Monday, July 27, 2009

Men vs. Women, Part Two

In continuation of last week's blog, I will now address one of the top three complaints women have about men (yes, it is my number one complaint about my ex, but nearly every woman polled had the same complaint.) Before I begin, and before I get hate mail, let me say this: this does not apply to all men. Nor does it apply to all women. Some men are clean freaks. Some women are slovenly. Some moms are fantastic and taught their boys how to be (my moms, for example). Yes, yes, I know all that. I am speaking in generalities. Also, please put on your sarcasm raincoat because this baby is dripping sarcasm.


Dudes -- you're frigging lazy.

Seriously. You are l-a-z-y. When we both come home from a long, hard day at work, what is it in your little minds that makes you think it is okay to park your butts on the sofa and sit, in a semi-catatonic state, until dinner hits the table? And then return to said semi-catatonic state the minute you've finished shoveling food into your piehole? Seriously?

"Well, I have a job that involves physical labor and/or working outside."

I honestly don't care if you have a job that involves physical labor or if you work outside. You chose that job just like I chose one that didn't involve a field or a factory. That being said, I WORK FOR ATTORNEYS. Do you honestly believe my job isn't just as hard as yours? Do you think because you swing a hammer that what you do is somehow more difficult than mine? I'd like to see you swing a hammer in a skirt and five inch heels. Or carry boxes of files up and down stairs in the same skirt and five inch heels. In fact, I'd like to see you have to put your brain to use on a daily basis. It doesn't take a lot of brain power to pour concrete. Come do my job for a day -- hell, half a day -- and I guarantee you after dealing with prima donnas (not my attorneys, of course) all day you'll be literally begging to get back outside in the heat. The first time you are asked to draft a pleading, you will panic.

Listen up. Women were not, contrary to popular belief, put on this earth to baby you. I, personally, wasn't put on this earth to do your laundry, do the grocery shopping, pay all the bills, cook, clean, and basically do everything while you sit on your lazy ass and watch television. I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER. I do have a son and believe me when I say this -- he's not going to be babied, either. He will learn to do for himself because (excuse me while I channel Scarlett O'Hara) as God as my witness, I will NEVER raise an ungrateful, spoiled, lazy, dependent man like most mothers do. You can bet your sweet ass on that.

And this, gentlemen, is why so many of us cannot stand your mother. Your mother created a demon and then turned him loose on the masses. Especially you guys under thirty. I don't know why, but for whatever reason, your mothers have done America a great disservice with you. If you manage to become a productive member of society, it'll be by the sheer grace of the gods. Some of you will actually have work ethic and a career. Most of you won't. Most of you will think your crap doesn't smell and be content to bounce around from meaningless job to meaningless job, never getting higher education, and basically screwing your life away because Mommy says it's okay. Even Bobby Boucher wanted to go to college and be someone important! Even Bobby Boucher stood up to his mother eventually, and she was a whack job -- and he was SLOW! (Can you tell I watched The Waterboy last night?)

I am sure it must be nice to have dinner magically appear on the table, to have your laundry come back clean and folded, to get to shower and poop in a clean bathroom without having to do it yourself -- but listen to me when I say this: it breeds resentment. So suddenly, your normally sweet and fun-loving wife has turned into Spawn of Satan. And you don't seem to put two and two together. WHY? It's not rocket science, gentlemen. And even if it were that difficult to figure out, when your wife/girfriend/etc. is in the kitchen, slamming cabinet doors and stomping around while you are sitting in your recliner watching "Grey's Anatomy," it is undoubtedly a sign that you are (again) messing up royally.

You guys have to understand. For most women (there are notable exceptions), our home is our "nest." The beauty of our home is a reflection upon us. For example, when I moved into my ex's home, it was a pit. It screamed, "I have no personal pride." I *do* have personal pride. Quite a bit of it, in fact. It is hard to be proud of the place you live when it is constantly dirty and in a state of disrepair. It is also hard for a woman to be proud of your tacky collection of boob shot glasses or stuffed animals. We realize you guys are going to be childish in some ways from now until eternity. We do not believe our homes need to advertise said childishness. Your time to advertise your childishness is addressed in Men vs. Women, Part One.

