PostHeaderIcon Household Chores

A very pleasant, well-spoken lady phoned me to order a book. Of course, I asked her about herself, as people want me to do. Was she happy with her life? W-e-e-ell, I suppose so, she said, but it was up to her to keep the home happy. How come?

‘Above all,’ she went on, ‘I wish to live in a happy atmosphere. My man, who is not my husband...he is what is known as my partner...thinks only of himself. Sure, he does the odd jobs around the house, but expects to be waited on by me. I take his food to the table as he sits there. He will look at me if he needs a glass of water, or the salt-cellar, whatever. He expects me to immediately rise and fetch whatever he wants.

He was watching television the other night as I was preparing the evening meal. The rubbish needed to be taken out to the bin (just at the back stairs), the pots were begging to be rinsed, and I had both hands occupied with the dinner. A commercial occurred, so I asked him to take the rubbish out. He did. I had a plastic bag ready for him to re-line the container, as I continued serving. He tried to ignore the plastic bag, and shoved the container under my nose, indicating that I re-line it. I pointed to the bag with my elbow as I mashed the potato. Again he shoved it at me. It was clearly his idea that it was solely my responsibility to see to the liner. I spoke firmly that he should do it, which he reluctantly did; then he resumed his seat on the settee, miffed. This happens all the time. I do all of the washing-up, unless I make a big issue of it. I wish he would demonstrate to me that I am valued, a bit precious even.

And it is not as if he is the bread winner. Not at all. He contributes, but not all that much. It is just his expectancy that I am the waitress, the lackey, that gets up my nose.’

We all know that during the last fifty years or so, times have changed. Before that, the husband was the lord and master. He was the sole provider; his wife and family were dependent on him. He owned everything. The wife was subservient, except in rare cases.

But circumstances have indeed changed. A lot of wives now work full time, and are co-bread winners. Husbands (partners) now share in the household chores, of necessity. It is a selfish partner who expects the other to be subservient in any way.