I despise errands, so I run them like I’m in Speed and Keanu Reeves just told me if I drop under a 100 miles an hour I’ll explode. This means I food shop like I’m Sandra Bullock, only I’m less attractive and I’ve never slept with Ryan Reynolds (a detail I hope to correct that shortly after my husband’s
untimely death). On the upside, I never had to touch Jesse James or take the mandatory month-long shower afterward.
For a while, I was doing a lot of errands. Some of these errands had originally fallen under the purview of my darling husband, but, as every married woman knows, once you do a chore once, it becomes YOUR chore forever. Test the theory: the next time your beloved catches the flu and coughs a lung into his pasta salad, take the cans to the curb for him, out of the kindness of your enormous, puppy-snuggling heart. Then, the next trash day, see if he doesn’t seem shocked when you don’t help.
One of these days I’m going to find The Big Book of Man Knowledge handed down by fathers everywhere, and then I’ll prove to you.
“If your wife does a chore you usually do, pretend it was something she always did and act accordingly going forward.”
is like number 23.
“Insist on watching sports, and when your wife finally gives in and starts doing something on her own, interrupt her to point out every vaguely interesting play.”
is like 17. Don’t even get me started on 1 through 10.
When I find The Big Book of Man Knowledge I’m going to crochet a cozy for it, slip it on, and put it back in its sacred place. Then I’m going to laugh my ass off imagining the next time one of them pulls it out looking for what to do when I ask if yoga pants make my ass looks big.
Some men aren’t clever enough to drive you crazy. But I’m starting to think every man you really love is secretly Ferris Bueller, and we’re all Jennifer Grey, pre-nose job, stomping our foot and growling “why I oughta…” Three Stooges-style.
Which must be why men love us; we remind them of the Three Stooges.
Holy hell, I think I just cracked the whole man/woman DaVinci code. Or I’m close. I think “Shemp” is the key.
Anyway, the only way to break this dastardly cycle is to bamboozle your husband into thinking he can get you to do errands, AND force you to recognize his superiority.
Tip #1: Turn getting what you want into a direct challenge.
I accomplish this by dueling my husband in Spite and Malice, a very fun card game. Every time we play, we bet something, and the loser ends up doing errands. Laundry, trash, wine shopping, food shopping, going to the bank, dishes, 10 minute massages, changing the sheets, shaving legs; the possibilities are endless.
I’ve gone from doing 80% of these particular chores to doing 40%, and he’s still happy because he gets to gloat when he wins.
Tip #2: Take advantage when they are weak.
The other day Mike REALLY didn’t want to go wine shopping. He didn’t even want to play for it, for fear he’d lose. So I went big (the other option was to go home, and I was already home) and said I’d go wine shopping if he treated me like a princess for the rest of the day. Then I gave him the royal command to call in a sushi order before I went, so I could pick it up on the way back, along with my princess crown and a bit of taffeta. Mike thought he should wait, so the sushi wouldn’t sit too long, but I know how fast I do errands and how slow the sushi place is.
“No,” I said. “Call now. You know how fast I do errands. I’m like the wind in the wine shop.”
“Yeah,” said Mike. “Right.”
“Um, hello… when you were a kid didn’t you read the book they wrote about me?”
“THE book. The book they wrote about me. The Wind in the Wine Shop.”
“You mean The Wind in the Willows?”
“Right. That’s what I said. I was the frog.”
“Wasn’t it a toad?”
I went wine shopping and he was an absolute prince the rest of the day. I didn’t even have to play cards and go through all the trouble of winning.
But, as I’m typing this, I’m looking at a large pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor.
Looks like I better go get the cards.
Tip #3: Let them win the ones that don’t matter.
Think I’ll challenge him to Wii Tennis first. He usually wins that, so I’ll bet something I don’t mind losing and pretend it’s the end of the world. He’ll be less bitter doing the laundry that way.