Further, how about you show a little gratitude? A little gratitude goes a LONG way. And I will be the first to tell you if you show me gratitude and make me feel appreciated and loved, I'll pick up your socks without another thought. It's when not only do you not do a damned thing to help around the house, you also show zero love, appreciation and affection. You ungrateful slobs. :)

How about you offer to do the grocery shopping? Pay the bills? How about you say, baby, you made dinner; allow me to do the dishes? How about you do ANYTHING house related that says you care about her feelings and what is important to her is important to you? Why you guys don't realize that the faster things get done and the more you help means more time to play is beyond me. It is not that difficult to help out every night. The majority of us do the major cleaning one day a week. That means for every other day, the things that must be done daily or every other day are the following: dinner, dishes, garbage, laundry, put things away. That's it. In fact, it is so simple that while one party is making dinner, the other party can be doing laundry, putting things away (especially the baby's stuff), etc. It is my practice to unload the dishwasher while making dinner. I also tend to load as I cook. So why is it so hard to put the food away and put the remaining dishes in the dishwasher? And why is it something you are going to put off until right before bed? We're taking ten minutes of work!

Recently, I saw a man absolutely throw a fit over having to do the dishes. He said several times: I'm not her bitch. WHAT? Let me get this straight. She got up, made you breakfast, and then had the sheer audacity to ask you to do the dishes, to which you actually agreed -- and then got mad because you let them sit there for three days? Really?

Further than that, *we* (typically) don't make those kind of messes. Sure, we'll leave hair products and/or makeup strewn over the bathroom counter in a rush to get to work (well, I don't, but some women do). But you are never going to find our fast food garbage in the floor in the living room. You aren't going to find the clothes we wore to work draped over the dining room table like it's decor. You aren't going to find dishes that have been in the sink so long they smell. Remember back when we were dating and you came over to our apartment? Remember what it looked like? We do. We think back to our clean and tidy apartments with longing. Dishes got put in the dishwasher immediately. The bathroom stayed clean. We spent an hour cleaning every Saturday and the entire place was spotless. We did laundry every other day, sometimes less, and then it was one load. Sure, sometimes there will be dirty laundry in the floor. Sometimes the bathroom trash will be overflowing. Personally, my biggest problem is ironing. You can almost always find a laundry basket full of crap to be ironed somewhere in my bedroom (except right now because I ironed it all yesterday, w00t!). My point is our messes are completely different from your messes. And you guys know it -- or should if you come equipped with powers of observation.

Gentlemen, another thing -- you whine and moan about us nagging. Why do you think we nag? Could it be *gasp* because you aren't helping us?

In short, we ain't your momma. If we were, we'd've had the sense to raise you better. So do us all a favor, and get your behind out of the recliner and help. It'll only make both of our lives easier.

Unless your goal is to make your wife hate you. In that case, sit there like a dead man and just wait because I assure you, every shred of love she had for you will disappear like David Blaine and then you'll be free to live like a pig in slop.

Next week: sex. Or lack thereof.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Men vs. Women, Part 1

Several weeks ago, I asked my friends (male and female) to tell me what it is that drives them insane about the opposite sex. One guy and girl said they had no complaints as he loves women and she loves men (suck ups). However, I got lots of great insight into men vs. women and thought I would write about it. I'll write about issues that go hand in hand from both perspectives.

Today's lesson will be the number one biggest complaint men have about women: me time. Men need me time. Whether it's surfing the 'net, playing video games, drinking it up with their buddies, whatever. They need time to be by themselves. And not once every six months, either. There needs to be time for them to get away from the house, the responsiblities, the kids and go act like a fool with their equally foolish friends. And you know what, ladies? That's okay. For those of you that are convinced your husband/boyfriend/whatever should be glued to your side at all times, this is especially for you. Neediness is not sexy. Just because he is DYING to go watch some WWE thing (which most women find asinine) and wants to do it without you does not mean he doesn't love you. Frankly, this is a gift in itself. Brad and James often order PPV wrestling things -- and unless I have to pay for it, who cares? At least I'm not expected to watch it!

