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Tidying up: Mr. Clean vs. Capt. America
Jan 27, 2013 | 1606 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher told a magazine interviewer, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

My wife would probably agree with Thatcher since she continually finds me “dawdling” over chores.

“There’s a leaf on the kitchen floor,” she’ll say. “Why don’t you immediately stop what you are doing and pick it up?” My answer is something like “I intend to, but I thought I would take off my coat, kick off my shoes and take my wallet and car keys out of my pocket before worrying about a flimsy leaf that’s doing no more damage then merely taking up space.”

What my wife calls laziness is more my male sense of prioritizing. Yes, the entryway should be shoveled, but it doesn’t come before other important tasks such as paying a bill, reviewing a bank statement or taking the dog out for a romp. To most men, everything has its time and its place Р and we don’t consider leaving a cereal bowl on the kitchen table for an extra five minutes something that will lead to the downfall of our civilization. (My wife’s answer: “There’s a dishwasher only three feet away. Why not take care of it now?”)

Granted, most of the differences revolve around cleaning or putting things away. To most men, a book lying on a coffee table is not an example of debris. We figure it will take its place on the bookshelf in due time. As boys we were not taught to revere Ajax or Lysol; we cheered for Captain America, not Mr. Clean. Our idea of cleaning the house didn’t involve vacuuming the corners or daily dusting.

My wife wants the chores done now, immediately, before I forget. My normal response is that I’ll get around to it. And I usually do. 

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