(almost) funny, Lifestyle

Housewife humor truths and life hacks from a humble househusband

May 31, 2017
housewife humor truths

Like any challenging new job, househusbands get a grace period to learn survival skills and tricks of the trade. My grace period expired long ago. Even if we assume I have an incredibly generous boss (I do) and accept that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, I can’t claim rookie status anymore. I shouldn’t have any difficulty reaching deadlines or finding creative solutions to routine problems. Based solely on the experience I’ve racked up, there should be talk of promotions, or at least Employee of the Month.

Instead, when my poor wife walks in the door after a busy day, she doesn’t see a home June Cleaver would be proud of.* She’s gotten good at hiding her disappointment with the piles of dirty dishes and unfolded laundry. And I’ve gotten good at pretending not to notice her disappointment. We both know how to play to our strengths.

The dishes are cleaned and the laundry folded. Eventually. But something is holding me back from achieving househusbanding greatness.

The science behind better househusbanding

I have suspicions about what’s preventing me from maintaining a clean and organized home. No matter how many times I clean today’s dirty dish, it’s still going to be dirty again tomorrow. And the day after. So why bother, right? Despite my excessive sensitivity, fondness for delicious healthy food (like Dominos and Taco Bell), and pink sunglasses, I’m still just a guy. A guy that’s interested in results. There’s no satisfaction in checking the “clean kitchen” box when I’m going to have to do it again after the next meal.

I’m also a guy who recognizes (despite its moral flaws) that Machiavelli was onto something when he suggested that the “ends justify the means.” For example, spending 6 months backpacking in the woods, 1000’s of miles away from our kitchen, is a means to end my obligation to check the “clean kitchen” box. Problem solved… Right?

A few of you may wonder if this is a grownup solution (it absolutely is). More of you are probably thinking that I’m devoting WAY too much time to philosophizing. (OMG spellcheck told me this is actually a word!) If Machiavelli were here now, he would be on my side, because the double negative argument is also true: “no ends justifies no means.” In other words, when no end is in sight, doing nothing is the best path to take.

 

We’re calling this Househusbandology 

househusbandology

(Google doesn’t recognize this yet, but like Scientology and Vexillology, it’ll catch on as soon as enlightened pioneers like Tom Cruise and Sheldon Cooper get on board.)

 

So there I was, surrounded by dirty dishes and unfolded laundry. Secure in my ironclad conviction that I was following the most logical path, shaving and grocery shopping soon joined the list of meaningless activities. Our home shifted to a less popular end of the olfactory spectrum and the refrigerator was bare. These were just a few of the many sacrifices I was willing to make for the sake of reason. Monica wasn’t as easy to persuade, but I knew she’d come around eventually.

Then, fellow blogger and virtual friend Ann Coleman blogged about her struggles with our shared nemesis, the laundry machine. I read eagerly, knowing that I was about to be entertained and/or inspired. This time I also saw another cause for excitement. She could become my first acolyte! (Househusbandology is an open-minded study. Women are just as welcome to practice doing nothing as any normal person.)

However, instead of building up the ranks with a new follower, reading her insightful words highlighted a potential flaw in my fledgling philosophy. One that threatened to unravel this slightly dirty (but still beautiful) paradigm I had so carefully created.

 

Finding joy in the doing

As this headline suggests, there is more to successful househusbanding than enjoying an afternoon nap after completing all 3 items on the daily Honey-Do list. If I can learn to enjoy the chores activities involved in maintaining our home and lifestyle, househusbanding will become more satisfying. Mark Twain was far more eloquent when he suggested that we should “make our vocation our vacation.” (If anyone is keeping track out there, we’ve had 2 quotes from famous dead people so far. This is officially an educational essay. Now you can tell the boss your working on Continuing Education.)

I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of enjoying dishwashing and folding laundry, but it made more sense when I reframed it in contexts I was more familiar with. For example, if I was only interested in fixing a broken person, I never would have survived medical school, surgical residency, and 100-hour work weeks necessary to become a successful surgeon unless I loved operating and taking care of patients. Similarly, I never would have successfully hiked all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail if hiking and sleeping in the dirt didn’t bring me to the brink of ecstasy.

Before I head off to take care of the dishes (Yay dishes!), I’d like to leave you with one last thought. Athur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” (That’s 3 quotes from famous dead people. You can clock out early today.)

 

P.S. As part of my due diligence for this essay, I asked Google what a “clean kitchen means.” Apparently, Google (via Urban Dictionary) isn’t a big fan either. Google’s definition is NSFW, and possibly another reason cleaning the kitchen has little appeal for so many. No clue about househubandology, and now this? I’m starting to have doubts about the omniscience of our Ether-leader.

 

* Congratulations to those that don’t need to Google the “June Cleaver” reference. You’re entitled to your choice of either: 1.) A shiny, easy to grasp AARP Gold Star magnet, or 2.) a 10% discount on the Early-Bird special at Cracker Barrel. And please, be careful out there. I don’t want anyone slipping. We could break a hip!

