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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 22, 2007 / 4 Adar, 5767

Relationships can be such a chore

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Whenever women's magazines poll their readers on the most common sources of conflict in relationships, the most frequent responses tend to be: A) "Lack of communication"; B) "money troubles"; and C) "Not enough help with household chores, like the way he always tosses dirty underwear on the hamper - not in the hamper, mind you, but on top of it. God only knows what would happen if he ever bothered to put his dirty clothes in the hamper itself. It's like he's afraid there's something alive in there that's going to reach out and grab him if he ever opens the lid. Which, considering how disgusting his jockey shorts get by the time he stops wearing them, he may actually be right about."


From these results one things is apparent: women's magazines need to stop providing so much space in their polls for write-in answers.


As to the chores issue, however, I asked my wife, who confirmed that many women do complain about the inequitable distribution of household responsibilities. Clearly, times have changed since the era when the husband's primary household task was to earn a living while the wife stayed home and took care of all the housework. Back then, of course, she had plenty of assistance, whether from a wisecracking maid or through witchcraft, depending whether your understanding of traditional American life comes from watching reruns of "The Brady Bunch" or "Bewitched."


Thankfully, in my home, we share all household chores equally. Take, for example, vacuuming. While my wife is responsible for getting out and putting away the vacuum cleaner, moving the furniture and performing the actual vacuuming, my job is to lift my legs as she comes by, while also increasing the volume on the TV so that I don't have to miss the football announcer breaking down the subtleties of the West Coast Offense.


Ha ha, I'm just kidding, of course. I would never suggest that what little housework I do is anywhere comparable to my wife's Herculean efforts to maintain our household, not with so many sharp knives lying around, anyway.


Some men claim ignorance as a defense of their perceived inattentiveness to household duties, often with some justification. I am thinking here specifically of my friend Gary, whom I shared a group house with during college. One night, our housemate Peggy, irritated that Gary rarely lifted a finger unless a remote control was involved, after dinner one night marched him into the kitchen after dinner and said, "You do the dishes." Gary stared dumbly for a moment at the sink overflowing with plates, silverware and pots, before saying, with complete sincerity, "Um, could you show me how?"


Laugh at Gary's cluelessness all you want — Lord knows I do — but the fact remains that many men avoid housework simply because they're afraid of the harm they might do. Truthfully, what husband hasn't caught hell for making a simple mistake like putting one of the "good" knives in the dishwasher, running a cashmere sweater through the dryer or, unable to locate any steel wool, improvising by scrubbing the pots and pans with a toilet brush?


Then again, if my wife is to be believed, the problem may just be genetic. The other day she shared with me one key difference she's observed between the way men and women respond when there's a cleaning task to be done. She explained, for example, that at a dinner party when one woman begins clearing dishes from the table, the other women present will almost always jump up to help. Men, by contrast, she says, often do not even notice that their plates have been removed, and as a result will frequently start jabbing their forks into the tablecloth.


"That's why it always amazes me that you can sit at the kitchen table reading the paper while I'm mopping or folding laundry," she added. "I could never imagine just relaxing like that while someone else is doing work right in front of me."


I offered to give her some pointers, and maybe even take her on a field trip to see how the experts working on road repair crews do it, but she said no, muttering something about me missing the point.


But I think she's the one missing the point. The women's magazines always offer suggestions on how to get men to do their share around the house — essentially to cajole us into acting more like women. But wouldn't a better (and more realistic) solution be for women to start acting like men? Sure, overall household cleanliness might suffer, but without the housework issue dividing us, husbands and wives will finally have the time to sit down together and really work on that lack of communication.


To begin I suggest discussing a pressing topic that all husbands will agree requires greater attention: the West Coast Offense.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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