October 20, 2009

His/My Way Vs. Right/Wrong Way

Oh, I DO get SO TIRED of the old idea that men are doing a PERFECT JOB at chores, just IN THEIR OWN WAY, and that women are ONLY complaining because the men don't do the chores IN THE SAME WAY the women would. Oh, yes. Clearly. If my complaint is that when Paul does dishes there is STILL FOOD ON THE DISHES, obviously my problem is that I'm a control-freak who insists he do the dishes My Way instead of his Perfectly Good Alternative Way.

Listen. I totally understand this control-freak argument if, say, a man likes to do the dishes with a sink full of wash water and a sink full of rinse water, and his wife is all over him wanting him to have a sink full of wash water and then a thin stream of running water in the other sink. OBVIOUSLY that is unreasonable: he has His Way and she has Her Way, and why would she be trying to force him to do it Her Way? Ridiculous! The dishes come out clean either way, so why would one adult be nagging another adult?

But why ON EARTH would anyone try to apply that to situations where it doesn't even slightly apply? I complain that Paul goes to the store and comes home with pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin, and people say it's wrong of me to demand he do things my way, or they say I should accept that he does things differently than I would. This is not a My Way vs. His Way issue EVEN A LITTLE TINY BIT. This is him making a mistake.

If Paul puts our child's homework in the recycling bin, must I SAY NOTHING because he is doing things HIS WAY? No. He is doing things THE WRONG WAY. The argument people are looking for is the one where I complain because Paul puts the recycling in all willy-nilly instead of neatly stacked, or where I fuss because he likes to take the bin out on Tuesday night and I think he should take it out Wednesday morning.

In those cases, there's His Way and My Way, and both ways result in Success: recycling is in the recycling bin and is brought to the curb on time. It BAFFLES me that people want to apply this to cases in which His Way results in the papers being strewn across the yard, or placed in the regular trash, or left on the floor in another room, or not brought out to the curb on time. I'm supposed to consider that "his way of doing things" and not say anything about it because it's not fair to force him to do things "my way"? Ridiculous!

There are two completely different situations here, which some people try to relate. The first is a situation of His Way vs. My Way. That's the one where we have all now been THOROUGHLY CHASTENED that we are never ever ever supposed to say ANYTHING to ANYONE about their inviolable right to do things exactly as they feel like doing them, no matter how stupid or inefficient, because after all it DOES result in the chore being done.

The second is a situation of Right Way vs. Wrong Way. I think grown adults should be able to do things (HOWEVER they choose to do them) in a way that results in the chore being DONE. And if they don't manage to do so, I CERTAINLY DO speak up. I am in a partnership with an adult, and I expect the other partner to act that way. I am not in a 1950s sitcom where The Man bumbles around screwing things up and The Little Woman rolls her eyes and says, "Men! They're just like CHILDREN!" before backing her car out through the garage door.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

You tell 'em, Swistle! There's folding the towels instead of rolling them up, and then there's leaving them in a crumpled heap in the laundry basket. One way counts as helping with the laundry, the other does not. Actually, it's WORSE than not helping, because it involves even more work than if he'd just stayed away from the towels altogether. And he thinks he's earned brownie points for 'helping' with the housework.
Love the sitcom bit. We can and will expect adult behaviour!

Linda said...

It must be very frustrating to repeat yourself like this. I feel like you were extremely clear in your last post and the nasty comments were made by SKIMMERS who didn't actually read/comprehend the entire post.

It's like when my husband and I have a big long conversation about something and I'm all happy because I think we're on the same page and everyone understands everyone else and suddenly he does/says something that makes it clear that we DO NOT understand each other and have to go over the whole damn thing again. This is when my voice becomes SHARP.

jen said...

I didn't read your other comments but something tells me I shouldn't! Ugh I feel you. I think those commenter are just bitter little skimmers whose husbands do nothing for them so they get off on complaining to others, or something. Or maybe they are the Second Left Friend.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I thought your last post was clear enough. There is no alternate way to bring home specific food items or to not throw out homework. Those are specific tasks with only one path to success. My husband takes 2 or more days to do the dishes, but the dishes do get done eventually. However if I ask him to bring home eggs and brings eggplant it does sort of make having an omlette for supper impossible.

Nowheymama said...

