My list…Your list…”Our list”

As long as I’m on the topic of things that men and women are likely to never see eye to eye on, I’d like to discuss “to do” lists for a moment. We men have our “to do” lists, most commonly stored in our heads, of the things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and these lists are generally prioritized according to our own particular interpretation of that which is most pressing, or that which we simply wish to procrastinate a bit in accomplishing. Sometimes when faced with the choice on a beautiful summer evening of mucking out horse stalls or heading down to the docks to put a fresh coat of varnish on the boat woodwork, I will choose the more pleasurable of the two. Fully aware that at some point in the very near future the other less rewarding task will need to be done as well. The point being that as the list is mine, I  am free to arrange the order in which the tasks are accomplished in any way I see fit as long as everything gets done in a timely manner.

Women also organize their own “to do” lists in this fashion I assume. Problems arise however when the items on her list somehow migrate onto my list in the form of “our list” which is always presented in written form and taped to the refrigerator door. “Our list” is consistently broken down into three sections. The items that I had chosen to tackle as high priorities on my list have been moved to the bottom of the list or eliminated entirely from our list. The tasks that I had determined to have the least priority on my list are now of mid-level importance on our list. Magically, and here is where my beef lies, the items that she had determined to be of such odious nature that they had been delegated to the furthest reaches of the bottom of her list, are now hi-lighted in bold ink at the top of “our” list which make no mistake is now to be considered my list.  I believe I can speak for nearly all men when I state that I have never, ever, vaguely even considered constructing a “to do” list for anyone unless they were under the age of ten or in my employ and walking a fine line on whether on not they were soon to be formerly in my employ. If any of you women out there can say the same thing, I am ready willing and able to print this post, combine it between two pieces of seven grain with some fine crow meat and eat it enthusiastically in its entirety. In my experience, I am willing to bet I will go hungry.

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18 responses to “My list…Your list…”Our list”

  1. Just a glutton for punishment, aren’t you?

  2. What can I say. I’m in a mood.

  3. I think I’m probably more informed about this than most men. Not because I’ve “consorted” with more females, but my relationships tend to zip past the casual “booty call” stage, into the start-to-build-a-life-together stage, hunker there for a few years, and then, whatever…

    I have a theory about this. I think women are wired to seek out the most savage, un-tame-able wild beast, and then get that wild beast tamed. All the feminist codswallop notwithstanding, when a lady eliminates some suitors and settles on others she seems to be choosing 1) identity and 2) power. The first of those has to do with determining an outcome by means of being who you are, which is why they keep asking us “eggshell or off-white?” “black dress or red dress?” They’re looking for a non-generic male, someone with definite tastes, opinions, leanings. Identity and power both have to do with selecting breeding stock.

    And then once she’s chosen him, she starts treating him like a little kid. They seem to be on a mission to latch on to James Dean, and transform him into…Forrest Gump.

    There’s a great sequence of scenes in “How To Murder Your Wife,” with Jack Lemmon, where a married man starts gaining all kinds of weight, losing complete control over his formerly spacious bathroom, and the secret-agent spy character he used to draw in his job as a freelance comic strip artist becomes “America’s favorite henpecked boob.” I think this captures it. Wonderful, wonderful flick. There will not be a remake of it anytime soon.

  4. If I have to start writing a list out for the man, he gets to sighing and rolling the eyes around. I just keep it simple. Last week, when the dryer kept stopping for the bazillionth time, I figured out why and asked him to tighten the hinges, and behold, he says, “I can do that” and it was done.
    That’s how happy works around here.

  5. I think that you are spot on there Morgan.

    Until recently, we had hired hand that lived on the property for a few years to help out with some of the chores involving the animals, fencing, whatever needed doing that we didn’t have time for. He had a bit of a scetchy background with some minor drug and alcohol issues but we grew to trust him to the point that he was nearly like a member of the family. Once he crossed this threshold from hired help to friend however, the wife decided that she was going to “help” this 51 year old grown man become a better person. Try as she might to get him to clean up his act a little over a period of four years, he just wasn’t that into becoming this better person. In fact he seemed to enjoy living in a trailer, being paid cash for work performed and blowing it on booze, and flying beneath the radar. While he was watching the place this past winter while we were in California, he had a little unauthorized new years party in which some of his friends “disappeared” a few of our things around the house. Not big things, but our things nonetheless. I was prepared to let this slide after four years of nothing like this happening previously, letting him know that if it happened again I wouldn’t be quite as forgiving, but the wife was abruptly done with him and ran him off.

    She will swear on a stack of bibles that she washed her hands of him solely due to his screw up on new years eve, but we men know better. If a woman takes you on as a project and she does not see sufficient progress over a given amount of time that only she is privy to, you’re as done as a dinosaur.

