Sunday, July 19, 2020

Who's Doing the Dishes?

Here are your options. Either the woman-- I assume that it is a woman-- who wrote to Miss Manners is functionally illiterate or else the Washington Post has edited her letter in order to introduce mind-numbing obscurity. I will exclude the possibility that Miss Manners herself edited the missive into syntactical oblivion, because, some things are just too painful to think.

Anyway, the woman uses the correct woke pronoun, they, to refer to their partner. This means that we know nothing about the nature of their relationship. We do not know if they are married, straight, gay or some mix. So, these two people do not have a defined relationship. They do not have defined gender roles. And they are about to bust up their relationship because partner #2 is not doing its fair share of the dishes. 

We were not born yesterday so we suspect that partner #2 is a male and that partner #1 is a female. Apparently, partner #2 does not do enough housework-- perhaps, because it is stoned on weed too much of the time.

We would be more sympathetic if partner #2 was busy at work, but alas these seem to be woke millennials, and what did you expect? One does not know whether partner #1 has or does not have a job. 

Now, partner #1, the one that is putatively female, has chosen to wash only half the dishes. Thereby it is making a deep feminist point about injustice. Partner #2 does not notice and does not care. Apparently, this has been going on for more than five years. 

So, partner #1 has several choices. It can shut up and do the dishes. It can shut down the relationship, whatever its nature. It must have some redeeming social value, being as it has endured for more than five years. Or it can take a special online course in correct grammar and learn how to fucking think, for a change.

Here is the letter:

I've been with my partner for more than five years, and it's really starting to get to me how little effort they put into keeping our home clean.

They've always been a bit on the lazier side, but I feel like it's gotten worse over time. (I don't want to immediately point to their increased cannabis consumption as the cause, but the thought has crossed my mind.) I'm doing my best to keep our home clean, while the amount of effort they put in is next to none. At most, they will occasionally tidy up the living room. The rest of the chores have become solely my responsibility.

It's gotten to the point, and I know this is petty, that I wash only my own dishes, just to see if they take the hint or even notice. It's been five days now: All of my dishes have been cleaned after I used them, while theirs are still in or around the sink. I honestly don't know if they think I enjoy cleaning all the time (I don't), or if they're just enjoying knowing they don't have to clean because I'll do it.

I know I need to speak up, but I just don't know how. In the past when I've made comments about cleaning, they get upset, tell me that they do their fair share (it's never been a fair share, but it used to be more), or that they're trying to get better. I know bringing it up will start an argument, and I hate having to deal with them when they're in that mood. Knowing this, and knowing a conversation has to happen, how do I tell my partner to start helping out?

Miss Manners, bless her conciliatory heart, recommends that partner #1 express its views to partner #2. Or else that it jettisons the relationship. Of course, this unhappy couple could try a more conventional approach. Partner #1 might choose to do the dishes and to request that partner #2 contribute more to the household budget. But, we do not know whether either of these partners is working and making a living. We would simply like to point out that when people fail to use correct grammar and fail to define their relationship roles, they end up wasting precious time grating on each other’s nerves. It is riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, as the old saying goes.

My only final question is to wonder, out loud, whether all this woke grammar has negatively impacted the little gray cells of either partner. From the evidence of this letter and the dilemma it poses, the answer seems to be yes.


Giordano Bruno said...

It is a lazy, dope smoking stoner. Just sit down, open up some chips, and learn to play video games with them.

urbane legend said...

You appear to be something of an adult. Your partner is not, probably wasn't headed that way prior to the drug use. How could you not notice that early in your relationship? What other qualities does it have that make it worth staying when it has that deFicit?

This won't change. You have wasted five years. Don't waste any more. If it is your house throw it out. If not do whatever is necessary to change this for your needs. Take a break. Then look for another adult partner. Tough, hard to do? Yes; do it.

Identify your next partner as male or female. Be real about that. It is acceptable today.

Sam L. said...

My wife and I have a deal: She cooks, I do dishes. I cook, she does dishes.

370H55V said...

"how to ducking think"

avoid split infinitives

Stuart Schneiderman said...

except when used for special rhetorical effect...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

This situation isn’t about the dishes.

Exnihilo1968 said...

My partner and I leave all of our dishwashing to our dishwasher. It washes dishes by design.