HA! Add these two posts to your 'for easy reference' sidebar, please!

Rah said...

There is nothing to add to this post. Well said!

Jess said...

I haven't been reading your comments lately, but it sounds like you've been getting some doozies! I'm with you, Swis! AMEN!

Kate said...

Bravo! Well put.

Kim said...

I kind of got a kick out of those moronic comments, even as they angered me. It's those type of women who give us all a bad name and set us back several decades. The ones who ran out and bought the Men Are From Mars garbage and took it as gospel. I knew there was an issue in my house a few years ago when I found myself THANKING Brian for doing a household chore without first being prompted. Really? No. He doesn't get positive reinforcement like that anymore because I do the shit every day without asking or expecting thanks. I can't say it's improved much over time, but hey - I guess I'm just LUCKY to have SNAGGED a GOOD MAN who has two arms, two legs and a head attached to his torso.
Sweet Jesus.

Beth said...

Great post, Swistle. This works both ways, of course, and it applies to roomates, babysitters, co-workers........anyone with whom you are sharing a project or task.

I object STRONGLY to the use of the term "helping" when discussing sharing household chores or childcare. IF you and your spouse live together in the same home and share children, how is it that one spouse (usually the man) is credited with either "helping" or "not helping" the other spouse (the woman) with everyday tasks/life's chores?

My own husband lives here in our shared home, so when he does laundry/dishes/childcare/bathroom cleaning/cooking/repairs/shopping/organizing he is just participating in LIFE.

zoot said...

AMEN. Times Nineteen Million. Plus Four.

Meg said...

How's the visit with your MIL going?

((((Hugs)))) It will get better (at least that's what I keep telling myself)

Erica said...

Amen, Swistle. Amen.

beyond said...

hear hear!

Michelle said...

Well said and I totally agree with Beth.

MoMMY said...

I had this exact argument with my husband this morning. He has been doing the laundry this week and put everyone's clothes in the wrong basket. (He found one of my shirts in with his prompting the discussion.) I made a comment about appreciating him taking care of the laundry but he needed to learn whose clothes are whose. He disagreed. He felt he had helped and was just doing things "his" way. This is where I pointed out that if the children did the same thing he would have something to say about it. His response was that they needed to learn life skills and he already learned them. (Obviously not.) He's a good guy and usually does his share without being asked but that comment made me want to take all his clothes and hide them in various peoples' dressers.

Mama (Stacy) said...

I totally agree!

I am so sick and tired of the idea that we have to treat our husbands like an additional toddler in the house. wtf? Last time I checked we married men who were capable of following a basic set of directions.

Ugh. I am going to go to Target today in your honor.

-R- said...

Yes. And I love how you ended this post.

Melio (MelissaInk) said...

Same conversation going on around my house.

Marie Green said...

I totally agree, and I think that you are quite articulate. If people are going to "misunderstand" what you are saying, they are just looking to be mean.

Also, may I add, that if the task is being completed but in a time manner that is much, MUCH, MUCH longer than it "should" take, I will also speak up. Just because my spouse is doing a chore differently than I am doesn't mean that it is good for any of us if said task takes him 3 hours and takes me 30 minutes.

After all, running a household, and having a family life, that includes lots of little kids requires some aspect of efficiency. So, taking too long for a task (even if end result is task is completed) qualifies, for ME, as "doing it wrong".

elizasmom said...

YESYESYES.

Lawyerish said...

The last sentence of this post made me cackle quite loudly.

You pretty much rule.

6p00d83451b8a169e2 said...

AGREED! But what about when you're not sure the end result is success? Husband and I have ongoing argument about whether he is allowed to wash dishes with COLD (at least, NOT HOT) WATER. Hot water does awful things to his hands (major skin issues, bah) and he says soap is what is cleaning them anyway. And I say, "But then why does everyone ELSE in the world wash with HOT WATER?" Oh, this is a very stupid comment, isn't it? But he says it is HIS WAY and I say it is WROOOOOONG! I suppose people would say I should just be grateful he is doing the dishes AT ALL.

Tony said...

@6p00d83451b8a169e2

Well, I think that's not really the point Swistle is trying to make. This IS your way vs. his way.

While washing dishes with hot water is EASIER, washing with cold water is certainly acceptable assuming he uses soap and the dishes get clean.