 

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138 Comments

  • Reply Al May 31, 2017 at 5:02 am

    This reminds me of #49 n the list of 100 reasons why it’s easier to be a guy. To wit: “We get big kudos for occasionally doing things that women do everyday without the slightest thought.”

    • Reply Didi May 31, 2017 at 5:58 am

      So very true

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Hey, wait a minute! Your list only goes to 100? We’ll have to compare notes sometime. “The ability to pee standing up” used to occupy a place in my top 10, but I discovered while being out-hiked by several women that there’s a handy device called a pStyle (looks like a floppy Chinese soup spoon). A little part of me died when I witnessed them matching me stream-for-stream.

      Good thing it’s not a competition though, otherwise, it’d only be fair to give the little guy (me) a head start.

      • Reply globalhousesitterX2 June 3, 2017 at 2:34 am

        That is so funny 🙂 Have done many hikes and not a Chinese soup spoon in sight 🙂 I was going to comment on the housework until I saw your comment!!

      • Reply Liesbet June 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

        That pee-thingy is used by female cruisers/sailors as well, especially in colder climes, where it is a pain to take all that foul weather gear off. I have never tried one, but friends have told me about guaranteed success. I have tried peeing standing up without the device and was not very successful.

        • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          If it makes you feel any better, I’m not very good at peeing while sitting down. I think these are skills that just take lots of practice;)

          • Liesbet June 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm

            Haha. Funny you mention that. My husband is very used to peeing while sitting down – practice from living on a moving boat for eight years. Hey, maybe you should go on an extended cruise on a small boat where you don’t dare peeing while standing up (unless someone else does the cleaning). OK. We should stop this conversation right here, before we (I?) start grossing people out… 🙂

          • Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

            hehehe
            nope this is a great place to discuss all things hygenic. Seriously though, I’d love to take an extended boating trip (Island hopping sounds reasonable so long as its not a cruise ship or a place that offers daily shuffle board tournaments). Don’t know if I could set aside 8 years though… That takes an amazing level of dedication

  • Reply Maggie Wilson May 31, 2017 at 6:39 am

    If time away from doing dishes and folding laundry results in excellent blog writing such as this, I can only approve.

    I’ll share my comment on Ann’s piece: Have you read Jack Kornfield’s book? “After the ecstasy, the laundry : how the heart grows wise on the spiritual path.” He too uses the analogy. Yes, there are moments of revelation and glory and excitement and all that jazz… but as always, yet another pile of laundry (or stack of memos, or gardens to weed) awaits.

    Terrific post. Except for the part where you called me an old fart. 😉

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      I’ll have to check out Jack Kornfield’s book. That phrase: “after the ecstasy, the laundry” says it all.

      And I’m gonna have to print out your wonderful compliment to place prominently on the fridge. “time away from doing dishes, laundry… I can only approve.” Church.

      As always Maggie, your poetic words of wisdom lift my weary soul to new and lofty heights.

  • Reply Almost Iowa May 31, 2017 at 7:10 am

    I like your “Dominos and Taco Bell” approach to healthy eating, but I must caution you, those wrappers build up over time and create a must-take-out-the-trash crisis. To avoid a critical situation, it is best to dine out.

    I know, I know, dining out is expensive but one must simply prioritize fast-food over rent.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      You know that I’ll always look to you as my sage mentor Greg. And I agree that the “dining out” option may sound appealing at first, but it turns out the “normals” frown on public dining in my PJ’s. I’m sure it’s just a fashion thing, but still, the cost/benefit is way too high.

      Besides the wrappers make for really good kindling when hosting those periodic indoor slash/burn parties.

  • Reply Almost Iowa May 31, 2017 at 7:15 am

    June Cleaver? Wasn’t she the opening act for Bruno Mars? Or am I aging myself?

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      hehehehe you said Bruno Mars. It’s out there now, and you can never take it back 😉

  • Reply cracTpot May 31, 2017 at 7:27 am

    It’s a tough job. You work alone, safety regulations are nonexistent and the pay is crap. We need a union!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Isn’t that the reason for blogging? Its our way of gathering strength, mobilizing our forces, and preparing a cohesive campaign to raise awareness for our miserable plight.

      That, and sharing cat GIFs

  • Reply Wendy May 31, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Michael Keaton and Mr. Mom. Now I’m dating myself.
    My husband is a better house keeping than me, in some respects. His philosophy is “if I have to eat off it or wear it, it had better be clean enough for me.”
    He’s a different species.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      hmmmmm sounds like your husband might have missed a few meetings. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but we househusbands have a standing agreement to project an appallingly low standard of personal hygiene and household maintenance.
      I’ll be sure to send a representative by shortly to ensure he toes the line, but in the meantime, could you pass this reminder along.

