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.