Cookie said...

I thought your last post was very clear. Love the points you made in this one. I'm really trying to back off on the his way vs. her way argument and just focus on the right way vs. the wrong way argument. Also, I know it's not what should happen, but sometimes it's just easier to do things myself while he watches TV and plays video games. I get more done in less time.

jen said...

I have a hard time differentiating between right/wrong vs my/his especially when it comes to saving money. Whether its saving water (if I can take a 10 minute shower, I'm certain HE can) or buying off-brand to save on groceries or packing lunch rather than buying fast food... it's a hard conversation to have because to me, it's right vs wrong. We're friggin broke, so whatever saves us money SHOULD be the right way. But for him, it's just his way, and he can't see the monetary value of the issues. There are some things that he does wrong that are more obvious (loading the dishwasher so the glasses don't get broken, for example) but in most cases the line isn't quite as clear, which makes the argument that much more difficult to have.

Lizzie said...

Haha! LOVE. I give my husband some good natured grief for taking eight years to do a two-minute task, but I get super ANNOYED (and I think, rightfully so) when he brings home ground ginger instead of an actual ginger root when I tell him to pick up a piece of ginger. And I think the reverse is true too - there've been times when I've gotten the wrong bike part for him at the store. Right is right and wrong is not right.

Lora said...

I still can't get past the thought of food on dishes. My husband leaves food on dishes too.

It really gets to me.

BUT, he's doing the dishes instead of sitting on his ass while I do the dishes so I'll let him do the dishes

(you know, the once a year when he offers...)

Swistle said...

6p00d83451b8a169e2- RIGHT! I getcha. Sometimes you can't just look at the end result, especially if the end result might be on a (*shudder*) microbial level. Paul and I have a few things like this, where "his way" is to wash the raw-chickeny cutting board with a sponge and soapy water, but that makes me feel like burning our house down, or where "my way" is to leave 1/4th cup of milk or 1 T. of mayo in the jug/jar if I don't need to use it, which makes him feel like throwing away anything less than a quarter full. In those cases we try to figure something out. Like, I said I KNEW it might not be reasonable, but it made me feel like burning the house down to think of all those raw chicken germs infecting everything, so now he spritzes things with bleach but we're both clear on it being a nice thing he's doing for me. And I still save tiny quantities, but we have an agreement that he can go ahead and start using the next jug/jar, while I finish up the scrap I so lovingly saved.

Heather @critter chronicles said...

Yeah. It's like my husband whining to me that I don't appreciate him doing the dishes when I complain to him that when he does the dishes, he does them 3/4 of the way. Like, he washes them. He rinses them. He dries them. He even goes SO FAR as to put the dried dishes on the counter DIRECTLY above/below the cabinets where they are stored, but can't be bothered to actually open the cabinet door and put them away. In that case, I'd almost rather have him just leave them wet in the drainer, rather than go almost all the way and give up.

I don't see that as a "His Way/My Way" issue, but a "Follow through already, damn you!" issue. Oh wait, that wasn't the title of this post...

g~ said...

I have this same issue when people say they have to "ask their husbands to babysit" before agreeing to go on a girls night out. Like, sure, I understand 'checking the family schedule' and all but "asking" your husband to babysit HIS OWN CHILDREN? RIDICULOUS!
It's actually one of the things my husband and I agreed upon BEFORE having children (obviously, this has irritated me for an irrationally long time).
g~

Tony said...

I'm not sure what the problem is with a mother asking her husband to babysit.

Now, if the husband makes plans to play golf with his buddies on a Saturday, without asking his wife the same question, then fine, complain away.

Alias Mother said...

I read this post and all I could think was, "Wait, isn't that what I said?" So I went back to yesterday's comments and checked and YES! That is what I said! And you agreed with me. So there! I just had to share that feeling of triumph when I realized that I, in fact, was not the one getting yelled at here. (Am still 8, apparently.)

Also, g~ mentioend men who "babysit" their own kids. Boy, using that term in that way is one of my pet peeves. It makes me hair stand on end.

Sing it, Swistle!

Jess said...

