I read an article in my Reader’s Digest about a man who chose to do an experiment with his wife. For one month he decided he would be a “good husband” and do everything that his wife expected of him.
His friends called him a “wuss” and told him that he was allowing himself to be henpecked, but his wife said it was the best month of her life.
I give the man credit for trying this experiment. He said all the right things: “I didn’t realize how much my wife has to do.” He did everything she asked of him, including foot massages. The only thing he could have improved upon is doing these things without being told what to do.
A man might ask how he could possibly know if she didn’t tell him. Well, let me ask a question of my own: After a man has lived with a woman for so many years, why doesn’t he know how much she does? Even if he had a job that took him away from home every waking hour of the day; even if he didn’t actually see her cleaning out toilets and scraping banana stickers off the fruit bowl, doesn’t he see the result of her labors?
Does he actually think the house stays reasonably clean and cobweb-free all by itself? Does he think we have magic wands that we wield at the site of coffee grounds that somehow missed the trash can?
The truth is that most women have jobs outside the home as well. So, it follows that in many households, the husband and the wife are home the same number of hours. So… why doesn’t he see the things that she does? Why does he need to be told what to do?
The man in the article did write that his wife said it was the best month of her life. Or maybe he just thought it should have been so that’s what he had written. The man clearly has to be given credit for actually doing what she asked, but to my mind, having to tell my husband what to do 50 million times a day would be torture for me – like having another kid – and that’s why women do it themselves. They like to believe that their husbands are not just another kid. Then we fume about having to clean fingerprints off the sliding glass door while he surfs U-Tube videos.
A woman cannot simply ask a man a question, because she can never get a simple answer. I could ask my husband the simplest question: “What time is it?” and invariably the answer I get is “Time all dawgs’r dead. Ain’t ya glad yer jest a pup?” Which is something he picked up from a hillbilly he knew 25 years ago and, incidentally, has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to my question. Then he looks at me and grins as if I should find that hilarious.
“Um, I have an idea: Why don’t you look at your watch and tell me where the big hand and the little hand are.” If I ask “Can you please mow the lawn today?” the answer is “I don’t know, can I?” Which is clearly a reference to a grammatical correction made by his second-grade teacher yet, again, has no relevance whatsoever to the question. Apparently, it is against some masculine rule to actually answer a question put to him by his wife. The man in the experiment said he had to bite back several comments like these, so this rule must be universal and, now, he may very well be found in contempt of some unseen court.
Still the man in the article needs his pat on the back for going into unchartered waters – even if those waters should have been well-traveled by now. However, I want to point out here that if the experiment was reversed so that the woman was to do what the man asked… 90% of her time would be spent in a bed. It also should be said that Experiment Man’s wife was happy and that happy wives spend more time in bed as well. Because the man didn’t want to be seen as an opportunist - trying to determine whether his experiment would net him nookie - the article didn’t really spell out that particular result, but… it was implied.
So yes, the man in the article gets brownie points from women everywhere for doing what his wife asked of him for a whole month, but guys, we never wanted a male maid, we wanted a partner.