      He could ruin things for all of us.

  • Reply Retirementallychallenged.com May 31, 2017 at 8:03 am

    I hope your wife realizes that what you might lack in housecleaning skills, you more than make up in writing entertaining post skills. That certainly is worth something, right? As far as your June Cleaver remark goes, I hate the Cracker Barrel and I’ve already managed to fracture my hip… so I guess I’ll settle for the magnet.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Yup. She’s been saying for years that she loves me for my personality, which I’m sure is a compliment that includes any writing skill I might have.

      And now I feel bad about making a fractured hip joke. Sending virtual love along with the magnet Janis!

  • Reply b. breazeale May 31, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Such a fun read and so true! My secret? living in the DRC for 6 months with virtually no cleaning products and one rag to use…kinda love the smell of toxic chemicals that I know are delivering those unseen villains to their timely deaths! 😉 love it!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Wow thanks Natalie. Your writing is phenomenal, so I love the compliment.
      Living under primitive conditions in the Dominican Republic sounds like an amazing adventure. Gonna have to check this out.
      And I know what you mean about the pungent odor of sterilizing chemicals. However, I’m occasionally concerned that this is the grownup version of the glue-sniffing we did as kids (but thats just me).

      • Reply b. breazeale May 31, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        Ha… maybe, but after spending 6 months in drc, effects of glue sniffing is kinda needed! 😳it’s one of the tabs on my blog ‘Congo adventure ‘ or something similar. Smell of a memory and SOS will give you a good taste… or smell 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:38 pm

          Great, I clearly need to swing on over, since I thought DRC was Dominican Republic rather than Democratic Republic of Congo)

          • b. breazeale May 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

            Common … but been to both… only slight difference. 🙂

          • b. breazeale May 31, 2017 at 6:04 pm

            Common! Been to both, only a slight difference. 😉

          • b. breazeale May 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            hm, not sure if my response went through,my app is freaking out. Anyway, the mixup is common, but I have been to both, and the is only a slight difference! 🙂

  • Reply Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Thanks for the entertainment on my birthday Gabe. I think though protests too much. Just do the damn dishes dude! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Happy Birthday Brad!!! I’ve been working on a sketch inspired by your blog that should be ready in a week or two. We can call this a virtual birthday gift? (and it’ll be right on time if we both agree to use my special “never late” calendar).

      And since your pulling out the big guns by bringing Shakespeare into the mix (cheater;)), I’m just gonna leave this tidbit that has gotten me through some pretty tough times…

      “Forgive me my nonsense, as I forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense” – Robert Frost

      • Reply Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        Thanks Gabe. Now I have to compete with you, Shakespeare, and Frost. Unfair! I’ll happily accept any birthday gifts at any time. 🙂 The last few years, I drag out the celebration as long as I can. Giving gifts generates generous games…

        • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 8:47 pm

          You’re probably due for an un-birthday year. Those are years where every day is your birthday except the day you were born. Makes it alot easier for ppl to help you celebrate.

          • Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 9:10 pm

            Fun. I hadn’t heard about this great birthday plan!

          • Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 9:14 pm

            Me either. I’m sure someone has thought of it before, but we might have to do a bit of campaigning to make it stick.

  • Reply Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 8:23 am

    In case you want some practical tips, WikiHow guides you or fly me over for lessons. I actually enjoy cleaning, organizing, and housekeeping tasks. 🙂 http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-House-Husband

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Sweeee-et! I’ll get working on your ticket now. I’d also throw in the 10% discount at Cracker Barrel, but the nearest one would be such a commute away here in Romania the we’ll never catch the Early-Bird Special

      • Reply Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm

        Cool. I’ll start packing and bring my bib!

        • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 8:45 pm

          hehehe umm we have plenty of bibs here. And maybe you can help me teach Monica to start using her sleeve to wipe steak sauce off her chin like I do;) Think about all the napkins we wouldn’t have to clean!

          • Writing to Freedom May 31, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            LOL. Keep teasing and I might just show up at your door. 🙂

  • Reply desertcurmudgeon May 31, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I consider myself to be a guy who’s on the cutting edge of vulgarity, but I honestly can’t think of any way to spin “clean kitchen” into something that’s NSFW. I’m not going to take the lazy way out and repeat your Google search, though. I’m going to ponder it from every angle until at long last, I come up with a way to define “clean kitchen” as something dirty.

    • Reply Arionis May 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

      I’m with you on this one. I certainly have a dirty mind and I can’t come up with anything NSFW either. I am currently at work so I’ll have no answer anytime soon.

      • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        If you get stuck, here’s a hint. It’s synonymous with “tossing salad.”
        And don’t think that I missed all the suspicious links between nefarious activities and housework…

        • Reply Arionis May 31, 2017 at 6:17 pm

          Consider me enlightened!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      hehehe great Paul. I’m glad to see I’ve got the creative juices flowing (that’s a hint about the Google definition btw). If you do need some help, be sure to Google “clean kitchen means.” If you aren’t sent to Urban Dictionary, then Google must know me better than I think 😉

  • Reply Lies Jack Kerouac told Me May 31, 2017 at 10:18 am

    When it comes to housework, I passed through the “what’s the point” phase many years ago. The only thing that got me back on track was the fact that, at the time, we had a couple of cats and, well, the litterbox waits for no one. Still, as I pointed out in response to Ann’s piece, there is (and never will be) a point to ‘folding’ fitted sheets…to save time and frustration just wad them up in a ball and move on. And congrats on polishing off the AT…I only slept in the dirt for half of it.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Your a wise man Curt. I’ve tried the “wad ‘n toss” strategy a few times, but I usually end up with mildew and unseemly wrinkles. (Monica tells me the I need to master “drying” first).

      And wasn’t the AT awesome! I’m going through pretty intense withdrawal, especially as spring is doing its thing.

  • Reply Arionis May 31, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Great post Gabe. I’ll take the 10% discount to Cracker Barrel. Love me some hash brown casserole!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      hehehe You my dear friend, are my kind of people!

  • Reply sandyjwhite May 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Having grown up with the wisdom of June and Ward Cleaver
    transmitted in black and white across an archaic low def, marginal
    sound television set, I opt for the early bird special.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      “Awww Gee Beav, why’d ya have ta go and do that?”
      I’ll save u a seat at the table Sandy;)

      • Reply sandyjwhite May 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        “Golly, Wally, I don’t know!”
        (I’m counting on it.)

        • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm

          hehehe I could go on all day. Leave it to Beaver is timeless…

          • sandyjwhite May 31, 2017 at 5:52 pm

            Yes, it is. We’ll quit while we’re ahead.

  • Reply Ann Coleman May 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the mention!! And I absolutely loved this post (except for when you mentioned the fact that knowing who June Cleaver is means I am old enough for senior citizen discounts and a huge fan of early bird specials…which I am).
    I must say you write about the difficulties of plugging away at tasks that are never quite finished much better than I do. If I had read your post first, mine might have been much more of an affirmation of your whole househusband philosophy! But you are right…the joy is in the doing…so I’m going to go have one heck of a time vacuuming up the dog hair all over the living room…again. And wonder whether or not the dog would hold still long enough to let me shave off all her fur…..
    Thanks again, Gabe! You are a wonderful blogger friend!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      Ann you are far too modest (and complimentary). But it’s great for my ego, which needs constant infusions to stay properly inflated.

      For what it’s worth, I’ve recently learned that what the cool kids call “second lunch” occurs at about the same time as our early-bird meal. I haven’t decided if they are trying to take over our hard-won time slot, or if they are finally realizing that we’ve had it right all along and want to join in the fun. Either way, we were here first (hence the early bird 😉 )

      • Reply Ann Coleman June 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

        My guess is they found out we were right all along, but are trying to steal the idea as their own, to maintain their coolness. Just wait until they decide wearing white socks with sandals is the newest fashion trend! No one can make that cool.

        • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:32 am

          hehehehe Ann. At this point, I wouldn’t blame you if you thought I was exaggerating for the sake of a joke. But I sported tube socks and Doc Martin sandals for much of the spring and summer months during the 90’s. I kinda miss it, especially the gorgeous tan lines on my skinny calves, and sand-free feet those socks enabled.

          If that’s not proof of “coolness,” then I don’t want any part of it 😉

  • Reply Amy May 31, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I like you and your wife play your strengths so well. 😎 I need to work on it! 😅
    Cool post, Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks Amy! And to be honest, Monica has the lion’s share of the strength between us, but I play the lamb really well…

      • Reply Amy June 1, 2017 at 7:26 am

        Great sense of humor, Gabe! My husband plays lamb well too. He also is good at playing deaf. 🙂

  • Reply Wendy Weir May 31, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    File this one under “posts I wish I’d written,” except I have no business exploring the field of househusbandology. (See, now if you Google it, you’ll get at least a couple hits). Perhaps it’s more accurate to say file under crack-ups I wish I was responsible for. You are so stinkin’ funny, Gabe. And since I’m able to nail the June Clever reference, I can say I have a long lifetime of experience with funny. I’d gush some more, but dude, it’s time to grab me an early bird special at the Cracker Barrel.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Wendy, you are so awesome! You uncovered my hidden agenda (to be unveiled in my typical subdued style in a future post). We’re gonna explode the world of “SEO.” One made up word at a time…
      My next goal is far more ambitious, now I’ve gotta convince spellcheck that househusbandology is a word. And we both know, she’s even harder to convince than that stern librarian who refuses to give up the Dewey Decimal cards.
      BTW you’re more than welcome to join us at the next househusbandology society meeting. I hear we’re gonna hold it at Fur’s Cafeteria. It’s gonna rock!

