Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wife Rule #9: Some Things are Man's Work

I should probably be concerned that my young son's goal in life is to be a garbage man, but I'm not.

You see, some things are Man's Work, and taking out trash is definitely one of them. My wife and I never had to discuss that point. There was a silent understanding between us. You produce the trash, and I take the trash out. I am the household garbage man, like my father before me, and like his father before him. Prehistoric Man undoubtedly spent hours each day hefting unwanted boulders out of the cave. Of course my son wants to be a garbage man.

There are other important skills that my son needs to learn related to Man's Work. For instance, mowing the lawn. For this reason, we bought my son a toy lawnmower that emits bubbles. He will follow me around the yard for an hour, bubbling, and not complaining. He is convinced he is doing Man's Work, and it makes him feel all burly inside.

There are those few things that my wife and I disagree about being Man's Work. For instance, I am perfectly willing to take on the Manly job of hanging up pictures, or curtains, or shelving, or whatever. It involves wielding a hammer and pounding stuff (another popular theme of my son's toys). However, noticing that there is a shelf lying on the floor, or a curtain rod hiding behind the bedroom door, both just hoping within their deepest inward manufactured parts that I will hang them any day now, is definitely not part of Man's Work. In fact, noticing just about anything, including a new blouse, a new rug, a new couch, a grease fire raging out of control in the kitchen, etc., is really not Man's Work. Noticing and plucking my stray renegade eyebrow hairs is definitely not Man's Work.

That's where my Woman comes in. She notices stuff. If there were something terrible like a spider or a large python living in our basement, she would notice, and then she would tell me. And then, being a Man, I would conquer the beast, preferably by squishing it's guts out with a shoe or a baseball bat (Man's Work again). If I had put my pants on backwards, my wife would notice, and I would do the Manly thing and reverse them. Yes, my wife is great at noticing. But besides noticing stuff, my wife serves many other very important functions in our household, which I will undoubtedly discuss with you another time, as soon as I notice what they are--or else I'll be sleeping on the couch, which just might be new, for all I know.

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