If nothing else, BufBloPoFo is a learning tool. Last year, we learned how to load a dishwasher, how to take a leak, etc. Let’s keep that going this year, but instead of focusing on what people are doing wrong, tell me what you think you do right. Walk me through a process. Give me the step-by-steps. Can you make damn good baba ganoush? Can you tie a bow tie? Can you pour the perfect Guinness??? Teach me how, perfesser.
How to Have a Meltdown on Your No-Housework Doin’ Husband without Destroying Your Marriage or Your Self Respect – a Primer by Becky Boop
I am the first to admit, I went about this 100% incorrectly early in my marriage. My greatest folly was operating on the mistaken belief that your husband is at all moved by his wife’s shouting or tears. Not so, ladies. These sounds function as a kind of dog whistle in reverse, penetrable to the ears of everyone EXCEPT your beloved pet, er husband. Through 18 months of trial and error, I believe I have finally uncovered successful methods for getting my darling up off that couch, making him understand that I do not in fact enjoy wiping the urine he leaves behind on the toilet seat five times a day. Like your beloved, you too can spend hours of your own day engaging in fun activities that do not include the removal of dirty dinner plates from your kitchen barstools. However, we women have been forced into adopting stealthy, psychological tactics that bring our men in line without the slightest appearance of nagging or badgering. With any luck, you can even make your husband believe that it was his idea and initiative to act as something other than a destructive force in your living room. Read on:
1. Logic/Flattery: Upon walking in the door to discover an overturned pot of Indian chai on the stove, after your man has had hours to clean up his breakfast mess before your return home, don’t give into that overwhleming urge to yell. Keep your blood pressure low and still get across your utter disgust for this act of laziness with the following question:
“Honey, help me understand how a man with a Master’s degree in Information Systems, a person who moved to a brand new country, alone, with a small duffel bag and nothing in his pockets but a lifetime supply of pluck, can’t seem to locate the proper receptacle (that would be the sink) for his dirty dishes?”
2. Justice: When your loved one has spent 8 hours wearing a path on the floor from the office, where he peruses wikipedia for the latest on China’s nuclear plans, to the living room, where he checks in with Campbell Brown’s extended broadcast of “No Bias, No Bull,” but neglects to find any time for a shower, appeal to him from a calm perspective of right and wrong. Example:
“Baby, do you think it’s fair that I get up in the morning, and do my very best to keep myself looking attractive: the shaving, plucking, scrubbing and moisturizng necessary to give my husband the beautiful wife he deserves? Meanwhile, you have crumbs from your morning breakfast sandwich stuck to your cheek, there are fruit flies swarming about your hair, which has not been washed in three days, and you are wearing the saggy grey sweatpants my Dad gave you last Christmas, only they haven’t been through the washing machine since that holiday?”
3. Age/Disbelief: Upon the discovery that the trash you requested to be taken out three days ago, still remains, growing out rather than up, with the pungent and tangy aroma of fortnight old cat vomit, resist he temptation to degenerate into a rabid and foaming lady of the house. Instead, appeal to your man on the basis of maturity and your persistent belief that he does in fact know the difference between right and wrong.
“Dear, my eyes must be going faster than I thought because I SWEAR that’s the exact same pile of putrid mess in the wastebasket I asked you to take out last week. Now I know you care about the air that I breathe, because you love me that much. No husband of mine would expect me to come home after a hard day’s work and inhale toxic waste. You must have fogotten your trip to the dumpster when you left the house this morning to buy your latest pack of death sticks.” (Note subtle dig at husband’s smoking habit – kill two birds with one stone).
It is unfortunate that my normal maxim of honesty as the best policy fails miserably when it comes to the subtelties of domestic chore warfare. We ladies, in order to prevent a lifetime of Cinderella-style drudgery, or Stepford-wife style seething underneath the drug cocktail of our choice, have been forced into an attack full of pleasant subterfuge. Sarcasm, flattery, and outright sociopathy have taken the place of the useless marital screaming match. Try my far healthier recipe of calm manipulation and I guarantee at least the occasional break from doing it all yourself.