The back-to-school season brings with it a litany of parental tasks, almost all menial but nonetheless important to complete. Like many women of a certain personality type, I am the queen of menial tasks. But admittedly I am a bit daunted this year. The ante has been upped considerably with a Bar Mitzvah less than 7 weeks away. As that timeless classic song goes, I will be “Insane in the Membrane” for September and October.
Dave has been kind enough to ask how he can help. Unfortunately, we both know he is married to a control freak of a wife who needs her hands in most every major to-do. But he can certainly help out with a host of other things that need to get done around the house. So I have devised a simple plan of how he can help simply by NOT doing something. I present to you……
The Top 5 Deadly Responses
All should run smoothly this Fall if Dave promises to avoid the following words or phrases in response to any of my menial requests:
5. I’ll Try – Though seemingly compliant, this response is contaminated with doubt which is immediately transferred from the husband to the wife. What it really says is, “I can’t make any promises that I have the wherewithal to get the dishes done. Doesn’t trying count for something?” No, it doesn’t. You can “try” to run a marathon. You don’t have to “try” to run the dishwasher.
4. Now? – Gentlemen: 99 percent of the time we ladies ask you to do something, we want it done this year. Follow me here: The opposite of “now” is “later”. And a synonym for “later” is “never”. We know it. You know it Just please take the dog out. She is standing by the door with her hind legs crossed and her eyes watering. Now.
3. Complete Silence – Not answering us will not make us go away. In fact, it usually results in an upping of the volume by a few decibels. Making us ask you to do something multiple times because you do not acknowledge us the first time is equivalent to hadning you a magic wand. Poof! You have turned me into a nag. Which brings us to our next deadly response…
2. I heard you the first time – HA!! I thought so!! You now have to deal with my wrath for being slow moving AND ignoring me.
1. Relax, would you? Aside from the patronizing nature of this reply, it also has the ability to cause my head to spin 360 degrees on its axis and make me vomit pea soup. Oh the irony. Hint: If you want me to relax, JUST DO WHAT I SAY WHEN I SAY IT!!!!!!
So there you have it. Easy peasy. And to my dear sons: Take note as I know Dad has already trained you in the ways of the husband — as his father did for him. In fact, I do believe I have heard your rookie attempts at such responses in the last year. From your mother and your future wife, don’t start.
Note: MoB is an equal opportunity opinion clearinghouse. Opposing views are welcome.