I have to admit that I grew to DESPISE the role playing games my husband is involved in. In one way, it is because I don't like some of the people (Brandon Carter, anyone? Ugh). In another way, it is because I think they are grown men and D&D (and the like) are for teenagers with horrid acne and thick glasses and pocket protectors. I also couldn't stand having loud and disrespectful men whooping and hollering from 6:30 until 2 a.m. two nights a week (I have a day job, people, and I need sleep.) In the end, I made him (yes, MADE him) quit because I was pregnant and overwhelmed and terrified I was going to be a horrible mother and I knew I needed him to be there with me at night, because, at the time, he could soothe me in less than thirty seconds.

That being said, he is now playing again. Granted, he started after we separated. And granted, it still sets my teeth on edge (and pissed me off in the beginning). But when we sat down to try and make our marriage work, one of the first things I said to him is that I wanted him to keep gaming. (I'm pretty sure his mouth fell open.) And I meant that. The game runs more reasonable hours now (they stop between 10 and 11 is my understanding), I know he missed it, I know he missed his friends, and most importantly, I now know women need that me time just as much. Here is how I learned that.

After we separated, we agreed on a visitation schedule. Brad has Peanut every Wednesday night. My "group" (Matty, Melissa, Tiffany, Leslie, Owen, and now Kael, Matthew and Jackie) started meeting up for happy hour. We don't do it every week, usually, and we throw in other people just for fun sometimes, but you can pretty much count on seeing us at Hudson's a couple of times a month for happy hour Wednesday. I hadn't realized how much I needed that time to just BE with my friends. It is a tough, tough job to be at work 9+ hours each day, in the very high stress career I've chosen, then pick up the baby, make dinner, bathe baby and put him to bed, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, pay all the bills, do all the errands, etc. I took care of the majority of the household responsibilities. By the way, being forced to do it all will PISS a woman off, but that's another blog. I didn't realize how much I needed to be WITH my friends and away from the house. Sure, I talk to everyone via text and e-mail, all day every day, which I thought was enough. It isn't. It isn't even close.

So women, listen up. A man needs his time to just be a dude. Give him a night once a week or every other week where he can just do whatever the hell he wants to do without worrying about you being mad (exceptions to the "whatever the hell he wants to do" are sleeping with someone else, committing a crime and going to jail, not coming home at all). No curfews, no permission slips -- just let the man go. If he rolls in at 4 a.m. on a Wednesday when you both have to be at work, then sure, you can get pissed then. But 4 a.m. on a weekend just means they went to IHop after they closed down the bar. And don't check in with them incessantly. MY GOD, that is annoying. A now former friend of mine (one of the ones that got cut in the upgrade) used to text her husband 3450789234508927345 times on his poker nights. He'd stop answering, and she would get pissed.

And also, ladies, you HAVE to take time for yourselves. It is is unhealthy for you to be up your man's ass at all times. Yes, yes, I know you love him and he is The Greatest Thing to EVER happen to you, but you still have to be an individual not just you + him. We are individuals AND part of a couple. You have to keep both for your own sanity. And trust me, you are not always going to think he is The Greatest Thing Ever. He's going to get on your last nerve, he's going to let his true colors shine, whatever, and you're going to regret that you basically lost touch with your friends. Whatever you do, don't turn your back on those people who know you and love you anyway.

Also, this is semi-related to the subject at hand - just because you are in a relationship does not mean you are only allowed to spend time with others in similar romantic situations. You still have single friends. While it is fun to double date or have couple game nights, don't exclude your single friends always like it's a punishment for having the audacity to be single. A year from now, you're going to occasionally be jealous because your single friend isn't having to pick up someone's underwear.

Now it's your turn, men. A woman needs time with her friends. Hell, you might not even like her friends. This is a win as if she is out with them while you hold down the fort, you don't have to spend time with them, too. That being said, some of us (definitely me) are afraid to go out leaving you at home alone. You want to know why? Because all the things that need to be done in the house every single day won't get done if we aren't there to do it. And one day shouldn't hurt, but for reasons I will discuss in a later blog, it does. So to get her prepared to actually do things once a week or so, you have to step up and prove that you are capable and willing to make dinner, bathe the kids, do the laundry, pick up your socks, etc. The absolute worst thing you can do is make a huge mess while you are sitting on your ass playing xBox. In short, it's a give-give situation. She gives you your weekly poker night with the boys; you give her a night out and take care of business instead of acting like it's your second free night. What do you think she'd doing when you're out? I assure you that the laundry does not wash, dry, fold and put itself away.

More later.