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Friday, September 21, 2012

Multitasking

 

I’ve struggled with this idea of multitasking for a long time, wondering why my wife can keep so many plates spinning in the air while I have difficulty remembering to bring my plate to the sink after she’s prepared a delicious meal. Multitasking probably developed shortly after humans stepped out of caves. Men stomped off to acquire meat at the walk up window at Bison King while women frittered away hours fending off predatory animals, stoked fires, gathered fruits, grains and nuts, tended babies, and developed language and culture. But my wife is hardly concerned with my anthropological examination of multitasking—she just wants me to get off my ass and do more around the house.

      
Mrs. Chatterbox has great difficulty sitting still and is always cleaning something. While I’m prattling on about America falling into the same trap that brought down the Roman Empire, she’s organizing a drawer or dusting shelves. While I’m dissecting the plot of last night’s movie on HBO, she’s pulling out the vacuum and telling me to lift my feet.
      
In my defense, (no need to point out that I sound defensive) it isn’t that I do nothing around the house, it’s just that what I do pales in comparison to all she does. My job, as I see it, is to kill bugs and provide muscle for lugubrious tasks she can’t handle. We live in a townhouse so the yards and landscaping are taken care of, but I scrub the shower when the glass doors get too filmy to see through, unclog drains, change the furnace filters twice a year (maybe once) and lift furniture so she can vacuum beneath. I provide the muscle, but when it comes to doing chores I am only capable of doing one thing at a time. Granted, I usually manage to do a good job of whatever she asks me to do, but in the meantime my wife has accomplished half a dozen tasks while I’ve done only one. She knows I’ll do anything she asks, but she has this unsettling belief that I shouldn’t need to be told what to do.
      
Mrs. Chatterbox has worked outside of the home our entire marriage and now that I work out of our house she expects me to help out more. I suppose she’s right; it’s only fair that I chip in more to lift the burden of household maintenance from her fragile shoulders. I need to change my lazy ways. When she asks me to take the kitchen mats outside and shake them I need to refrain from telling her we wouldn’t need to shake food from our mats if we had a dog. When she asks me to do something I need to resist telling her I am doing something—naming the dust bunnies. In short, I need to see what needs to be done and do it, instead of relying on a convenient case of chore blindness.
      
The time is fast approaching when my wife will ask me to do something and one of my ill-timed attempts at humor will cause her eyes to roll so far back in her head that they’ll get stuck. Then she’ll be blind, and if she can’t see I’ll have to do all the housework. I’d better get off my ass.
      
But first my dust bunny friends and I are going to discuss the calamitous situation in the Middle East.

Submitted to the great guys at DudeWrite.    

51 comments:

  1. Yes, you should share the housework with your wife. I'll just leave it at that and not tell you about the lump I was married to prior to Mr. Right. I'm being kind calling him a lump.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

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  2. Don't forget killing of all foreign insect type invaders...
    You probably don't multitask while doing that either, I just didn't want you to sell yourself short...

    WG

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  3. Sounds like you need to keep a checklist on you at all times.

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  4. Wow you get away lightly I say! I do all the gardening, all the diy, food shopping, etc. But then I don't have a full time job so I think it's only fair really.

    Have a fun packed weekend doing your tasks! :D

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  5. i have to laugh because every time i roll my eyes, toonman asks me what i see up/back there and to be careful they dont get stuck that way ... Ha ha .. ;)

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  6. I think couples like you and your wife are well rounded. When both people are so focused on the same thing, it kind of leaves other things out.

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  7. Hey, it's intrinsic to our gender. That's the excuse I give when I'm caught drinking bacon smoothies.

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    1. Bacon smoothies? Please share your recipe.

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  8. I'm the same way, I don't feel as though I should have to tell someone what they need to be doing. Have fun helping Mrs Chatterbox! :)

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  9. Hey, your twin lives at my house. Only he doesn't name the dust bunnies, he yells at the dogs for trying to lick the plates he hasn't taken to the sink. So see, you don't need a dog to avoid shaking out the kitchen mats. Faulty logic????? I think not. OmaLinda

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  10. hahahah it's too true! Not only are we women good at Multi-tasking we are also fabulous at
    Multi-Asking. Then there is the subject of "Male Refrigerator Blindness". My sweetie can never ever find objects in the refrigerator if they aren't in the front of the middle shelf! Sad but true.
    Great post Stephen!

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  11. Ah... you might consider changing the filters more often. It serves a two fold purpose. One - you're doing something, and. Two - the furnace is more efficient with a clean filter (it doesn't have to work as hard and, thus, is cheaper to operate).

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  12. Doing more work around the house might help you manage your weight better. Just sayin :)

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  13. LOL. "Chore blindness". Love it. I think my husband has a touch of that too. Whenever I ask him to clean up the kitchen there is always SOMETHING that gets left undone. I seriously think chore blindness is real.

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  14. Mike & I BOTH suffer from chore blindness & neither of us is all that interested in housework. We could use a Mrs. C at our house!

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  15. I'm the root of all things lazy. Problem is my wife is too so nothing gets done!

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  16. My husband is the same way. I'm convinced that it's not really your fault--all men suffer from testosterone poisoning!

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  17. I've been married for 13 years and for the longest time it was the opposite for us, then I gave up and now the roles have reversed.

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  18. As Mrs. C grows older and her eyesight fades more and more...she won't see the dust bunnies on the floor nor the food stuck on the plates. This is a good thing, right?

