What is and is not ‘women’s work’?

Posted by art@cushingcitizen.com art@cushingcitizen.com


A former publisher of mine wrote in a bit of a Bombeckian fashion. Oft she produced tomes decrying the never-ending duties of a wife/mother/homemaker.
To which I oft found myself compelled to retort: “Yeah … so?”
The woman who previously signed my paycheck wrote of cooking dinner, doing dishes and laundry, making beds and tending to household pets. It was often humorous. Straight Erma.
To which I oft found myself compelled to retort: “Yeah … so?”
No longer at the risk of losing gainful employment, I submit the following details of my average weekend, that time when my ex-boss said she was inundated with duties.

She wrote of clean clothes — some still warm from the dryer — being piled across the living room floor while waiting to be folded.
I tell you how I must walk an extra six paces to circumnavigate similar piles in my living room as I make my way to the La-Z-Boy.
She talked of being forced to forgo a few hours of leisure due to the need to prepare meals and clean after they are consumed.
I submit I must climb out of the reclined La-Z-Boy, weave yet another serpentine path around the piles of unfolded clothes, make my way to the door and accept the pizza guy’s delivery. All this after risking carpal tunnel syndrome while writing the check for payment.
To wit …

A full quarter of a football game expires before it becomes obvious my endless “to-do” list has added another item: I alone must carry the empty pizza box to the trash.
While I’m up, and since nobody seems to be tending to my needs, I must open the fridge, find the last beer and open it myself.
During my multitude of duties, I discover the remote control has run away; I must walk to the television and manually change the channel.
I ask: Where is the justice?
I sink back into the recliner but cannot find a comfortable position. A protruding object jabs into my right hip.
So that’s where the remote went.
After I’m forced to dig between the seat cushions to reclaim said remote, I must adjust the volume to be able to hear the television. I mutter about the lack of consideration I am afforded by other members of my household who insist on using the dishwasher and clothes dryer while I attempt to complete my manly duties of watching two football games, two basketball games and a golf tournament all at the same time.
I know, ladies, you don’t understand how such is possible. Although you call yourselves “multi-taskers,” the complexity of it is beyond you.
Deal with it, okay?

The college-aged daughter bursts into the room. In breathless nature, she launches into a diatribe about a flat tire on her vehicle.
I’m only mildly annoyed at the interruption as two of the four games are at or near halftime and the golf tournament has yet to make the turn.
I calmly tell her where she can locate a tire iron in the garage and suggest, if she encounters difficulty in changing the tire, to call her brother.
Yes, he’s at work. But he’s only about a mile away.
The gluttony of pizza, beer and televised sports produces its usual effect. Fortunately I am awakened when the fatter of the two fat cats who roam our home lands in ker-plop fashion on my lap.
I scratch under her chin while putting my vocal chords in jeopardy shouting orders for someone to fill her food bowl.
The things I do for my loved ones.

Mid-afternoon passes and dinnertime approaches. Someone must visit the grocery store. I help the cause by scribbling a note: “OUT OF BEER.”
I am miffed when the wife fails to give me proper thanks for getting out of my chair to test the chili she is preparing for dinner. The ingrate barely says a word when I advise her it needs additional spices and would be set off nicely by a cold beer or three.
Following dinner, I carry my own bowl to the sink — who says men don’t help out around the house? — before going back to the La-Z-Boy.
I’m pretty sure another basketball game tips off in a few minutes. If only somebody would help me find that darned remote.