Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

January 29, 2003

Men of the World, Rise

Men of the World, Rise Up! You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Washerwoman's Elbow!

I was already a firm believer in the magic dishwasher fairy, who appears late at night and magically puts all the plates, bowls and silverware up in the correct place, but now I'm tempted to start believing in the magic vacuum and bathroom fairies, too. Might as well, because according to the latest in feminist thought, doing those chores isn't getting me any extra action.

What we've learned during this thirty-year grand experiment is that men can be cajoled into doing all sorts of household tasks, but they will not do them the way a woman would. They will bathe the children, but they will not straighten the bath mat and wring out the washcloths; they will drop a toddler off at nursery school, but they won't spend ten minutes chatting with the teacher and collecting the art projects. They will, in other words, do what men have always done: reduce a job to its simplest essentials and utterly ignore the fillips and niceties that women tend to regard as equally essential. And a lot of women feel cheated and angry and even—bless their hearts—surprised about this. In the old days, of course, men's inability to perform women's work competently was a source of satisfaction and pride to countless housewives. A reliable sitcom premise involved Father's staying home for a day while Mother handled things at his office; chastened and newly admiring of the other's abilities, each ran gratefully back to familiar terrain. Nowadays, when a working mother arrives home after a late deposition, only to find the living room strewn with Legos and a pizza box crammed into the kitchen trash, she tends to get madder than a wet hen. Women are left with two options: endlessly haranguing their husbands to be more womanly, or silently fuming and (however wittingly) launching a sex strike of an intensity and a duration that would have impressed Aristophanes. The men who cave to the pressure to become more feminine—putting little notes in the lunch boxes, sweeping up after snack time, the whole bit—may delight their wives but they probably don't improve their sex lives much, owing to the thorny old problem of la difference. I might be quietly thrilled if my husband decided to forgo his weekly tennis game so that he could alphabetize the spices and scrub the lazy Susan, but I would hardly consider it an erotic gesture.

All I ask is that In the matter of chores, if someone wants something done around the house, someone should tell me to do it. I'll do it, I'll be happy to do it, but expecting me to somehow know that the mantle needs dusting or that the inside of the microwave is dirty is guaranteed to end in frustration. I'm not writing little notes, though.

Even if I did put little notes in lunchboxes, they'd be unreadable. I'd rush the writing to the point of illegibility. If taken to task for that, I'd type them up the night before on the computer, and print them out, fulfilling the letter of the law while destroying the spontaneity of the moment. Eventually I would start composing them days in advance, and entering them into a database. I bet once I had a few hundred different ones I could randomize the process, and never have to write another note again.

I'm the same way with Hallmark cards. In my opinion, cards are what you give a person when you don't get them a present. They're better than nothing, but not as good as anything else. Giving a person anything on that special day; whether that day is Christmas, Valentine's, a birthday or a wedding anniversary, obviates the need to give a card. Frankly, cards are cards, but gifts are trumps.

For years, when a special day came around, I would give a present to the Sainted Wife, either one she has specifically asked for, or one that I had put some thought into. No dashing out at the last minute for me, no ma'am!

She would take the present, look at it a bit oddly, and ask "Where's the card?"

I would look at her a bit oddly as well. "There is no card."

"Why not?"

"Because I got you a present!"

"That's no excuse!"

In my world, cards were pathetic substitutes for presents. In my wife's world, cards were required, regardless of present presence. She thought I was uncaring. I thought she was insane.

I still think she's insane, but after several special days were rendered slightly less special by my inability to remember to buy a card, I said the hell with it and bought 5 years of special day cards. I have 4 Halloween, 4 Thanksgiving, 4 Christmas, 4 Wedding Anniversary , Valentine's Day, 5 Birthdays Mother, 5 Birthdays daughter, and 5 Mother's Day cards left. Just to make a point, I also have 5 Arbor Day cards. They're all on top of the china cabinet, where they get pulled out at need.

She'd prefer spontaneous, but seems content with weird.

Posted by Bigwig at January 29, 2003 04:58 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?