Sunday 18 August 2019

Domestic etiquette for all men should be taught in school - wife

Domestic etiquette? Most men need ICA Boot Camp, I'm told.
Domestic etiquette? Most men need ICA Boot Camp, I'm told.

By david looby

I once lived in a house in Wexford with eight people, all from different countries.

Included in this colourful cast was a man who put a frozen pizza wrapped in plastic in the microwave, which quickly became engulfed in flames. This was an educated man. A man who wore an air of respectability about him, but like most men, he was still in playschool in terms of his domestic abilities.

An episode in the Looby kitchen last weekend reminded me of this man. There I was busting a gut to clean up the kitchen having been away for a few days. I have learnt that the balance needs to be re-established after one of us is away and to do my part of this difficult equation I started cleaning up and loading the dishwasher.

The Good Woman noticed something was awry and declared that I need to go to ICA Boot Camp. Another situation arose on Monday morning when, confronted with two damp socks, I was faced with a hi tech tumble dryer.

Now the elite modern man is well trained in the art of the washing machine and the tumble dryer, but, to my shame, I have forgotten how to work either.

In my single days I was able to get by and managed to wash my clothes and even iron them. Naturally there were some items of clothing lost along the way, but, all in all, I managed OK. Through years of being too well looked after by The Good Woman and my good mother before her, I have been rendered quite useless on the domestic front. I blame technology.

Dishwasher manufacturers are currently, as I type, coming up with advice manuals to take the heat out of kitchen based marital pow wows. There are numerous rules involved in using dishwashers which are alien to us men, some of whom fall into the neanderthal category when it comes to 'doing stuff' around the house.

Loading the dishwasher requires patience and a Masters in Spatial Awareness. Being bereft of both, I tend to just load it up, slam the door, push the button and pat myself on the back for my brilliance.

Oh yes, I'm a great asset to have around the house!

'You're an ass', would be the opinion of my familiar.

A recent study by Betta Living, the UK home improvement retailers, found that 31 per cent of women cited 'dishwasher etiquette' as the biggest cause of marital argument. A Bosch survey found that 40 per cent of Americans fight over loading dishwashers and 61 per cent fought over whether or not to pre-rinse dishes.

Us men have been thrown into the modern world without any armoury, defence, without any clue. Many of us, (not me, though), have our clothes bought for us, have someone iron our clothes, hang them up, cook our dinners, wash our clothes and clean our homes. We are the ones who lose every argument and yet we still make a muck of things next time around. We're not doing this on purpose, honest.

Wexford People