Someone Other Than Me

A couple of weeks ago I read an article – I think I saw it in the NYT magazine but I’m not sure and way too lazy to look it up for you now. The point was division of labor among the sexes and about how historically and through most cultures the job divisions were more or less the same. The men went out hunting and the women stayed home and tended the fire. The explanation was that women need to keep the kids safe. If you’re out hunting seal in your kayak, you can hardly have kids hanging around.

The article went on to talk about more contemporary issues, which I won’t go into detail here except for one which caught my eye which was how men don’t like to do housework because the women tend to criticize how they do it. Also that men sometimes do a poor job intentionally so that they can get out of doing it in the future. This intentional thing I totally buy into which was why when pretty much the 2nd time I’ve ever seen my husband pick up the vacuum and 5 seconds later a fuse blew and the vacuum was broken, I suspected foul play. I think it was subconscious foul play, but foul play nonetheless.

I took the vacuum in to get it fixed but warned him that he wasn’t finished with vacuuming, but next time could look forward to more supervision. Meanwhile, my house has not been vacuumed in over two weeks and has been driving me nuts. He brought home our freshly fixed vacuum, UNDER WARRANTY! on Saturday because I strongly urged that he should do this and not because he thought of it himself.

Tonight as I was climbing out of the car after work he was bringing in the garbage cans and he had a sly look on his face. I said, “What’s up?” and he said he had a surprise for me inside and he thought I would like it. I kid you not I jumped up and down and let out a girlish squeal and said, “Did you vacuum?”

“I haven’t been home that long,” he said (wearily). Instead he brought home tortilla crowns for our taco salad dinner which was indeed very exciting but nearly as exciting as having my house vacuumed by someone other than me.

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