Sunday, June 30, 2019

Who Should Feed the Dog?

Just in case you believe that I am picking on Carolyn Hax, here she offers a cogent response to a letter ... as opposed to the less than good response she offered to the letter writer quoted in the previous post. See previous post.

Here we have yet another young woman who is persuaded that men and women are the same thing. Somehow or other she has come to believe that a woman need but tell a man what to do, and that he ought naturally to do so. 

So, she gives him instructions. He says that he has heard what she said. He does not do what she asked him to do. She keeps insisting. He keeps ignoring her commands. 

Evidently, she does not understand that if a tactic is not working it should be discarded.

Here is the letter:

I love my boyfriend with all my heart; he's smart, funny and takes great care of me. Like any couple we have our pet peeves, but his not listening to me strains our relationship more than anything.

For example, this morning I told him he needed to feed the dog because I had to leave early. On my way out, I again told him he would need to feed the dog, and he replied that he understood. Four hours later, he asked me if I fed the dog this morning.

It would be one thing if it were every once in a while, but, Carolyn, it's every day. He acknowledges he has problems remembering things, but I feel like he's making it my problem, not his.

My mother used to leave little to-do lists around the house, and I really resented it — like it was her indirectly saying I'm too stupid to remember things. I don't want my boyfriend resenting me for the same thing. I already feel like the nagging girlfriend, and I hate it.

Am I asking too much personal responsibility from my perfectly capable adult boyfriend?

Of course, she is not asking for him to take personal responsibility. In principle, feeding the dog is her responsibility. She gets up too late, fails to fulfill her responsibility, and falls back on telling him to do so. We do not know whether he works. It appears that she is the one who is going to work… which is a problem in its own right. Perhaps she is expressing her dismay over his indolence by making an issue of dog feeding.

Note, this apparently happens every day. That means, she fails to feed the dog on a daily basis. Which makes her derelict. She does not think that maybe she should try to figure out how to get ready on time for work. And besides, how much time does it really take to feed a dog?

I recommend that they hire a dog walker and pay the dog walker to feed the dog before walking it. See, it wasn't that difficult.

I will quote Hax, though her first paragraph makes no sense:

No, of course it is not too much to ask of a perfectly capable adult that he be personally responsible for the dog. It is, however, too much to ask that his responsible behavior look exactly like your responsible behavior.

The second paragraph is better… where she calls out the letter write for her obstinacy:

Just as it was a bit obstinate of your mom to stick to her way (written instructions) when another way (verbal) suited you better, it’s a bit obstinate of you to stick to your way (verbal instructions) when another way (written) might suit your boyfriend better.

Finally, Hax concludes with a message that all women, especially all liberated women, should take to heart. Men are not the same as women. Men do not respond well to receiving commands from women. You might think this is bad. You might think that this is ideologically deviant. No one likes it. Still, it’s reality.

This is also bigger than the dog and written vs. verbal instructions. You’re living with your boyfriend, not a copy of yourself. Any time you can base your expectations of him on who he really is — and when who he really is doesn’t drive you out of your mind — you’ll advance the cause of your relationship immeasurably. Though the dog will be grateful as well.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Hey, lady! Is it YOUR dog, or your boyfriends? It's yours?? Then YOU are responsible for the dog. And feeding it;. Bummer if I seem a bit harsh, but it's not MY dog, it's yours.