  • Reply Wendy Weir May 31, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I’ll have you know that I have my very own Wendy-only Google special: ninnercrommie. Oh yeah, it comes up on my text prediction! Yesssss! I so look forward to your next post, SEO-focused or otherwise.

    • Reply Gabriel May 31, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Nice! And it sounds like enough like Abercrombie (and Fitch) that you could use it as profanity! Well done!

  • Reply dave ply May 31, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I will admit to wearing the honorable badge of dishpan hands, but the laundry falls to the other half (I don’t think she trusts me with it). Regarding the futility of keeping a dish clean, I suppose there may be a zen like approach to it, like continuing to put one foot in front of the other on a seemingly endless trail.

    As for admitting to watching black and white television during the original broadcasts, I plead the same time warp rule that allows my sister to claim being 10 years younger than her kids. It may have happened in reality, but it’s “fake news”. 😉

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Looks like you’ve tapped into some of the good stuff Dave: Zen housecleaning and space-time manipulation.

      I’m sure there’s a “Zen and the Art of clean dishes” book out there somewhere that I could read. But I’d REALLY love to get my hands on that time warp. I checked Google, but he/she is hiding the secret from me…

  • Reply D. Wallace Peach June 1, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I completely relate to this post, Gabe. I find nothing satisfying about housework. I feel like Sisyphus (thank you spellcheck) hauling the boulder up the mountain every day just to have it roll down again. I’d rather just leave the rock at the bottom of the hill and do something rewarding… like anything that doesn’t need to be done again tomorrow in perpetuity. And hiking and sleeping in the dirt always worked for me! A few of the many wonderful things about life on the trail – no sweeping, mopping, dusting, toilets to clean, windows to wash, or piles of dishes and laundry. I remember that well and loved it.

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Yes! Sisyphus (I usually get him mixed up with Prometheus). That’s it exactly.

      And I’m really loving “The Sorcerer’s Garden” btw. Only reason I haven’t finished yet is because life keeps getting in the way of more important reading time.

      • Reply D. Wallace Peach June 2, 2017 at 9:08 am

        When I want to read, Gabe, I just procrastinate on the housework. I can find all kinds of reasons to procrastinate on housework – it’s not like it’s going anywhere. Ha ha. Have a great day 🙂

  • Reply Bobby June 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Love it!

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Bobby! What a fun juxtaposition. Here I am whining about the struggles of a humble househusband, while you’re getting ready to tackle the rest of the Appalachian Trail. You remind me: Life is very good my friend, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

  • Reply rgayer55 June 1, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for the famous dead-people quotes, Gabe. However, my favorite in this essay was; “Women are just as welcome to practice doing nothing as any normal person.”
    I’m not sure I can use that one around females or not since they might take umbrage to the implication that they are not normal persons. Still, I’m sure many of my male friends will find the quote humorous and entertaining.

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

      hehehehe To be honest, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen much pushback. Maybe we’re onto something… 😉

  • Reply mydangblog June 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Yeah, I get the same thing from my hubby about the bed–“Why make it when I’m just going to get in it again.” Lol.

    • Reply Gabriel June 2, 2017 at 10:32 am

      hehehe don’t even get me started on the bedroom…

  • Reply restlessjo June 2, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    My housewifery is slapdash, at best. I now feel justified in resting on my laurels. 🙂 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 3, 2017 at 2:14 am

      As well you should Jo. You’ve achieved so much through your wonderful blog.

  • Reply Tiny June 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for this great read, Gabe. I will ask my househusband to read your tips so he, too, can aspire for greatness. He’s too comfortable in resting on his laurels and doesn’t wrestle with any of these crucial questions 😀

    • Reply Gabriel June 3, 2017 at 2:18 am

      hehehe sounds like the ranks will soon be swelling. I’m always happy to share what little wisdom I’ve collected on my journey towards enlightenment in the hallowed halls of househusbandology.

  • Reply Steve June 3, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Agreed that tidying up is not the most fun pastime ever but like you say – make it fun or find the joy within the task and that way it doesn’t seem so bad. I wrote a similar post a couple of years ago about what I end up doing when tidying up. Basically involves, playlists, dressing up and putting googly eyes on inanimate objects. Crazy or fun? Crazy or fun? I vote fun!]

  • Reply Everything EmmZeeBee June 3, 2017 at 2:49 am

    My boyfriend and I both work equal hours so we split the housework 50/50 which works well. Housework does definitely seem pointless sometimes when you know everything is going to become dirty again in a short while!

  • Reply emfletche June 3, 2017 at 3:03 am

    This is great! Although I think my attempts at “housewifing” fall along a very similar strategy and thought process to yours… I spent a couple of periods between jobs and I was glad to get back into permanent work so I didn’t have to pretend to love domestic tasks any more…

  • Reply Ritu June 3, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Who needs a clean kitchen anyway??!! Ok, I admit I do make sure it is relatively sanitary, but there are so many things to do in life, we need to prioritise! I think you’re doing a grand job!