To Tony--I think the idea is that a "babysitter" is usually someone who comes in from the outside to WATCH the children, normally FOR PAY, as it is not something that they would be EXPECTED to do without compensation. Babysitting is something that needs to be planned and arranged in advance. It is not normally something that applies to an actual live-in parent of a child. It is partially a question of semantics, but it gets at a deeper issue. Checking with your husband to make sure he didn't want/need to do something else during that time slot before making firm plans to go out while he stays home with the kids? Sure. Asking him to babysit as though it were an exceptional circumstance? No.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Amen!

Joceline said...

I thought both posts were completely clear AND completely hilarious. We have a phrase in our house called "[Our last name] looking." It refers to the way in which my husband looks for things for two seconds before asking me about it. But it isn't a comment directed at men, per se, because his sister does the exact same looking thing and I'm glad to have a BIL to laugh about those quirky family things with.

I try really, really hard to remind myself that my husband would totally help if he could, but at the moment he's gone for work upwards of 12 hours a day and brings work home every night. It is a crappy but temporary situation that started right when we moved to a new house, so it makes sense that locating things would be difficult. Since I'm the one here 24/7 doing the chores, laundry, cooking, shopping, taking care of kids, I know this stuff like the back of my hand, and he just hasn't had the opportunity.

I also try to comfort myself by thinking of how well cared for my husband is with clean, pressed work clothes every day, homemade meals packed in his lunch box and on the table when he gets home vs. his poor, poor single co-workers who must fend for themselves. It only helps sometimes.

Tony said...

@Jess

Well, I think when a parent asks the other parent "to babysit", in most cases it's more like "I'd like to go out with the girls on Friday night" or "I'd like to play golf with the guys on Saturday" followed by "is that okay?". I think we're focusing on the word "babysit" when it's just a generalization for staying home with kids so the other can go out.

At least that's the way it is in my house. Although, I rarely play golf on the weekends anymore. I'm lucky enough to have every other Friday off and try to use that day instead.

Angella said...

Perfectly said, Swistle. Perfectly said.

Kira said...

Pumpkin pie filling is gross. There is no excuse.

g~ said...

Not to hijack the comments but
Tony--
There is a big difference (if just in perspective) between making sure the schedules align for everyone to be taken care of while adults do their individual things versus "I can't go out tonight because the husband *won't* watch the kids." As if it is SOLELY or even PRIMARILY the Mom's responsibility to take care of the kids at all times day and night. I stay at home while my husband works and it is my primary job to handle taking care of the kids...until my husband gets home, at which point we are equal caregivers. You're just so evolved that the "babysitting" example doesn't even apply to you!
For the record, it pisses me off even worse when I see the Mom who thinks the Dad can't take care of the kids because he doesn't do it "her way".

Mary said...

A- MEN!!!!! I may even let my husband read this to see that it's not just me. When the way they do it, results in a consequence for me- like having to redo it (and now it's all cooked on and harder to get food off a dish), it does not equal being helpful!!!

Kristi said...

God, I love you so much for this post. Will you marry me?! I also CANNOT STAND this way of thinking and will complain about it until I'm dead. In my opinion, by always coddling certain people in this way (historically men- but also sometimes women in other areas) we have given them the Free Pass to be Half Assed! Do you know how many times I've had to explain, "I'm in this marriage with another adult and expect him to behave like one"? Too many to count.

Erin said...

Wow, I just went back and read my comment on the other post and I do totally sound like one of those "oh well at least he tries" women which isn't how I meant to sound at all (that's what happens when you try to keep it short so you won't accidentally go off on a rant about your FIL)! I totally agree with you: The question isn't his-vs-your way, it's you're an adult so you should be able to do this correctly-vs-at least he's doing more than breathing in and out, you should be greatful!.

I'm also kind of appalled at the idea of someone thinking that you shouldn't be allowed to be annoyed at someone doing something wrong if you didn't write out every single instruction first. The man is your husband, not an employee or child.

Finally, I think you made your point perfectly clear and relatable in both posts!

HollyLynne said...

So, so true. And, in case my husband reads your blog comments, THIS ALSO APPLIES TO HOW THE CALPHALON DOES NOT GO IN THE DISHWASHER.

The Gori Wife said...