    As for you dear Daphne, when you’re done wasting your time with that guy you’re hitched to, let me know and maybe you can make me a sandwich for breakfast sometime.

  6. On your comment to Morgan Daphne, if we men were as selective as you think we should be in waiting around for the rare woman like yourself, most of us would wind up as celibate as the Pope. You know as well as I do that once we bed a woman and the little head takes over our reasoning faculties, any rational decisions regarding how things are likely to work out in the long run become unlikely.

  7. Yeah, pretty much. I don’t write clearly when I’m dealing with distractions while I write, and I rarely write with brevity. In the past several years however, I have noticed when people complain about my writing being unclear or hard to figure out, much of the time I find what they’re really trying to say is “I understand it perfectly and that’s the problem. I disagree.” This seems to be one of those times.

    That having been said, I do agree with you completely that men need to be more selective. I started following that advice seven years ago, last time I was available, and it’s worked out very well. Perfectly, in fact.

    Men are people, and people tend to not put enough energy into trying to think outside the box. We somehow seem to have been programmed to understand that a certain class of woman should be able to get hold of all the dick she wants…when, intellectually, with a little diligent thought applied to this situation, every rational being should be able to understand this class of woman isn’t “all that” and would be more appropriately stranded on a deserted island. You know what I’m talking about. Some demanding little whore-shrew who looks and dresses like Paris Hilton, proud owner of an annoying little rodent-dog she carries around in a purse.

    Women, don’t try to be like this woman. If you already loathe her, keep loathing her. Men, you see her coming, head for the hills. Quickly. If you scream while you’re doing it, no disgrace…quite a fitting reaction, really.

  8. If I keep reading posts like this I will start to believe that I’m married 20 years to the best man on the face of the earth. But here’s the thing ladies, when you have a guy who vacuums, does the laundry, dusts and every other household chore but cook (which I LOVE to do), it also comes with just a tiny bit of aggravation because YOU never wipe down the countertop “correctly”. Not that he complains, but you finish completely cleaning up the kitchen after supper and he cannot resist going in after you have reclined in your chair, so go in after you and “clean it right”. I learned early on to just ignore it and enjoy watching TV while he found my cleaning technique up to his standards.

    As to you men who put up with intolerable bitches that complain about every stupid thing, I would lay $1,000 down that you do that because she’s some prissy ass gorgeous broad.

    My husband’s ex used to be gorgeous. She only worked sometimes in the summer, she didn’t clean the house, she didn’t cook alot (like I do) and they had a miserable marriage for 18 years. But she sure looked good on his arm. We met just a few months after their divorce and I can at best be described as “attractive in a plain way”. But I had a good job, was responsible, NEVER liked girly drama and I didn’t NEED a man to support me. We were together because we wanted to be.

    Can’t really say I’ve meet any woman that knew how attractive she was that didn’t use it to make nearly everyone else miserable because she could. I’ll take my plain look and share our marital responsbilities together any day that causing drama to everyone I know.

    Once you guys wise up to not let good looking women walk all over you, you’ll be sooooo much happier.

    And I NEVER give my husband a list, mainly because his list is longer than I can imagine and my only complaint is that he won’t sit down and just relax.

  9. “I’ll take my plain look and share…..any day *OVER NOT* causing drama….” Left out an important word there.

  10. Sounds like you married well Rita. Your husband too! 🙂

  11. Your husband sounds much like mine, Rita. I am one lucky woman, too.

  12. Good lord. I’ve never wanted to “improve” anyone (maybe that’s why my father’s profession of teacher never appealed to me, even though I liked to read and “looked the part,” as they say), much less write a bossy “to do” list and put it up on the fridge as if that meant something. I mean what.

    Then again, I’ve never been married. Never wanted to. Maybe that’s a good thing — I might have turned into one of these women. What a horrible thought.

  13. Yeah… no lists and never been interested in improving anyone. I have a hard enough time improving myself. I sure as hell don’t want to be in charge of someone else as well – I didn’t marry a project, I married a man. I have lists for myself, but that’s because I’m a Bear of Little Brain and I’ll never get anything done if I don’t because I’ll never remember it needs to be done.

  14. I’ve NEVER made a list for my man. It would never occur to me. Seriously.

    The only list WE make is a shopping list, because if I take him along we merely spend twice as much. And if he verbally downloads his desires to me, I will forget them when distracted by the latest offerings in the gourmet section. So we write it down to save money and aggravation.

    When we used to go on vacation we’d make a list of things to do, or when we move. We both instinctively see it as a useful tool for a successful, non-dramatic outcome, but not a hammer for one’s preferences.

    Passive-aggressive lists. There’s a website for that!

  15. Douglas Fresco

    a well written and interesting blog

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