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  19. I'm rolling my eyes right now. ;)

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  20. Women just don't get it....If we tell 'em we'll do something, we will. They don't need to keep reminding us every 6 months. Sheesh! ;)

    S

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  21. Sounds like my house Stephen, I do one thing at a time and only one thing at a time, should I attempt three then there are three things left partly done Ha Ha

    I have witnessed the eye roll routine also, does she say right after, "I didn't roll my eyes", not sure what Cindy calls it but it appears to be an eye roll to me.

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  22. Age old struggle and debate but you have given it a wonderful and fresh spin. Thanks.

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  23. I think women are natural multitaskers. It's because we have babies. I could do a million things even when I had a baby attached to my boob.

    Love,
    Janie

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  24. Oh man, here I am sitting at the computer reading this...and then feeling the terrible urge to vacuum the steps. They've needed it for two days...

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  25. Cracked me up and so relatable. Of course I can side with Mrs. C easily. I have one of you as well, that does one thing at a time well, but he's not outlining the steps to world peace - he's just watching golf. Yeah.

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  26. Silly! You ARE a multitasker. You just don't realize it. YOU, of course, are the one splashing soap onto those shower doors, clogging up the drains, shedding dander and belly-button lint that impedes the furnace filters, and spewing crumbs under the furniture.

    I'm surprised you have any energy left for your chores.

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  27. You're supposed to clean the filmy glass doors??? Some people pay good money to buy filmy glass doors, then call them "frosted."

    Rolling my eyes out loud!

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  28. A very humorous look at a situation that we all face and sometimes not in a very humorous way.
    We divide work so I don't have to look for it or be told.
    An old friend has moved into a seniors residence. He said that it was time for Edna(his wife) to retire.

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  29. Chore Blindness,,,,,,,,,,,,,, It has a name so it really must be a verifiable condition? Right? And if it were a medical condition, well........

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  30. Let me remind you that there are some fantastic benefits that come from doing house work: http://www.livinginkelliesworld.com/2012/06/secret-to-having-more-sex-with-your.html

    You might want to want watch your tone. I believe I detected a undercurrent of sexism in your post. If Ms. Brody sees your post you could be in trouble. She ripped me a new one for my submission this week. http://rlbrody.com/2012/09/20/creepy-creepers-and-the-creeps-who-excuse-them/

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  31. I'm trying to bet better at helping out around the house as well. My love takes on and does so much; honestly I don't know how she does it all. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who could help out more around the house.

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

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  32. This sounds to be an exact replica of my home situation.

    Keep praising her for her verstality and flexibility - then she'll keep on doing all the chores while you do all the important stuff on your lap-top!

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  33. the corpus callosum is the brain structure that allows for communication between the hemispheres. it is more highly developed in women than men, thus allowing for greater ease in multitasking. that said, houseowkr doesn't require a lot of multitasking ability ;) good luck!

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  34. Hey, don't sell yourself short. Killing bugs is a very important task. And multitasking is, imho, highly overrated. Perhaps you'll join me in praise of unitasking,

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  35. Yes, those delicious meals may tend to slack off if you don't do your share, Stephen. THEN where would you be?

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  36. Oh noooo no no noooo! You love living dangerously or is this an experiment and you're doing research for a new book? Never-mind, the mere fact you posted what you did has jeopardized our genders very existence by revealing far too much! They can replace us with technology.

    To redeem yourself, learn to do one or two things really well (one of these involves intimacy)... and do it without being asked or reminded. If you manage to do this successfully we may have another decade of peace before the next rebellion.

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  37. you could be onto something with your comment about women having invented language and culture - when left alone even today men mostly grunt at one another

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  38. A dog is not necessarily a good crumb picker-upper. I have a dog whose food plate and water dish sit on top of a throw rug. The throw rug needs to be shaken out after every meal because he pushes the kibble off his plate to get at the liverwurst mix-in.
    It occurs to me that my dog is a MALE.
    Perhaps it IS the testosterone poisoning, except he shouldn't have much of that, all things considered...

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  39. What about spider patrol duty?! That's a pretty important task too!

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  40. Laughing over your explanation of the evolution of multitasking. For some reason it made me just feel a lot more normal for always feeling so overwhelmed. And wonderful that you recognize Mrs. C's awesomeness--that's a very important task you are doing right there.

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  41. I can multitask. But I'm still lazy around the house. So it's not that you can't multitask. If your like me, your just lazy. I always tell her if she wants me to do something, all she has to do is ask. Is it really my fault if she rarely asks? I always have the intentions of doing what she asks, she just asks when I'm in the middle of something and she doesn't have the patience to wait until I'm done. So again, is it really my fault that she has no patience?

    P.S. - Don't show this to my wife, she'll kill me, after she makes me help around the house.

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  42. "And then she'll be blind." OMG Funny! Thankfully my hubby does a lot around the house because after having 3 brothers who didn't I'd have smashed him by now. So Stephen, get off your a-- and make a list of daily chores.

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  43. As predicted I do not get your latest "Edsel" post! Damn!

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  44. If you leave those dust bunnies alone long enough, they grow into a rug. Then you wouldn't even need those damned kitchen mats.

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  45. Stephen: I would argue that you have a lot on your plate, but Mrs. Chatterbox might ban me from your site! I tend to look at multi-tasking as a short-term thing. After a point, those plates begin to wobble (just like the guy who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show) and break! Hang in there! :D)

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  46. It is a fine line for women between asking for what they would like done and being called a nag, so I think that is why some women hesitate to ask and would rather the man just know what needs to be done. It sounds like Mrs. Chatterbox has her hands full with you! :)

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  47. When your wife figures out how to get you off your ass.... let me know how she did it. I have a hubs I need to work on.

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  48. Right now, I am working on the computer, cleaning the home office and figuring out what is for supper. My Husband is on the couch checking his eyelids to see if they have holes in them.

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