I Hope The Battle of the Sexes Will Be Fought With Vacuum Cleaners

Why is it that, when I have one free afternoon, I want to organize the bookshelves, take boxes down to our storage room, do some laundry, clean up the toy box, fold the pile of 8 billion tees crammed into Thalia's dresser drawer, bring that dress to the dry cleaners, wash my bras, exchange some baby gifts, address birth announcements (oops), donate a few bags to Goodwill, toss the expired yogurt, dump the decaying eucalyptus branches, maybe play a little Guitar Hero.

When Nate has one free afternoon, he wants to play Guitar Hero.

I'm sorry Gloria Steinem, I'm failing you again, aren't I.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband goes straight to air guitar :)

He would probably do the laundry if I drew a blueprint to the laundry room.

9/1/07, 9:49 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

it's hard to ignore your uterus when it's just screaming at you to be a cooking and cleaning picture of 1950's perfection.

9/1/07, 10:30 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Lara - is that my uterus? Man, it sounds just like Meagan Mulally.

9/1/07, 10:33 PM  
Blogger S said...

Ah, but people like Gloria Steinem paved the way so that we could have choice, right? Choice to work, or stay home with the kids (umm, that's working, right?)... Choice to obsessively clean and organize, or to play Guitar Hero.

9/1/07, 10:52 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

i secretly wish i could be more like them but i can't. allow. it.

damn it.

9/1/07, 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had that drive. All I want to do on a relaxing weekend during nap time is go on my computer. Where do you get the pill to make you want to clean house? I'll pay.

9/1/07, 10:55 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

You are not alone ... and you have not failed.

9/2/07, 2:28 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

With a free afternoon, I *want* to clean the house, sort the clothes, file paperwork, and get dinner prepped for the whole week. But I'm not really getting that done either. Nap is calling.

We should have y'all over for a Guitar Hero party!

9/2/07, 5:01 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

While I hear the voices of those "domesticated" urges screaming from the caverns of my brain, I ignore them, let the mould grow on the yogurt, and enjoy me some non-productive flake-out time. The fact that we like to be productive during down time just proves how much more organized the world would be if... well you know. I didn't say the world would be better run but it sure as hell would be a lot easier to find things.

9/2/07, 7:37 AM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Sigh. Yeah, same here.

One time my husband discussed it. He honestly cannot see these things to do, admitted they just never occurred to him, and, he concluded, "I hope I am never like that." I was stymied for a response. I do know at least one part of me wanted to hurl verbal fists like "never grew up" and "must be nice to be married to the take care of it all fairy."

I don't know how or why this is...but I do wonder: why can he be happily his way and I am my way riddled with angst and guilt about it? And why do you think of it as failing Steinem?

Sure Steinem gave me a choice, but that didn't eliminate Things To Do.
I imagine you didn't expect long and deep but this short and funny post hit right at a major pain point for me (since I've gotten sick) about males, females, and what we expect of ourselves and each other.

Ravin' Picture Maven

9/2/07, 7:43 AM  
Blogger tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

Change Nate to Patrick, and you've described my life.

9/2/07, 8:33 AM  
Blogger Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

Oh, for sure you want to do all that so that you can just relax later, like when free afternoon is OVER. ;)

9/2/07, 9:00 AM  
Blogger stephanie said...

Well, I actually love being hyperorganized so I would think Ms. Steinem would be pleased that I'm doing something I enjoy. Plus, while I work, I blare music with naughty lyrics and daydream about Mark Wahlberg or Gael Garcia Bernal or even Gloria's stepson Christian Bale.

It's win-win, really.

9/2/07, 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel more relaxed when the crap is out of the house. According to the male statistics populating my house, they feel relaxed when lounging amid the crap.


9/2/07, 12:10 PM  
Blogger Ute said...

Nope, I go out to the bookstore and spend my entire afternoon there. :)

9/2/07, 1:08 PM  
Blogger Gray Matter Matters said...

See, further proof that mammary glands are really divining rods for domestic duties. The only solution: a third party (nanny) to do all the shit so that "free time" can be spent in familial bliss playing Guitar Hero.

9/2/07, 2:17 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

I'm already billed as the modern reincarnation of a 1950's mom, so you know I won't give you any guff.

