Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

There IS a Difference. . . Part 1

When I was growing up, my Aunt Lena had a small wooden sign over the inside of the bathroom door (back then, lots of houses only had one bathroom; remember?). The sign had a drawing of two toddlers, one male and one female, both looking down the front of their own diapers. And the sign said “There is a difference.” As a kid, it make me snicker – after all, we all thought bathroom humor was just something that kids practiced. But now, as an adult, I can see a lot deeper into the message of that sign. There is a difference. Especially when it comes to what I’ll call household etiquette.

Let’s take them one at a time and you tell me if your experience has been similar. I know not every man follows these “rules,” but I believe there is a tablet somewhere, sort of like the one brought down from the Mount. . .

  1. Never change the toilet paper roll. You knew this had to be first. Yes, I am aware that men usually don’t use toilet paper (even though their splashes warrant it). Is it that much of a challenge, are they just lazy and used to someone else doing it or is it some kind of passive-aggressive inefficiency?
  2. Leave cabinets/drawers/doors open. Is it just my husband, Gary, or does (virtually) every man have this intense need to leave doors and drawers open? Sometimes the excuse is that they’ll be getting back to it later, but when “later” is never. . .
  3. Refuse to notice when things need to be put away/brought upstairs If something – like a basket of laundry – is sitting at the foot of the stairs,  wouldn’t  a normal human being assume it needs to go up the stairs? And if said basket is in the bathroom, full of towels, isn’t it logical that the towels  need to go into the linen closet???
  4. Obsessively turn the stations on the TV First, in a bit of disclosure, I admit that Gary does not do this. But he is apparently the exception to the rule. What is it about seeing more than 5 minutes of one show? Attention deficit disorder? Not when they’re watching “the game” (unless there is another one on another channel). Or is it some virulent strain of remote fixation?
  5. Only clean the dirt you can actually see. There are men who are obsessively clean (why couldn’t I have married one?) who sweep and vacuum and dust like a housekeeper on meth, but they are in a small minority. It reminds me of when I was a kid and Mom had to redo everything I did, housecleaning-wise. Blindness or brilliance?
  6. Never remember where things “go” It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in your house. Pots, pans, baking sheets, Tupperware have probably gone into the same cabinets, on the same shelves, for just about the entire time. So why can’t they remember where the spatulas go?

Am I wrong?

P.S. Send  me your pictures!

* First published 6/19/09photo

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 3:25 PM and is filed under men, Re-Post. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Terri says:

    You are, sadly, not wrong. I will leave a basket of my husband’s clothes for him to put away. They will sit there waiting for me to do it. I washed them, dried them, folded them and put them in the basket. How hard is it for him to at least just put them away. Unfortunately my son is following in his footsteps. I am running out of baskets!! Along with changing the toilet paper role goes, putting the seat down. I hate having to get up in the middle of the night, only to find myself “falling in”. And how about “Where is my this and where is my that?” I don’t know, they are yours where did you leave them. Of course, by magical power of the woman’s mind, I always find their this or that. How come I can figure out where they might have left “it”, but they can’t ? Because I know them better than they know themselves! LOL I love your blog Lucille!

  2. Tony Vito Paccione says:

    Uh oh…. Sorry… I am an exception to every single notion above. I’m hoping that does not bode well for my manhood. I think, no – I KNOW I am taking after my father, ever more increasingly, and it is growing to be more and more obsessive, I can almost feel it day by day. Every glass, dish, cup, silverware has a PARTICULAR organization about it. My bathrooms have to look like a hotel bathroom when you first enter your hotel room. My clothes are sectioned into 4: A section of of Suits, Pants, Shirts, and Misc….. and they are never mixed. Toilet Paper? there is only one way; wipe until you don’t see anything, even if it means you have to flush 4 times (direct quote from dad 45 years ago). TV, Usually I cannot turn away from a channel if anything is said that is “foreshadowing” or “lead-on” or just plain interesting.
    I know why this has all occurred however: Grandma’s house, on moms side, in the Bronx was almost never neat (I guess because there were 6 young men (my uncles) in the house.) While Dad’s parents house was so spic and span that it is almost undescribable. Growing up as a child I was able to see this “in practice” by looking at my parents nightables…. mom’s side was messy, and dad’s side was immaculate.

    Only one problem with my scenario now: I’m not a scolder or yeller, so all of the obsessive behavior that I feel coming on, I cannot enforce on anyone in the house otherwise they think I’m being mean, so that just means I spend at least 1 hour each night straightening and organizing.

    Dust drives me crazy and our house apparently just grows it. I have always done my own laundry and if anything of mine needs to be ironed, there is only one person in the house that can do that and that’s me.

    No, I am not gay.

  3. Camille says:

    No complaints from me-Tony occasionally practices the changing of the channels-but only if he is watching two things at once. I’m pretty lucky!

  4. Lucille says:

    @Camille: Hmmm. I recall a few complaints about the shed, don’t I? Something about putting things were they belong or something. . . ?

  5. David Alexander says:

    None of the above applies here. In fact, I’m the neat one in this relationship. I remember a joke Roseanne Barr told about how everyone in her house thought her uterus was a tracking device!

  6. Mike Terzano says:

    My situation is exactly the same as David Alexander’s. And by the way, I AM NOT ANAL!!!! So there Suzanne! (I hope she never sees this!)

  7. Susan says:

    I have solved the “where is this or that” by smiling replies such as “ooooh..I am not sure where the ketchup is (vs on the second shelf on the door of the refrigerator) or, when I am particularly snarky, asking..”Just when are you going to move in here?”

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