. My son loves cars, trains, helicopters and dump trucks – not a single doll or pink tutu is evident anywhere in our house.

Some people would say I’m wasting my potential, that I can’t possibly be fulfilled “just” staying at home. But here’s the point…. I know that in a few mere minutes, the situation will have changed again to who-knows-what. Jobs come and go, new homes come and go, time passes and roles shift and life gives us something else to make work. And nothing that anybody says on Fox news or elsewhere is going to impact that. I don’t need the gender police to make sure I’m not offended by some idiot’s ramblings – karma, dude. It’s a bitch.

So I apologize in advance to our visiting friends who will have to live under the yoke of gender stereotypes while in our home. If you feel oppressed and can’t manage to live to your fullest potential while on holiday, I can direct you to the nearest supermarket to buy your own damn wine and bath bubbles.