Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Brief Sermon

So, there I was, sitting on the john last night, minding and taking care of my own business, when I had a revelation. It might have just been gas, but I truly think this was divinely inspired gas. At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I must digress for a moment to give you the back story on why I was having divinely inspired gas, and it has nothing to do with the homemade burger and fries from last night either.

I am a fan of the TV show Lost. It’s oddly compelling. It has an ensemble cast of complex characters with depth which I find fascinating. Anywho, in a recent episode, the character John Locke, was trying to get a job after being fired from his previous one. He went to a temp or job placement agency to fill out an application and get interviewed. Locke made a fuss and tried to get placed as a construction foreman. The agency manager looked at him and said she could do that if he wanted her to but that he would just be back in her office the day after.

For those not familiar with Lost, John Locke is sometimes confined to a wheelchair. It’s a long, weird story that will just confuse you if you’re not a fan of the show.

That whole episode, plus a few other personal interactions here lately, got me to thinking about “women’s work” vs. “men’s work”.

So, digression over, the topic of today’s sermon (I am the self avowed preacher here at P&H, remember) is: “Who should do what in a marriage relationship?”

As most of you should have already figured out by now, I am a big proponent of marriage. At least, I’m a big proponent of my marriage to The Queen. Your results may vary. However, marriage is NOT something anyone should enter into lightly. It is my firmly held belief that we have a 50%+ divorce rate in this country because people enter into it too lightly and don’t take it seriously.

A lot of times when I hear people complain about their marriages, it has to do with “He won’t help do the dishes” or “She won’t help change the oil on the car” or some such equally asinine complaint. In some of these cases, I was either in attendance or a participant at the wedding in question, and I don’t remember the marriage vows containing any exclusionary or conditional wording. There was no: “I promise to love, honor and cherish if she does the dishes.”

Here’s a hint, if you want the Leave it to Beaver lifestyle, go marry Barbara Billingsley. She’ll be 95 this year, but it appears she’s available. Sorry ladies, if you were hoping for Ward Cleaver, Hugh Beaumont died in 1982.

Seriously though, some people still have it in their thick skulls that MEN do [fill in the blank] and WOMEN do [everything else]. I so want to be a fly on the wall in those households when [fill in the blank] or [everything else] isn’t getting done because one or the other spouse is incapacitated. Train wreck.

The only definition of “men’s work” or “women’s work” which has any valid meaning to me is the following:

“Men’s Work” = those tasks that a man, and only a man, is physically, mentally and/or emotionally capable of performing.

“Women’s Work” = those tasks that a woman, and only a woman, is physically, mentally and/or emotionally capable of performing.

For example, a man is physically incapable of giving birth to a child. Therefore, giving birth is “women’s work.” Ditto for breast feeding.

Period. End of story.

And don’t try to confuse the issue by citing the transgender “male” who gave birth. Genetically and mostly anatomically “she/he” was still female.

Guys, I hate to break this to you, but doing the dishes or laundry or changing a diaper is not just “women’s work” anymore. Get your butt off the couch and help out. Lead your families by example. Teach your kids that mommy and daddy work TOGETHER to get things done.

And none of this “But K., I worked all day. I’m tired. I want to relax and drink a beer while watching the game.” Crap. Pure crap. You don’t think your spouse wants to relax and have a drink after chasing your spawn around the house and cleaning up their messes all day (if she’s a stay at home mom) or after she gets home from work (if she’s not a stay at home mom/housewife)? If that’s the way you think, you need a few more brain cells to keep that empty space between your ears warm.

The moment one spouse starts worrying more about what they’re getting out of the relationship vs. what they’re giving to the relationship, it’s in trouble. Marriage is a union of two people becoming one. It’s important to realize that, by helping or giving something to your spouse, you are helping or giving something to yourself. Now, go forth and help yourself.

Thus endeth today’s sermon.


  1. Whew! Your next sermon will probably be why I need to learn how to change the oil -- and I still haven't learned how to fill the car with gas!

    Good for you, though. The oil and gas are as nothing to all the niggling household chores there are to do.

  2. Mary, I know what you mean. My mother always told me she had children so they could get out and pump the gas. And clean the pool. And mow the grass. And... :)

    However, I stand by my sermon. If a woman is physically capable of jacking up the car or driving it up on ramps, holding a wrench, etc., then she most certainly should learn to change the oil.

    Of course, that's not to say that there can't be an agreed upon division of labor in a relationship. Some people, while capable of accomplishing a task, should not be allowed to do so for the greater good. It is wisdom to recognize this fact and accept it.

  3. Amen, Brother Erickson. I fully agree. Particularly about your "for the greater good" comment. I can not bake ANYTHING except maybe a potato. Want a loaf of hard-tack? A chocolate chip hockey-puck?

  4. Earl, I understand. My FIL is world renowned for his "hockey puck" biscuits. He's gotten better though since he learned the joys of reading a cookbook and following a recipe.


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