There's something to be said for keeping the chaos at bay. Especially that yogurt-induced chaos.

9/2/07, 2:36 PM  
Blogger Patois42 said...

It's what I call "Man Look." If something needs being done, they don't see it. If they've lost something, they can't find it. I've countered the failure to see by making a list of tasks each day that I hope get acccomplished. Not accomplished by me, necessarily, but accomplished. He has taken to looking at the list -- only after repeated stapling of said lists to his forehead -- and starts doing some "on his own."

9/2/07, 4:40 PM  
Blogger Amy Urquhart said...

Ahhhh that was me today. Clean up kitchen, move furniture, organize kitchen cabinets, sweep, preserve those cucumbers, dust, water garden, help mom organize closet, cook dinner, facilitate cocktail hour, etc. etc. Fortunately my husband fixed the car and worked on kitchen cupboards.

9/2/07, 6:41 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Well, as the person whose husband introduced Nate to the joys of Guitar Hero, you have my apologies.

Today, husband took kids to my mom's b/c I was feeling run down and sick. However, I can't just lie down. I had to go through the toys & even organize all the Polly Pockets (some moms will know what that means), wash all the sheets and make the beds, vacuum, clean the bedrooms, oh, and yes, watch an hour of Top Model reruns on MTV.

Guitar Hero is a sickness. Really, be careful.

9/2/07, 7:29 PM  
Blogger Reff said...

Rock on bro!

Don't let the man (I mean woman) bring you down with all that talk of 'chores'. They just don't understand the need to worship at the alter of PS2. (hope you sprung for the wireless)

9/2/07, 8:43 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Amy U - I can safely say that "preserve those cucumbers" has never and probably will make my list. But boy, I'd love to come to your house for dinner sometime.

9/2/07, 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, woman. Stop that. Stop that right now.

9/2/07, 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand. Yesterday my husband asked what we would do on our spare day and I said "WE CAN DO MY CLEANING REGIMEN!"

We don't have guitar hero, but we do have zombie games....which get played into the night.

9/3/07, 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...probably because you can do all of those things at the same time...and men conveniently do not have a multitasking gene.

9/3/07, 12:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Failing who?

Women know what's up.

That's why we're so damned confused that we haven't always ruled the world.


9/3/07, 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, but when you figure it out let me know. :)

9/3/07, 1:05 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Ah, "Man Look." Thank you, Patois-- I've needed a short descriptive phrase for that issue men have with temporary blindness regarding things which must be done around the house.

I am currently performing a nature/nurture experiment exploring this problem by having my son help me out with the laundry, dishes, backing, etc. (he also owns a toy vacuum and a toy stove). I will let you all know the results of my scientific study in, oh, 17 years or so . . .

9/3/07, 1:58 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

(Baking, not backing. Maybe I should teach my son to help me with typing, too.)

9/3/07, 1:59 PM  
Blogger VDog said...

I DEFINITELY don't have that problem. We got our birth announcements out (most of them anyway) by month 5. So I'd say you're doing pretty well.

I still have a short stack of should I or shouldn't I send to's to decide upon. Yuck.

9/3/07, 7:49 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Yeah, I hear ya, babe. I had a free afternoon on Saturday while the hubs took the kids shopping.

I cleaned my closet.

9/3/07, 8:27 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Why can't we shake it? I'm the same way. Failing, failing Gloria Steinem miserably.

9/3/07, 8:59 PM  
Blogger mommyneedsacocktail said...

I'm with Nate. Who can deny an afternoon of Guitar Hero?

And when you are done with that laundry, there is a big ol' pile over here.

9/4/07, 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies, Steinem never felt the joy of your baby's arms hugging you or that smile you get when they see you first thing in the morning. I don't think she ever wanted that....but you did, and you have it. Fail Steinem? Nah, impossible! I had my babies in the 70s when she and every other woman said you can have it all...I wasn't sure I cold and chose my babies. I picked my career up later, and enjoyed it but being mom was #1 in my life. And yes, an afternoon off sometimes meant a quiet read on the deck, but usually meant catching up with some housework so I could play with my babies later!

9/5/07, 2:41 PM  
Blogger Marie {Make and Takes} said...

I hear ya, sista!!

9/5/07, 5:21 PM  

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