How to Bamboozle Your Husband into Doing Errands

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?”

“What book?”

“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.

Amy Vansant
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12 Responses

  1. David

    I think you’re on to something here. (Don’t sweat it – I won’t tell any of the boys at the Club).

    My burn is that my current spouse is an errand dodger but refuses to let me go for fear that I’ll mess something up. Like get 2.5 percent milk instead of 2 percent. It could happen.


    • Amy Vansant

      Please feel free to run our errands for us any time you like. I just lost food shopping to Spite and Malice, and I will GLADLY drink 2.5 percent milk all day long if you’ll navigate the wall of octogenarians blocking every aisle of my local Giant. Or all the assholes in Whole Foods.


  2. iampisspot

    There’s no duping my girlfriend into doing chores, and vice versa. For about 6 days a week, we live in a hovel; plates piled high in the sink, clothes everywhere – a complete MESS. Finally, one of us will flip and have a huge tidy up. I try and eek it out as long as possible so that I’m not the way who loses it and starts bleaching everything like a maniac…..


    • Amy Vansant

      I would go with the waiting-it-out tactic, but husband is a bit of a neat freak so he NOTICES and then insists I help him.


  3. Alice

    I totally love that “wine shopping” is a specific errand.


  4. Joshua

    The best method I had found for shirking chores and errands was creating subconscious cause-and-effect associations within the girlfriend’s mind. The more chores I was expected to do, the sloppier I would become with shaving, or going with sweat-pants over classier garments.

    After a while, I’d find myself able to skip a day or so with whichever task I’d wanted to avoid and it would be picked up without complaint. All it cost was avoiding behavior I’d found to be questionable to begin with.

    It may seem manipulative… because it was. It may even border on the sinister (along with Kentucky) but I managed to soothe away my conscientious concerns by not abusing it.


  5. Just Jinny

    Ryan is mine..back off, lady!

    I’ll guess we will have to see which one of our husbands dies first.


    • Amy Vansant

      It’s on like Donkey Kong. Crap. I’m never going to get a young guy like Ryan quoting 80’s video games. Shit.



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