The babysitting thing really really gets me too. Asking your husband if he is free to watch the kids so you can get a pedicure on Saturday morning does not equal "babysitting" and calling it that makes it seem like the father is pinch-hitting in some special way that normally deserves compensation or special recognition. I'd like to see the reactions to a man, when asked to golf on the weekend or attned a business meeting late one workday "Oh, I'll have to check to see if Wifey can babysit the kiddos." Even my husband - a very involved father - hates this term and he will go on a diatribe if someone says it to him. He says "I'm not a babysitter, I'm his father!" and says it's incredibly condescending.

Anonymous said...

After 17 years, I feel like it's not worth the "coaching" or even continued anger. There is a way I want to live, and it's in a clean house without being all clawed up emotionally. So, I do it myself as much as possible and move on. I can't make somebody be what he is not.

Celeste

Christy said...

Yes! So true! And also wrong to pull a towel from the BOTTOM of the neatly folded stack of towels causing all towels to tumble to the floor. And leaving them there.

Farrell said...

I am TOTALLY with you and I ESPECIALLY love the last paragraph.

Farrell said...

Also AMEN BETH
and
AGREE JESS & G

Karen said...

Amen, Swistle.

Also: Amen, Beth and g~ re helping and babysitting. I prefer a more judgement-neutral "taking care of the kids" or even "with the kids."

My issue is with initiative. Many of the men in my circle of friends may come close to doing their "fair share" of domestic work but it is rarely of their own initiative, which belies their belief of whose responsibility domestic work is.

On his/wrong way, yes, sometimes there is a fine line. Costliness is a good example. Timeliness or efficiency is another. For example, my husband's ways for doing dishes and for folding/putting away laundry are so EXCEEDINGLY SLOW that he ends up WHINING endlessly about how much work he's doing. Nicely passive-aggressive because many times I'd rather just do it myself than listen to the whining.

And another thing (um, crusty much?): DH, go ahead and acknowledge/recognise/notice/say THANK YOU for what I've done around the house. I'd appreciate the appreciation. Don't worry that this will highlight your own under-contribution. I am already well aware of it.

Ashley said...

Good for you! I too am fine with my husband doing chores his way as long as they are done right at the end. Which in my books is very little to ask, since his chore list is relatively small. I was gone (with my 8 month old in the hospital) for 6 days and I come home and he washed HIS clothes, did 2 out 25 dishes and left my toddlers pee in the little potty. And expected a pat on the back that he made 1 out of 3 beds. Um sorry dude, you messed this one up.
I got married to be in a partnership not to start parenthood early so I expect a partner not a toddler out of my spouse.

Amy said...

Oh my God, THANK YOU!!! This is my life. Washing the dishes is a big one. So is cleaning. My Mr. is dirt blind. This must actually be a real medical condition, by the way, because it is so very absolute. Amy my Mr. has an accute case of chronic dirt blindness. So when he acts all benevolent like he's doing me a favor by cleaning the bathroom eventhough it's still gross and smelly when he's done, it drives me up the proverbial wall.

But I love him, so I will just continue to discreetly come behind him and do the jobs correctly for the rest of my life.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Good post, Swistle! Totally agree with you!

Christina said...

Amen, Swistle!

I was going to comment yesterday, but by the time I got here, it already seemed to be a little battle in the comment section and I didn't feel like adding to it. haha

I agree with one commenter yesterday who said that her husband is a fully grown adult that is able to hold down a job and do things properly there - so why can't he do them at home too? He doesn't leave his brain at the door when he comes home. If men did the stupid crap they do at home while they were at work, they would be fired. It's INCOMPETENCE, plain and simple.

Paul wouldn't be able to order something wrong at work and just tell his boss "they were out." Nor would he be allowed to get rid of important documents with a "whoops" kind of attitude.

My biggest pet peeve is my boyfriend asking me questions instead of thinking for himself. Instead of opening the fridge and locating the ketchup, he opens, glances for a split second and asks "Where's the ketchup?" He can find it perfectly fine when I'm not home, so why does he need my help if I happen to be in the kitchen???

Michelle said...

ok. I completely agree with you and I thought you were clear in your last post, BUT... I'm still left wondering where some things fit on the spectrum of "my way" or "wrong way" so could you please elaborate further so we can discuss it!

