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Dude Power

January 31, 2011

I hadn’t planned on putting out a book, doing a blog tour, and getting the flu, all in the course of about a month.

My family has pretty much forgotten what I look like.

They’ve also apparently forgotten what chores are, how to shop for groceries, and what dinner is.

Before I let myself drown in guilt (hey I’m Jewish—we know of guilt), I realized wait—it’s okay. I have a husband! A good man, a sweet man, capable of figuring out that children need to be fed, clothes need to be laundered, and the house….well, okay that definitely could use some help.

What do I mean?

Come on. He’s a dude.

My guy sees a sink full of dishes and runs the other way. I truly think that if he sees a clean, pretty kitchen counter, it’s like a switch flicks on in his brain that gives him permission to pull out every dish, utensil, and seasoning we own to make as big a mess as possible. And then pile on even more shit. It’s a territorial thing.

I think the messmaking is part of a man’s Dude Whatnot of Power. It should be written into our vows. Along with the bride saying goodbye to her TV remote and a clean-smelling bathroom. But I digress.

Once JP figured out that not only was I not up to making dinner (um, like…iffy on a good day) but that any chance of me making school lunches, doing laundry, making beds, or well, anything else at all, was zero given that I was an achy, moaning mess, the man totally stepped up.

Always one to put laundry into the washing machine, where it will stay, forever (Mancode, page 55), he actually put it into the dryer! I had to remind him to take it out (and let’s not discuss the tragic lint screen conversation) but it’s alright. I couldn’t be prouder. We’ll tackle folding and putting away when he’s a little older. #babysteps

And the grocery store. (I’m getting verklempt.) He went without a list. This, my friends, is monumental. He remembered my coffee, didn’t call me once, and though he brought home food from China I’ve never seen before, it’s okay. As long as he cooks it, I don’t care. It’s food. (I did check it for lead content and MSG though. We’re good.) It’s important for a man to have his freedom.

I still ended up cleaning the kitchen. I think it was just too overwhelming for him. All those family meals, piling up. His brain went into Manesia mode and he just couldn’t deal. He was a bit wild-eyed at the sheer prospect of having to deal with the dishwasher (what goes where? How much soap?). When a man reaches hombrenosbrainos, you know you need to pitch in at least a little bit.

He’s much better now. I’m sure the martini helped. #breathebabebreathe

So my book (A Walk In The Snark) is now out, the blog tour is over, and I seem to be nearing the end of this awful illness. Lessons learned? When mom gets sick, the whole house kinda freaks, but then they realize life goes on, albeit a bit differently, under Dude Power.

When the dude gets sick, well that’s a whole other story. Let’s just say, The Fortress of Solitude plays a big part. With Kleenex.

My Twitter girlfriends have been begging me to write a post about how men handle being sick. I think it’s a hot button…so of course I’m going to write about it. Do you have an opinion? Write it in the comments below.

Stay tuned….

You should follow me here, on Twitter, on Facebook, and by all means, download my new ebook A Walk In The Snark: The Best of RachelintheOC at Amazon onto your Kindle or any other digital format for only $2.99.

Tell all your friends. I don’t ask for much.

I’m watching.

  1. Glad you're back to whatever is normal for you. Men! Sick! Is there anything sicker? I swear, my husband rarely gets sick (thank God) but when he does you would think the world was ending. What is it with them anyway?

  2. Oh you must do one on male ills, some men have a hard time with a hang nail. Loved your post. I do most of the work around the house, except folding laundry because my wife won't let me, it's that OCD thing coming out. Glad you are feeling better.

  3. Rachel,
    I am the complete opposite of your image of “Men” My wife is a full time college student. I work full time and maintain a daily blog. I still do most of the house work. She maintains the cooking and kids lunches. Days she can't do those things, I do them. Sadly, I believe that I'm the exception to your rule. Relationships are a partnership, you both typically have responsibleness and jobs/work. It's only fair that both are involved and get the mission done. I really enjoy your posts, you have a great writing style and sense of humor. Thanks for the thoughts and the time to post them.


  4. Glad to hear you guys are doing the housework — proud of you.

    I don't mean to portray men as lazy bumpkins…my guy cooks most of our meals since my only skill is microwaving or calling in takeout. I give him total props for that.

    He's definitely not happy about all the extra chores right now…Husbandas Grumpitis had set in. Perhaps he needs some antibiotics too…

  5. Props to the hubs! Going to the grocery store unprompted *and* without a list? That's HUGE. Exclamation point huge (as evidenced above by my use of one). I'm not surprised that you cleaned the kitchen; sometimes we can't help ourselves. The real question, though, is: exactly how frustrating would it be if he was the one down for the count? We all know men are the biggest whiners and complainers when they are the least bit under the weather. There is no way he would bother to pick up his own kleenexes if he was sick (at least most men wouldn't), let alone clean the kitchen!

  6. Rachel, it would be easy to get offended at this post, but, sadly, it is kind of Dude Power. And I would like to say I'm pretty similar to Greg above – (Voices of Leadership). My wife is a returning college student, and we've had to make a lot of sacrifices to make it work. Sometimes it isn't easy, and I don't do things the way she does most of the time.

    I do like to say I've learned to pick up a mop, a vacuum cleaner, and a dish cloth. We can be trained.

  7. Love Dude Whatnot of Power! Feel better!

  8. Streetlights94 permalink

    My dearest Rachel, I adore you and am glad you returning to the land of the living. When my husband is sick, the whole world is sick with him. He is a pitiable creature. When I am sick, he gets sympathy sickness. I'm not even kidding. I have to say, though, with me being on off/on bed rest, he has been better. I think because he can't be pregnant too. My child has eaten questionable things and the world rejoices when I'm able to cook for shots at a time.

    My floors haven't been mopped in weeks and I am much afraid.

    These younger men might be exceptions because they could be the younger generation. Thee might have been something in the water. We should do research. I'll talk to the university.

  9. Oh yes, men and illness. If it's a hangnail they're sure they've got gangrene. A cold? Must be tuberculosis. It's as if all that manly man macho stuff is suddenly out the window. I blame their mothers frankly.

    YOu have been burning the bloggy/author candle at both ends, no wonder you're sick. Rest up, and live to snark another day.

  10. thanks for the words of support about my illness. feeling better (finally). Thank you antibiotics.

    not sure why so many guys think this post is offensive, really. I'm praising my guy for totally stepping up. one fella today told me I scare you guys because I know how you think.

    sometimes I worry about what men think of my blog.

    then I wake up.

  11. Only problem with men unloading the dishwasher is that they really don't know where some of the items go/belong and then women get testy because they can't find the item in the cupboard.

    As far as loading the dishwasher…well, that's a highly OCD activity:)

  12. Brianne2679 permalink

    I was just introduced to your blog by Miss Ash of PeriouslyPrecocious. And this was the first post I read….Love it!! I laughed, I cried…na, just laughed. I'm new to the world of blogging and Twitter, still confused…Anyway, the world does end when men get sick. I love my hubby, but geepers! He reverts to 5 year old boy mode. And heaven forbid I get sick! I loved your take on the kitchen counter. I will clean it up spotless, and without fail, come 8pm when hubby gets home–BOOM!! A kitchen bomb goes off..I don't get it..

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