  • Reply April Munday June 3, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I would rather write than have a clean kitchen, but since I have to eat what I cook there, I err on the side of hygiene. I also write in the kitchen, so I’m always confronted by its messiness.

  • Reply Debbie H June 3, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Your writing reminds of me of the many ways my sister always got out of doing the washing up when we were young. Your post is far more entertaining though!

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      After decades of practice shirking my domestic responsibilities, I feel like I’m finally learning how to articulate the nuances of the art. I’m so glad you enjoyed Debbie!

  • Reply SickChristine June 3, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Is there some sort of school you fellas attend to learn this? It seems to be the exact same tactic my husband uses.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      hehehe I can neither affirm nor deny the presence of a handbook for househusbands that we are obligated to read and follow…

  • Reply angelanoelauthor June 3, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Hi Gabe! I did not have to Google your June Cleaver reference. But, I readily admit to only watching Leave it to Beaver on Nickelodeon–which everyone knows doesn’t count as an indicator of age (or taste). And, an early bird special is sort of amazing, particularly when followed by pizza at midnight. (I’m just kidding, I’m never awake at midnight unless my hardwired smoke alarm won’t stop beeping until we cut the power to the whole house in desperation. And then I’d prefer either ice cream or drink vodka to take the edge off.)
    I quite like your logical extension of Machiavelli’s idea. It’s uncanny how reasonable that actually sounds. Genius.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      hehehe Nickelodeon…

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson June 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    The way I come to terms with the futility of housework is to accept that life is too short for some household tasks but that others, like getting rid of the clutter, give you mental space for other things…

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Yes! While I have learned to endure a dirty kitchen as a show of rebellion, there is something relaxing about being in an open, well-ordered space isn’t there?

  • Reply usathroughoureyes June 3, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Gabe your writing has us always thinking and laughing. Such talent you have. We share in all the chores and its a hoot watching how each of us completes those task that the least desirable. There are regular moments of shaking our head and smiling. June always made it look so easy in her dress and pearls and that smile.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Great point. Barbie has caught so much criticism for being an unattainable standard with her two-times-too-long legs, and top-heavy torso, but we should stop for a minute to recognize that Aunt Bee and June Cleaver have far more damage to the egos of us lowly domestic servants. I feel like somebody should start a protest or something 😉

  • Reply Tara June 4, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Why people are focusing on getting to Mars when no one has invented a washing/drying/folding/putting clothes away on its own machine is beyond me.

    🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      I know right! Smart Refrigerators know when we need to get more milk, and the really considerate ones will add it to the order for delivery. Helpers like these are a great start. But it’s not nearly enough.

  • Reply twobrownfeet June 4, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Haha… Cleaning seems to have no end (and way too many places to start from) — when you’re the one doing it. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      yup – I guess I have a lot to learn about finding the joy in the doing instead 🙂

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    […] THAT bad. Besides, it’ll only be for a minute). You’ve just finished pouring your heart into an essay about the challenges of making it as a househusband in a housewife dominated market. You are a ridiculously slow writer so its 3AM, you’re bleary-eyed and the film of Pepsi residue […]

  • Reply yesthismoment June 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I Love this! My mother was famous for NOT cleaning before company came. “They’re just going to leave a mess anyway”. 🙂 She was also known to avoid dishes altogether by using paper plates. There’s some wisdom in all this…

    • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 5:50 am

      OMG YES! If I weren’t such a treehugger, I’d be all over disposable dishes (and clothes, and…)

  • Reply anhistorianabouttown June 8, 2017 at 7:07 am

    I have a half-priced code for dominos that I’m suddenly inclined to use this weekend 🤔 I find that it’s a balance- why spend all of your time cleaning if you can’t spend time with the people you love and on the things you love doing? I think it’s better to be happy with a few dustballs! (I refuse to fall behind on laundry, though- I don’t hate it, and I do hate not having clothes)

    • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 7:09 am

      All I can say is… mmmmm Domino’s

  • Reply Liesbet June 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

    This is a great post and topic, Gabe. I love it when you are philosophizing (hey, I got this word in auto-correct as well) and when you are on a funny roll, you are doing it right. 🙂 I like the result of washed and folded laundry better than the “journey”. Especially when doing it all by hand for hours on our boat way back when, there is satisfaction in having it all done. Yes, there is a repeat soon, and I often wandered what I was doing busy day after busy day with no substantial results, but it was part of life and, if I did it all, my husband could focus on his job. So, in a way we were/are both contributing to making money. One more directly than the other, but that’s what it means to be a perfect and well-oiled team. Feel free to share this knowledge with Monica. And, I’m not even dead yet! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Liesbet! I love it when you pay a vist. Not only are your words of wisdom worthy of “long dead famous people” status, but I can truly appreiate them. You’ve obviously found the joy in the doing. Cheers my friend!