What about when I ask him to empty the dishwasher or clean his bathroom and he says OK but then days and days go by and he doesn't do it and I end up doing it myself. Is that him doing it "his way" (i.e., whenever he gets around to it) or the "wrong way"???

because i find myself nagging about this a lot and I feel like a big Naggy Nag! But to me this is a "wrong way" thing... although he doesn't see it that way.

Swistle said...

Michelle- I DON'T KNOW EITHER. It seems like they must be doing it on purpose, doesn't it? Because surely all human beings can agree that the dishwasher needs to be unloaded relatively soon, and not days and days later?

I am reminded of Paul's story of his childhood: his mom would ask him to do something, and he would agree very politely and then just never do it. She'd give up and do it herself. He said it was an excellent strategy because he got full credit for obedience and agreeability, but he never had to do the work.

One way to explain it to people who claim not to get it is agree to do laundry and then wait until they are out of underwear, and then wait several more days. If reminded, say "GEEZ, will you stop NAGGING me?? I SAID I'd do it!!"

Just Jiff said...

OMG! I am printing this out and putting it on my fridge. :)

alexis said...

i have nothing to add, except that you are awesome. love both of these posts SO, SO much.

Michelle said...

Exactly!

I work with all male colleagues, like there are maybe 10% women in my office environment, and my office mates tell me that men DO do this on purpose so they do not have to do chores. The three men who work in my space all agreed that it's an unspoken code among men that they will pretend they don't know how to do a chore or do it wrong just so they won't be asked to do it again!

Now, I don't really believe them that ALL men do this. I am pretty sure my husband doesn't do it on purpose... (I think...)

I think he really thinks whatever he is doing is more important than cleaning out his bathroom or unloading the dishwasher. It doesn't even seem dirty to me! (He says.)

Hotch Potchery said...

Yikes I must have missed something, or I should go through my Reader chronologically.

Need to catch up.

mom, again said...

Growing up, Saturdays were chores day. Certain chores, cleaning bathrooms for example, rotated between us kids. And said chores were done right or done again. My mom used to tell me that when I had sister's in law, it would be my responsibility to swear my brother's did too know how to clean bathrooms, do laundry and wash dishes.

And I have done so.

Leah Rubin said...

Amen, Baby! You're not Lucy, I'm not Ethel, and Ricky is not going to wag his finger in my face and tell me I've got some 'splaining to do!

A man with an electrical engineering degree can't do laundry only because he refuses to learn. What? Did I write that down?

d e v a n said...

Love all these comments. :) Nothing to add.

Jennifer H said...

After complaining in the comments section yesterday, I am now sitting on the couch with my dear friend the internet, while my husband does the dishes (and he always does a good job).
WIN!

Katy said...

I realize that this post is probably because people said rude things about you post yesterday, so I'd like to say THANK YOU for yesterday's post. Makes me feel like I'm not actually losing my mind--just going through the same thing everyone else is.

HHRose said...

1. Did you know that Blogger has this awesome feature where you can actually TURN OFF the comments? I use it frequently, if only as punishment for stupid people. ;o) (Removes tongue from cheek.)

2. To Tony and others, I prefer "BE HIS/HER PARENT" as a daily alternative to "babysit your own damn spawn."

3. I heart you, Swistle. A big ole heart, too.

Stacia said...

Great post! I cannot believe some people's comments over there. The box-stacking is NOT an issue of "your way", it's an issue of physics and danger. Sheesh. Maybe as someone who is only 5 feet tall -- my husband is a full 15 inches taller than me and puts things where I can't reach them even with a stepstool -- I get more peeved. I dunno, I'd be extremely torqued off.

Christina: My husband also doesn't bother to look for anything before hollering for me. For a while when I was young I was still in "must help the man" mode, which I regret now, but it was the way I was raised to an extent. Girls were supposed to be helpful to guys, to help everyone really and never ask for anything. Took me a while to realize it was just making me a pushover. It's been over 10 years since I started asking hubby "Did you even look before asking me?" reflexively. It doesn't help, and I think he's upset that I'm no longer the passive helper I was when I was 19 years old. It's so complicated, I hate being in my 30s and still getting nervous asking him if he'll help more.

