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.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...