  • Reply Diana Frajman June 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Well, I am pretty sure that I don’t (yet) qualify for the seniors 10% off at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, but do to cable re-runs, I think you are required to wear pearls, high heels and a little organza apron in order to quote June Cleaver.
    That’s why a woman like her could never hike the Appalachian trail. Pearls and organza does not go with hiking boots. 😉

    • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      hehehe you may think you’re joking, but there is a tradition before entering the White Mountains in New Hampshire for long distance hikers to hike this REALLY challenging section in dresses and costume jewelry. There are pictures out there I’m still not very proud of… 😉

      • Reply Diana Frajman June 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

        Bahaha, technology is a curse during times like that. Do you still have the dress! 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 3:23 pm

          Nope. We picked up second hand thrift dresses before entering the Whites and got rid of the tattered remains before reaching Mt Washington.

  • Reply hotmessmemoir June 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Ok wait….so is the house getting cleaned or not? It sounds 50/50 right now. LOL!!!!

    • Reply Gabriel June 8, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      You nailed it. My househusbandly chores are about 50% complete (for now). But I’m choosing to be a kitchen half-clean guy (rather than a kitchen half-dirty one)

  • Reply Ink 'em Down June 10, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Amazing and interesting post. I totally admire your writing style!

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks alot, and thanks for stoppng by! Feel free to come back any time the mood strikes.

  • Reply the incurable dreamer June 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    ‘Neat Freak’ is a very accurate way to describe me. So I am not going to lie, this post made me twitch, sweat profusely and feel anxious as I visualized the dishes that may or may not have been in your sink for MORE THAN ONE DAY. Don’t worry, I found a paper bag, caught my breath, and am now back to finish this comment. I love your friend Anne’s blog post; she pretty much nailed it. And Google knows what you are up to – it does. You can’t just pretend you are hiking and leave dishes in the sink. YOU JUST CAN’T!! Deep breaths. Okay, I am going to take my OCD and beat it, because your househusbandology stresses me out! But this post was VERY entertaining as usual. Thanks, Gabe, for your hilarious honesty, but for the love all that is holy – DO THE DISHES!

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Tanya!!! (yikes that was a lot of exclamation points, but kinda felt like it was called for)

      You raise a good point. I really should have led off with a trigger warning here. (but in all fairness, my whole life should be a trigger warning ;))
      Ann is awesome, glad you checked her place out. I feel like I can learn quite a bit from her.
      Speaking of learning, I hope this doesn’t scare you off, but I’m really considering becoming a full-time student in the new school of househusbandology. Probably won’t do much for my future prospects, but I suspect it’ll be a great QoL measure…

      In the meantime, rest assured that our home is currently sparkling clean (Monica helped A LOT).

      • Reply the incurable dreamer June 10, 2017 at 7:51 pm

        Sorry for the exclamation points, but when I am triggered I tend to yell and exclamation the crap out of everything! And frankly, if your post had come with a trigger warning, it wouldn’t have helped me a damn bit – the outcome would have been the same. Househusbandology school might do you some good, buuuut, I kind of have a feeling you should stick to what you are good at…writing about NOT doing the dishes. HA! I appreciate you telling me the house is clean (thanks, Monica!) because I really wanted to get a good sleep tonight. Phew!

        • Reply Gabriel June 11, 2017 at 3:53 am

          I’m going to print and frame that middle bit. “I kind of have a feeling you should stick to what you are good at…writing about NOT doing the dishes”
          And right above the kitchen sink feels like the perfect place to out it;)

  • Reply April G June 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Hey! I got the June Cleaver reference and I’m in no way old enough to grab an AARP card! Great Post! Please keep linking up to Turn it Up Tuesday!

    Your cohost!

    • Reply Gabriel June 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Hey April! Thanks for letting me play along, and for hosting the Turn It Up Tuesday Link up!

  • Reply Di June 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Awesome humour with a message my friend!
    Ah, a clean house is over rated. Please let your beautiful wife know you are just relieving her of allergy issues if she lived in a house that is too clean!
    As long as there is something for dinner…
    us creatives must stick together too!
    Thanks for a great read, Gabe 🙋🏻🌟🌟

    • Reply Gabriel June 12, 2017 at 5:27 am

      Yay! Looks like we have more in common than a shared joy of blogging Di. And I’ve tried the “it’s good for you/the environment” approach a few times, but never seem to get much traction. I’ll have to work on my sympathy-evoking expressions (I refuse to call ’em puppy-dog eyes;) )

      • Reply Di June 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm

        Yes we do, Gabe… fun days for sure!
        Well perhaps you need to find some scientific proof… 🙂 it’s out there for sure!
        Absolutely… puppy eyes when all else fails. It’s worth a try!
        Good luck my little mate 👌🙋🏻