Kelly said...

first of all, have you read my blog in the last couple days? LOL
I love your 1950's reference. the word bumble is just a great word.
next, the idea that a woman should never criticize her husband or God forbid he might get upset and feel put upon and feel immasculated and feel blah blah blah and then cheat or something is something that SO annoys me. It puts all the responsiblity back on the woman to make the man happy.
bah. Marriage isn't simply about being happy. and when people say they are getting a divorce because "we just weren't happy anymore" my ass begins to twitch. its not about being happy. Happiness comes, if you're lucky, now and then. if you're lucky, you can laugh with him/her. If you're lucky, your children are wonderful and entertaining and healthy. But its about so much more than that. You are sharing a LIFE with someone. And that includes not only all the big romantic notions and big tasks of life like mortgages and raising non serial killer children, but also the mundane bullshit of shopping and cleaning and functioning. And regardless of if a woman works, 90% of the time, the house is her office. If I went to my husband's office and started messin with stuff he'd come unglued. Likewise, in the house, I have a system and if you have a better idea, knock yourself out implementing it at midnight like I do. Otherwise, just do what I am asking because what I am asking does NOT include removing any of your vital organs or male anatomy. Its just that the tupperware lids go there and the coffee cups go there. sorry. life's a bitch and so is your wife and that is why you married me anyway (blog).

men, who I do love, are not really as good at things that women are good at - GENERALLY speaking. don't shoot me. damnit. *I* am not good at playing ninja turtles with the kids, but when someone is sick, I'm johnny on the spot. *I* am not good at building crap. but if you want something organized, like, say, our whole life, Okie dokie!!

I have a theory. It harkens back to cave men. The tribe is hungry and the men are going out to hunt. Meanwhile it is time to move the came for the winter. So the men gather and grunt and go "must hunt. buffalo. go get buffalo" and this IS an important task because hello, it feeds the tribe.

meanwhile, back at the metropolis, the women are going "OK, so we have to move from *here* to *here* (drawing map in dirt). We have 15 adult women and 20 children, 12 of whom must be carried. We have 10 teepees and blah blah blah blah blah. and blah blah blah. and we have to do blah blah blah. and then we have to do blah blah. Ok so, in looking at the route, we have to go over this stream and around that big rock formation but we have to avoid that certain place with the poisonous plants because we all know what happened last year when little Johnny went in there...and so I think the best route is here. we'll stop *here* and *here*...

and out on the hillside, gearing each other up for the big hunt, The men scan the horizon. they scan and scan. looking for buffalo. that is all they are doing...the crucial task of looking for buffalo.

so when he opens the frig and goes "where's the mustard?" and you go "its right in front of you" and he goes "I don't see it!" and you go "its next to the yogurt, behind the Mcdonald's left overs, under the milk shelf..." its because he evolved from "buffalo...buffalo..." and he is merely scanning the horizon of the frig.

We love them. They make good buffalo. and this is not meant to reinforce any ridiculous stereotypes. so anyone who wishes to stone me, pllfffft. I speak in generalities. but its mostly true.


I will, now, dismount my soapbox.
Swistle, my dear, you are fine. Men make mistakes and its ok to tell them without fear of social ostracism or marital crises etc.
when you want canned pumpkin, damnit, you should get canned pumpkin. And its OK if you have post traumatic stress from that person's mother visiting you too!!

Jenni said...

I have been thinking about this since your post the other day. Why are we "lucky" to have husbands that help, even if they do things incorrectly (and I don't mean differently, I mean WRONG; like you said, there is a diff.)? Husbands SHOULD HELP. Marriage is a PARTNERSHIP. We are not lucky to have husbands that help - we should all have spouses that help (those of us that choose to have spouses, anyways.) A helpful spouse should be the norm and there is nothing wrong with excepting help to be helpful and not crap done incorrectly and half-assed. End mini-rant.

Mama Bub said...

Didn't we just deal with this a while back when you were told to be GRATEFUL that you had a husband who actually came home at night, rather than covorting with who knows who? And if that wasn't enough for you then you obviously couldn't be pleased because seriously, who can expect the adults in the family to, you know, contribute to the cause, not just the mess?

That Swistle, there's no pleasing her.

the new girl said...

My grandmother once backed out of the garage with the door closed. My grandfather went ON AND ON about it...and then the following year, he did the same thing.

And then we NEVER HEARD ANOTHER PEEP about it.

Lippy said...

There is too much to agree with in the post and the comments!