Tag Archives: Housework

In praise of being “nice”

8 Nov

Mr. JudgyBitch and I live in a small town where we do a lot of casual entertaining.  Lots of potlucks and BBQs and picnics and dinner parties at home.  There is one thing I do that drives other women insane:  I always fetch a plate for Mr. JudgyBitch and keep his drink topped up.  Other men notice this too, and will sometimes say crap to their girlfriends/wives along the lines of “why don’t I get my plate brought to me?”, which earns me lots of hatred from the gals most decidedly NOT fetching anything for anyone ever, period, fullstop.

I feel like there is a profound misunderstanding about WHY I take such good care of Mr. JudgyBitch, and honestly, every other guest in my house, too.  If you come for dinner at my place, I will mix your drinks, bring you a plate, take away your plate after you are done, and just generally make sure you are comfortable and at ease.  If you look cold, I will get you a sweater.  If you look hot, I will bring you a hat and some ice water.  If the sun is in your eyes, I will bring you sunglasses or get the ones you left on the counter for you.

My very good friend NurseRatchet once asked me, genuinely curious, if I LIKED being a servant.  “You wait on everyone hand and foot,” she said to me, as I refilled her wine glass, “and you spoil the shit out of your husband.  He doesn’t lift a finger around here”.  I just kept pouring, even though the bottle was sitting right in front of her and she could easily have done it herself. She watched me peel oranges for everyone outside on the deck and was sincerely mystified as to why I would do that.  Why not just bring a bowl of oranges outside and a bowl for scraps and let everyone peel their own damn orange?

A lot of women see my care taking actions, especially when it comes to food and drinks, as servile.  As if I am lowering myself, debasing myself to the position of a humble serf by the simple act of opening a beer and carrying it to someone who wants one. They see it as beneath them, humiliating, degrading and shameful.  And the unspoken accusation is that as a WOMAN, quite probably serving a MAN (although I take excellent care of my female guests, too), I am somehow  betraying my gender and reinforcing the grossest of inequalities. I am a kitchen wench.  A peasant. chattel, and nothing more.  Mindless, obedient and acquiescent.

 

Ha!  Ask Mr. JudgyBitch about that one!

Here’s why I peel oranges for my husband and children and guests:  because it’s fucking nice, that’s why.  Oranges are messy and the pith gets all under your fingernails and the juice drips and squirts everywhere when you try to separate the segments and your hands are left sticky and wet (although they smell really nice) and it’s just really nice and thoughtful to get an orange already peeled and segmented on a plate with a napkin.  IT’S NICE!

I take pride in being a gracious hostess.  My happiness comes from making other people happy.  I see a need and I meet it, and that makes me feel useful and when it’s met with gratefulness, it makes me feel appreciated.  I am blessed, I suppose, to have people who acknowledge and appreciate my work, and IT IS WORK.

I don’t think I have ever had a male guest who treated me with contempt for being an attentive hostess.  Some are embarrassed and feel guilty, because they have been taught that

“the personal is always political”

and if you let a woman take your dirty plate back to the kitchen so you can continue your conversation, it must mean you hate women and that makes you a bad person. It’s really absurd.  But for the most part, men are pleased and grateful for my attention to their needs.

Women, on the other hand, will often shower me with contempt and act like I am “showing them up” by being thoughtful and kind, even when the kindness is directed at them.  I get comments like “when does he (Mr. JB) ever do anything for you?” or “do you ever sit down”?  Usually said by some lardass sitting down while I fetch her a bowl of nuts to snack on.

Underwriting those kinds of comments is the assumption that what I’m doing isn’t work.  If I were  a lawyer or a caterer or a widget factory marketing rep, and I was fully willing and prepared to go the extra mile for my clients and make certain that everything was just as it should be, I would be considered a stellar employee.  The slackers might hate me, but the boss would love me and so would the clients.  But because I’m “just a housewife”, having the same conscientious attitude towards my work makes me an object of contempt and derision. I’m not working, I’m grovelling.  An indentured servant, seeking to please the master and nothing more.

Well fuck that noise!  I AM working, and I am damn good at my job and I will not apologize for it.

Critical comments about Mr. JudgyBitch in particular are insulting on a whole other level.  What does Mr. JudgyBitch do for me?  Oh, nothing, other than PAY EVERY DAMN BILL THAT COMES INTO OUR HOUSE.  He earns every penny that our family lives on, and I have the privilege and pleasure of being in a comfortable, well stocked home, with my three lovely children as a result of his work and willingness to support us and I don’t think fixing him a burger and opening a beer is a huge price to pay for that!

At the end of the day, I am grateful to have the life I do, and I am grateful that I can focus on making the lives of the people I love and care about a little nicer. Being nice isn’t a plot of the patriarchy to keep women down.  It’s a key part of having loving, harmonious relationships with all kinds of people.  It’s the lubricant of every social event.  It’s a the balm that can soothe little injuries and big ones, too.

And someone has to go first.  Why not you?

Be nice today.  Even to men.  Especially to men.  And to other women, too.  Be nice to everyone.  And hey, could you get me a beer while you’re up?

Lots of love,

JB

A decade of dishes will turn a girl into a woman, and a sensible one, at that.

3 Nov

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According to Business Insider, the highest unemployment rates for people who graduated from college are for architecture majors (13.9 % unemployment), arts majors (11.1%) and humanities and liberal arts majors (9.4%).

http://www.businessinsider.com/unemployment-by-major-2012-1?op=1

Hmm.  Just the disciplines women tend to cluster in.  How perfect.  Spend $50 000 plus dollars on a degree that doesn’t even get you a job.  Too bad the Gawker site has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, because they run a regular feature about unemployment, and you should hear the moany liberal arts graduates blaming everyone but themselves for their unemployment.

