It started a couple of months ago. Jillian and I were taking a nice leisurely drive down River Road, after having lunch at Skinner's in Lockport. We had the oldies channel playing on the radio, when one of Jill's favourite songs, "Mother's Little Helper" by the Rolling Stones, came on. We both sang along, and afterwards discussed how domestic life has changed since the song came out.
I wondered if the stereotype of the "Harried Housewife" really applied anymore in this era of dual-income-no-kids-and-an-SUV-on-the-side, or is it a quaint (or patriarchal, depending on your stance) reminder of a bygone age?
As I pondered the question, I remembered an article I'd started back in 2006 that, true to fashion, I'd meant to finish but never did. I dug it out of the archive, dusted it off, and embellished it a bit. It'll seem really sexist and horribly wrongheaded at first (for which I'll apologize in advance), but it ends with everyone learning a good lesson, myself included, in the third part. Please refrain from commenting until the third and final act.
Getting In Touch With Your Feminine Side and Making it Your Bitch
What a weekend!
After several weeks without a day off (we're in our busy season at work), the housework has really suffered. My typical day follows the same pattern:
- Wake up at 5am
- Shower, feed cats, etc
- Catch the 5:55 bus
- Work until 8 or 9pm
- Catch 8:35 or 9:10 bus home
- Arrive home at 9:30 or 10pm
- Feed cats, feed self
- Check email
- Go to bed by 11
I told the guys last Thursday that there'd be no overtime this weekend... that I was leaving work at 5pm on Friday and not coming back until today (Monday) at 8am. Not that it mattered, they rarely stay to work overtime anyway (it's usually just me).
True to my word, I caught the 5:10 bus home on Friday. I hit 7-Eleven on the way home for a Delissio pizza and a Double Gulp, and planned to spend the entire weekend cleaning the place up.
And clean I did. I woke up at 7am Saturday, and cleaned like I'd never cleaned before. I gathered up all the garbage, cleared the tables and countertops, did the dishes, mopped the floors, vacuumed the rugs, scrubbed out the litterboxes, did a couple months' worth of laundry, wiped down the walls, dusted the furniture, cleaned and disinfected the bathroom... and even cleaned behind the fridge and stove!
I went nonstop until 2-3am Sunday morning, when I could no longer stand. I fell asleep with an immense feeling of satisfaction.
I woke up around noon Sunday surrounded by purring cats. I guess they missed their daddy!
I spent the day lounging, listening to music, and playing video games (A guy needs his downtime!). I also managed to write some more material for "Bloody Knuckles", my upcoming podcast... hope to have a couple of episodes done by the end of the month! Made myself a nice dinner and headed to bed at 10pm.
I went back to work this morning at my normal time (8am), and it was nice to have that extra hour of sleep. The day was mercifully uneventful... one of the few slow days in our busy season. I actually had time to start the preparations for our annual inventory coming up in a month and a half!
At lunch, we had our usual banter. We discussed our respective weekends, and when my turn came, I mentioned how I'd spent all weekend cleaning the house. One of the dullards piped up, "Fuck that! That shit is womens' work!"
Now, in the lad's defense, he's not that bright (honestly, I've stepped in smarter things), so I let it go. But one of the (somewhat) less moronic guys chimed in, "You gettin' in touch with your feminine side, CJ?".
I looked at them and gave a resigned sigh. "Yes, boys," I said in my most dryly unamused tone, "I got in touch with my feminine side and made it my bitch." The boys cheered and high-fived each other, oblivious to the fact I was mocking them.
"You gotta find yourself a woman!" the dullard said.
"Why is it a woman's job to clean up after me?" I asked.
"Huh?" one said, rapidly looking at his counterpart, confused.
"I said, why should it be a woman's job to clean up after me?" I asked again, getting angry.
They looked at each other again, not really having an answer.
To be continued...
I'll be continuing the story in the next couple of days. Please refrain from commenting until the end of the third act.