Miss Madame approves!
Dear Miss Madame,
So, I have this problem that, ah, doesn’t really look like a problem. The deal is this: my boyfriend compliments me too much.
How can this ever be a problem, you ask? Am I crazy?
Maybe. But here’s the kicker. My man only compliments me on certain areas. Typical encounters are as follows:
“Oh, wow, you did those dishes super fast! And you’re already started on dinner! You know me, I’d still be soaking the forks!”
“These floors look amazing! How do you get them so clean?
“Hon, the bed is so much more comfortable when you make it. God, I love you.”
My female French coworkers appear to believe that housework is less of an issue in the home-of-the-free USA. Sadly, I was forced to disabuse them.
Do you see the problem? How do I redirect the influx of compliments and get my man to get off his hiney and help out?
Flustered by Flattery
Can you be serious? What a man! My dear, most of our ‘man’ friends assume there’s an arm of house-elves camping out in the cleaning supply closet. A man who acknowledges that you do all the chores is like a man who notices your new pageboy bob–if you find one of those rare creatures, tie his observational a** down!
My dear Flat, this is the truth, scout’s honor: women are just better at housework. We’re born that way. It has nothing to do with learned activities–women know that, unlike men, they can’t get better at something through effort and application…unless that something is polishing the silver!
Let’s break it down, my dear.
THE BIG FIVE:
According to a little poll I just did with my husband, his eight brothers, and a random sociologist named Mr. Scott Coltrane, men approached with housework (those who have long-forgotten those distant bachelor years when they somehow managed to feed, clothe, and clean themselves, all by their lonesome, the sweet doves!) are MUCH more likely to participate in the first three activities. The last two are one big No-No.
In fact, I’ll just quote the article I found the most helpful, Ending the Chore Wars:
“So strike some new deals with your partner. If you’ve been doing all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, let him troll the market aisles, cut up the vegetables, and toss the salad for dinner. He may even enjoy it. While it may seem unfair that he gets to choose which jobs he wants to do, consider that it’s better than the alternative–doing everything yourself!” –May 2012
Indeed. Because, Flat my dumpling, that’s all meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking is! Trolling along, cuttin’ up a little veg, and tossing some leaves in a bowl! I mean, let’s call a chore a chore. It’s not like we’re harvesting salt blocks from a mile-deep mine here, using nothing but our chapped and bloody stubs. And if your man “may even enjoy it,” why shouldn’t you?
In my research (yes, dear Flat, I am not just spouting personal hypotheses here), I found a particularly disturbing trend. It will, I am sure, shake you to your core. It is so disturbing that it makes washing, folding, ironing, and putting away laundry, doing meal plans, grocery shopping, cooking, doing dishes three times a day every day, taking care of your children when your man isn’t ‘babysitting’ them for you, sweeping, vacuuming, making the bed, dusting, polishing mirrors and glass, beating rugs, scrubbing toilets and tiles and sinks look like child’s play.
This study said, horror of horrors:
Men who do ‘lady’ chores rather than ‘man’ chores get less sex.
OH MY GOD.
How could this happen? What is the world coming to?
What kind of woman would trade sex for help with the housework???
This reveals a whole nother side of the issue: men do all kinds of unseen chores outside of the Big Five, just like the ladies do! They spend hours marinating those steaks on Saturdays, minutes paying the neighbor’s kid to mow the lawn, and days deciding what polish to use on that midlife crisis motorcycle you swore you’d divorce him over!
The ‘bottom line’ is this, Flat. Instead of trying to trick your man into doing more of the girly Big Five (which will, according to solid scientific research, result in your rampant sex life taking a nosedive), you should, as I suggested earlier, learn to appreciate your man just as he is. It sounds to me like he appreciates you…just as you are.
Happy Playing House!
*just for funsies!
image credit Taylor Erwin