Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Washing Dirty Linen In Public

It all started with a piece of incisive journalism regarding Spanish gender roles… oh, all right then, an article called Ole, Los Hombres Are Washing the Dishes” in Marie Claire. It was peppered by delightful quotes like Manuel, 34, explaining his housework expertise:

“I know how to put the clothes in the washing machine, but I don’t know how to make it go.” Oh bless!

La Señorita and I was scoffing at clueless Manuel, until I remembered several occasions in the past, when clothes have emerged from my own machine oddly reduced in size. I recall Doc holding up a miniscule sock and asking me suspiciously if we were expecting a happy event.

Somehow – don’t ask me to go into particulars – this later evolved into a discussion between Doc and myself regarding who does the most housework around our own place.

“Have you ever cleaned the doors?” I asked triumphantly.
“No, but they are manky, so neither have you”, Doc said. “Besides, you never put the washing machine on. You’re worse than Manuel; you don’t even put the clothes in there. And yet you have clean clothes. How? Because I wash them for you.”
“Only because you are washing your own clothes,” I huffed. “I have to wash clothes much more seldom than you. I have more of them and they are smaller.”
“That’s a mathematically rubbish argument,” Doc said. “I’ll give you the bulk argument, but the amount of clothes doesn’t matter.”
“But if I have five pairs of knickers I need to wash only once every five days to have clean knickers,” I said scientifically.
Doc wasn’t impressed. “With the time element, each individual pair…”

I’m not sure what followed, because at this point that I glazed over. All I know is that his argument involved a lot of moving about of our pint glasses, but that’s standard procedure among males, as I have observed in the past… as is not listening to your interlocutor, among humans in general. Being a battle-hardened debater, I naturally wasn’t going to respond to his point, only repeat my own, but in a higher voice.

The discussion ended with me sulking: “If I say you are right, will you shut up then?”
”Sure will,” Doc beamed. “That’s all you had to say, baby!”

Let’s get one thing clear though – of course I’m not the sort of generous-minded person who lets someone else have the last word for the sake of diplomacy. It was just because the bartender was sniggering at us and I wanted him to believe that I, in contrast to Doc, was normal and didn’t actually get my knickers in a twist (ha!) over the mathematical implications of washing.

We took the argument outside.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger Irene Done said...

Can't we ultimately, somehow blame this argument on 24-hour drinking?

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Nothing But Bonfires said...

I love that you cite Manuel in your arguments.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Lucky said...

Well, it seems to me, that if you have more clothes (5 knickers) then you would have to wash less frequently (every 5 days--every 15 days in college) but when you do wash, then you'd be washing a greater quantity of knickers.

So I'd be careful if I were you, 'cause it sounds like doc keeps you in clean knickers and you shouldn't go scuffing that up.

You're in a very dangerous situation that I was in with an ex a few years back, only it was I that didn';t do any of the laundry. We had the classic arguement about housework, which I won handily using a strategy of repeating my initial arguement at a higher volume and pitch, and then scoffing patronizingly at whatever it was that she had said that I hadn't bothered listening to.

After that, Ex continued to do the laundry but my favorite clothes entered a state of fluxuating color and size that left me looking like a mental patient after a severe growth spurt. And then I knew that the good times of self cleaning laundry was over.

So according to my final in-depth tactical analysis, next time the laundry comes up, I'd change the subject to the dishes, which is clearly a more disgusting chore. You do some of the dishes, dont' you?

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Swedish Girl said...

Well, we do have a dishwasher...

...but it IS me doing the hovering!

Believe or not, but the washing machine argument resurfaced last night... now involving pencils and diagrams...

Doc wants me to point out that his number-doesn't-matter argument is built on the hypothesis that the washing machine is always filled and that we only have ONE washing machine...

Actually, I did come around to his thinking in the end. Hopefully I won't see my favourite t-shirt emerge looking like it would fit a Barbie-doll.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard said...

You gave me a great idea for a female-oriented porno movie--a really buffed guy with no shirt on, in black leather pants and a bowtie (the standard Chippendale's uniform) does the laundry, folds the female's knickers, and then cleans the toilet.

The End.

Some women would rent that movie multiple times!


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