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies June 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I think lack of laundry washing and kitchen cleaning are two of my top favorite things about going away on travels. Alas, it stares me in the face as soon as I return! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 13, 2017 at 7:16 am

      I’m been trying to convince Monica we should hire a maid. it’s really a quality of life thing for both of us 😉

  • Reply thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving June 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Oh my gosh!! I think I just found a new favourite blog!!
    1) I’m right there with ya on the whole housekeeping thing – why make the bed when it’s just gonna get slept in the same day?? I usually get around to washing the cutlery only when I realize I’ve run out of clean ones completely
    2) I’ve been trying to convince my sister to hike the Appalachians with me for YEARS! (She’d rather go to a spa 🙁 )
    3) You and Monica sound absolutely wonderful! If we lived any closer I’d be putting my guy on notice that I’ve found us our new couple friends lol

    • Reply Gabriel June 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks so much! This blogging thing is awesome isn’t it. We get to connect with like-minded and creative people we never would have otherwise met. Really looking forward to getting to know you better through your blog too. Cheers!

  • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC June 19, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Funniest thing I’ve read on housekeeping since the late Peg Bracken (author of I Hate to Housekeep, I Hate to Cook, etc. books).

    ONE crack about dating myself and I’ll bring June Cleaver and Aunt Bea both back from the dead and together with Bracken, we will make you *wish* housekeeping were your biggest worry!

    If you never read Bracken’s books, btw, they are short, easy reads and right up your alley – and so old now I’m sure you can get them for dirt on Amazon or somewhere. (Just a sample from one of her recipes, found on Wikipedia, “Brown the garlic, onion, and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink”)

    My personal fav is her dip & chip recipe – rock hard so that you never have to make it again because nobody ever touches the stuff after their first chip shard.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Reply Gabriel June 20, 2017 at 6:13 am

      hehehehe I’m really glad you stopped by and shared that fiesta spirit Madelyn! I humbly apologize for any “dated” references that may have offended, I would never want to tangle with the likes of June Cleaver or Aunt Bea (sounds like I need to include you and Bracken in that formidable list as well) 😉 I’m actually approaching eligibility for my coveted AARP card myself, so it’s probably my jealousy spilling onto the blog post. Or I’m just getting cranky in my old age;)

      I’m going to check out Peg Bracken when I get a few spare moments. Thanks so much for the rec!

      • Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC June 20, 2017 at 11:06 am

        No offense YET – hehehe – just wanted to issue a crank-alert. 🙂

        btw – I have discovered that every year that passes I care less and less about what others think of me and am more and more eager to tell them what I think of them – especially the idiots (not YOU, btw). I do my best to temper with kindness, but when warranted I strut my crank proudly. Quite liberating, actually, after decades of pulling my punches, endeavoring not to make anyone uncomfortable.

        As for that AARP card – I was stunned at how early they send it – on my 50th birthday I was still feeling like a kid. Still am, actually. Quite a jolt every time I realize that time passes, despite the arrogance of youth.

        Hope you enjoy Bracken – only cookbook I ever read from cover to cover (because it’s amusing, not because it’s short) I don’t think I’ve ever made ONE of the recipes, tho’ I’ve read that they’re actually good – but I did laugh aloud more than a few times. I’m betting you’ll get lots of thoughts that will send you off on new househusbandry posts – and I can’t wait to read them.
        xx,
        mgh

        • Reply Gabriel June 21, 2017 at 5:43 am

          I think we’re gonna get along just fine. Sounds like we have so much in common already. Kids at heart, despite the evidence to the contrary on our driver’s licenses, and progressively more willing to let our words fly, even if it might ruffle a few feathers.
          Although, I have to admit, I still pull my punches more than I should, especially here on this blog. I wouldn’t;t want to alienate any member of this awesome blogging community. (I often fail at this, but it’s still a goal).

          And I’ve looked up Peg Bracken’s books-she was incredibly prolific. However, looks like i’ll need to order hardcover and have them shipping here to Romania. Normally, I stick with my Kindle, but they look so entertaining, I’m going to make an exception.

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC June 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm

            I didn’t even realize they CAME in hardcover! They’re short books, however, so shipping shouldn’t break the bank either way.

            As for the feathers, how ELSE is a girl supposed to make a boa? (but I’m careful which ones I ruffle on my blog too, so I get it)
            xx,
            mgh

          • Gabriel June 22, 2017 at 5:42 am

            hehehe you said boa.

  • Reply thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving June 19, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    It really is great, isn’t it? Overall I’ve found it to be a warm and welcoming community, filled with talent, opinions and voices the likes of which I would never encounter in my day to day life here, and for that I consider myself quite fortunate! Looking forward to reading more 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 20, 2017 at 6:43 am

      Yup the blogosphere has become my new virtual home away from home. Glad we connected, and I’ll be looking forward to more of the same on your blog as well!

    Now it's your turn to play!

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