Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'm going to say something now which most men know, but few have the guts to talk about. Any man who is now or has ever been married will probably nod his head in a silent, yet futile act of solidarity.

Have you ever noticed, just when an important football game or episode of Smackdown! is getting under weigh, and you've gotten yourself stretched out in your comfy chair with a bowl of chips and a tub of french onion dip located precisely on the coffee table where you can reach it without taking your eyes off the TV... Then, and only then, does your wife decide to break out the vacuum cleaner.

Now I know you know what I mean. In the event, she's going to spend an amazing amount of time on the narrow patch of rug between you and the television, so you have to keep bobbing your head back and forth to catch the action, which is almost impossible to follow over the din of the vacuum anyway. Then she gets up to your chair and you have to keep lifting your feet. Invariably she will move the coffee table itself to sweep under it, which gets your intuitive hand to bowl connection completely out of whack. "Why!" You find yourself asking. Well I'll tell you why.

Its because this is the perfect time for your wife to demonstrate that she is the responsible one while you are a lazy bum. She's telling you that she cares about the important things, like sanitation, while all you care about is stuffing your face with chips and dip while watching a bunch of bloated, overpaid neanderthals beat the living daylights each other. There. I said it.

I grew up in a world where men were men and women were supposed to swoon every time we flexed our muscles. In that world, men were the Hired Guns, sort of like Clint Eastwood in "The Unforgiven". Our job, our crucial job, to fight off the wolves and jackals which prowled in the darkness just beyond the light of the campfire. For this reason, we had to keep ourselves sharp and well rested. This is why we were supposed to watch football and share chest bumps.

Now days things have changed, and I can't honestly say for the better. In too many families, it is the woman who not only brings home the bacon and fries it up in a pan, but also beats the holy crap out the wolves and jackals. All this is going on while the husband is trying to fix a leaky faucet without hurting himself, and in the process making the leak much worse. Is this progress?

On a related note, whenever I went grocery shopping with my wife and kids, I always considered myself as a sort of scout, or outrider. While she managed the cart, the kids and the shopping list, I did the important work of roaming far ahead, sniffing out all kinds of unusual bargains. And it made sense. Only a man, alone, moving swiftly and silently up and down the aisles could ever hope to make such rare and unusual finds as jalapeno stuffed olives or bourbon flavored coffee.

By the way, I still have a ton of that coffee. We got it back in 2002, but I think its still good. Would you like some?


1 comment:

  1. Not being a coffee drinker (I know: I'm a heathen), I'll pass on the offer, but thanks!

    The assigned gender roles you described - especially at the grocery store - are most accurate, to the dismay of feminists everywhere. It devolves down to the simple observation: "I hunt, you gather".

    Likewise, the following statement is also true: "Honey, I can't be bothered about taking out the trash right-the-hell-now because you just asked me to do it... I'll get to it (eventually), but remember that I'm saving my energy for the Big Problems!"

    - Steve