Yeah, because normally there are tons of jobs for cultural anthropology/women’s studies majors.

It’s called being a barista at Starbucks.

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So what is a young lady to do when she’s ready for college but has no real idea of what she wants to do or be or how to support herself once she’s done?  Easy.

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Don’t go.

Find a husband, have some children, stay home and raise them yourself and give yourself time to turn into a mature and responsible woman.  Raising your own children and taking care of your own home will help that process.  And believe me, after a decade of folding underpants and doing dishes, you won’t be talked into chucking fifty grand of your family’s money into fine arts or children’s literature or any other of the useless liberal arts majors you can declare.

Nope.  You will be interested in acquiring some skills that will get you a job and earn you and your family some money.  Accounting will become mighty attractive.  Hell, you’ll probably do the sensible thing and go to trade school and grab some actual job market skills.

Young women are narcissists.  They want what they want, and they are surrounded by a culture that tells them HELL YEAH YOU SHOULD DO WHAT YOU WANT.  Except that what they want is fucking stupid.  Spending a shit ton of money (that you probably had to borrow and it will take you twenty years to repay) on a useless piece of paper that qualifies you to work at McDonald’s is just plain old dumb.

Grow up before you make that decision.  Do a real job with real responsibilities before you decide how you plan on making money.  Be a wife.  Be a mother.  Do a good job at both.

Only then will you be wise enough to pick a college major.

Lots of love,

JB

No, my husband doesn’t do any housework. Why the fuck should he?

27 Oct

 Full disclosure:  Mr.JudgyBitch works fulltime and takes care of our family so I can be at home fulltime, making all of this doubly true, but even if you do work, you shouldn’t  be making your husband do housework.  Unless he wants to, of course.

Do you own throw pillows?  Do you like the towels folded in a particular way?  Are the things in your cupboards arranged the way they are because YOU arranged them?  Does a dirty floor drive you nuts? Do you care about what the house looks like?  Good.

It’s because you are a woman and women have an attachment to their domestic space that men just don’t have.  Simply put, men don’t give a shit about housework.  Women bitch and moan about having to do a “second shift” of housework, but guess what?  You CHOOSE to do that.  Yeah, yeah, the laundry has to get done, food prepared and dishes washed.  Maybe mop the floor every once in a while.  The rest of the “housework” is 100% voluntary and you are the only one who gives a shit, so you should do it.  Trust me, your husband and kids don’t give a rat’s ass if the beds are made, the placemats on the table match (or even if there are placemats) or the TV is dusted. Who gives a fuck?  Oh, you do?  Then get dusting bitch!

The number one reason you should not bully or harangue your husband about housework is that it is EMASCULATING.  Are you a feminist?  You might as well stop reading right now then, since emasculating men is the whole point of feminism.  You gals WANT a kitchen bitch, and good luck with that.  But for women who are interested in a happy, loving relationship with a man who acts like a man, there is nothing more emasculating that being ordered by your wife to scrub the bathtub.

Did you see what I just did there?  It’s not scrubbing the bathtub or the toilet or folding laundry or making lunch that is emasculating.  It’s BEING ORDERED TO by your wife.  Mr. JudgyBitch does a few things reliably around the house and they tend to be traditionally masculine chores.  He takes out the garbage.  All of it.  He sorts the recycling.  He cleans the bathrooms because that is gross and messy work and he agrees that I shouldn’t have to do it. He brings the groceries in from the car.  I have not once EVER ordered him to do these things.  He does them because he wants to, because he wants to help me and because it makes him feel connected to his home.  And if I get overwhelmed by something, or really, just don’t fucking feel like unloading the dishwasher/cleaning the oven/picking up the damn dog toys, I can ask him to pitch in and help.  And he will.  Once in a while.

Here is a chore I do more or less every day that I know he doesn’t give a shit about: I clear off the table, wipe it down until it shines, put on a table runner and a centerpiece. Ta-da!  So lovely.

If I ask Mr. JudgyBitch to clear off the table he takes the shit off the table and puts it all on the counter and there’s that job done!  Then he looks at me like I’m crazy because what fucking difference does it make if shit is piled up on the table or the counter?

Here’s what I DON’T do:  follow him around and order him to take all the shit off the table and put it where I have decided it goes.  Yeah, watched a friend do this to her husband once and wondered why he didn’t punch her in the face or at least tell her to fuck off.  They’re divorced now.  Big surprise.  Apparently, he was a lazy fucker.  Or you know, she was a controlling, emasculating bitch.  Take your pick.

Here’s the thing:  if you are going to define your domestic space as YOURS, and most women do, which is why there are MAN CAVES (hint:  it’s because the REST OF THE HOUSE has been claimed by the woman), then YOU are the one responsible for it.  You don’t get to decide that the blue throw cushions go on the chair and the crocheted rose throw goes on the couch and then DEMAND your husband follow your rules.  Fuck that.  And if you have blue throw cushions and a crocheted rose throw, then you better have a room your husband can sit in without feeling like he’s invaded the ladies room at some posh joint.

Here’s a solution to the dilemma of women doing more housework than men:  LOWER YOUR FUCKING STANDARDS.  Let go of the idea that you own your house and all the things in it, including your husband.  He is not a robovac that can be turned on and put into service.  If he doesn’t give a shit about the housework, then maybe you should take his lead and give less of a shit yourself.

Or you know, DO IT YOURSELF.  Which has some advantages.  You wouldn’t be so goddamn fat if you did more housework.  Cancel the gym membership and pick up the mop.  You’ll save money and be happier!  And you won’t have to cut off your husband’s balls to achieve it.

http://jezebel.com/5913577/study-claims-women-are-fatter-now-because-they-do-less-housework

Lots of love,

JB

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