The Fringe Benefits of Housework

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

I rarely use my coffee table to display coffee-table books anymore. I don't have the room in the budget for huge, overpriced tomes full of glossy pictures. And I don't really have room on the table, either, what with the half-completed artwork and medical journal articles and laptops and whatnot. But I am tempted this summer to clean off the table and plop down a wonderfully scandalous book: Porn for Women.

If you click the link, you'll see that Porn for Women is actually something of a joke, a hardback that contains nothing but photographs of fully clothed, aproned men performing housework.

At least, I think the whole thing is something of a joke. While I don't think the sound of the vacuum sends my wife's heart aflutter, I have collected enough information on the link between housework and sex to conclude that the best way to spend more time snuggling under the sheets is to spend more time doing the laundry.

Marriage expert John Gottman, whose work at the University of Washington earned his facility the nickname "The Love Lab," found that women were more often amorous in marriages where men do more of the domestic labor. The same appears to apply on the population level, too: Countries with the greatest gender equity appear to have the highest levels of sexual satisfaction.

The social-science theory underlying all of this isn't exactly rocket science: Doing your fair share around the house is as much a sign of love and caring as a bunch of roses. (I assume that there has to be some sense of shared and ongoing responsibity, too. Folding laundry one time for the sole purpose of getting laid is probably a deeply flawed strategy.) And -- let's face facts -- a marriage where the floor-mopping, pan-scrubbing and kid-chasing is spread evenly is probably more likely to be a marriage where both spouses have the energy at the end of the day to, ahem, engage in a little nookie.

There are a number of excellent reasons why family tasks should be divided in a relatively equitable way, and "better sex" may not be at the top of the list, but -- hey -- it's a nice fringe benefit, don't you think?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  August 16, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Dads , Division of Labor
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Comments

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"Folding laundry one time for the sole purpose of getting laid is probably a deeply flawed strategy."

It is?!? Great, there goes my Friday nights...

Posted by: Corvette1975 | August 16, 2007 7:32 AM

Interesting. The sight of a man in an apron is a BIG turnoff for me (unless it is Colin Farrell).

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 7:49 AM

What if the man is wearing the apron and nothing else?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 16, 2007 7:50 AM

Am I wrong to want to send this to a couple of my married male friends?

Posted by: capecodner424 | August 16, 2007 7:53 AM

"What if the man is wearing the apron and nothing else?"

Depends on how much he has been blessed.

In any event, a man in an apron and nothing else should stay away from the stove.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 7:57 AM

Hmm, I need to print this article out and give it to my wife. Folding laundry, running the vacuum, cooking dinner and cleaning up afterwards, cleaning out the catbox and dealing with the mail are all my jobs around the house. ISTM I need a little more "appreciation" from my wife!

Posted by: johnl | August 16, 2007 8:00 AM

This is SO true. The whole stereotype about guys is that they don't say "I love you," they show it through their actions, like washing your car. Which I do appreciate. But a lot of time, those actions are in "guy" world -- it's caring, it's thoughtful, he's trying to take care of stuff so I don't have to, but the stuff he's taking care of is the stuff that HE thinks is important to be taken care of, not me. Personally, car-washing is on my "when I really really really need to make it rain" list -- but the dishes have to be done if we want plates to eat on tomorrow.

That's why doing something like laundry or dishes is such a bonus. You're not just saying I love you, you're saying I love you enough to figure out what YOU'D like done and take care of it for you.

Of course, with us, it's not laundry and dishes (we do our own laundry, and he does dishes because I cook). But I really appreciate it when takes care of other cleaning around the house -- he tends to do specific tasks that we have assigned, but all that other miscellaneous stuff seems to fall back on me. So when instead of complaining about the clutter on the family room floor he actually gets up and cleans it up, I really, really appreciate it. And of course, the flip side is, if he chooses to putz on the computer when I'm in there picking up the family room, I'm not going to be feeling really warm and fuzzy come bedtime.

Posted by: laura33 | August 16, 2007 8:08 AM

Anyone remember the scene in Rebel Without a Cause when Jim's dad is in an apron and drops the tray of plates he's collected from his wife's room? He's afraid he's awoken the monster. It's a 50s parody of how not to be a man. It's a great scene.

I love when my husband does chores. Duh. (Lately, the baby has been fascinated with vacuuming, so that gets done frequently. 2 birds with 1 stone.) Does it translate into more nooky? Probably, since it means I'm doing less and not getting cranky about always having to clean with no help. Do I actually want to see him in an apron? Not really.

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 8:09 AM

I don't know about you guys, but my kind of porn does not in any way whatsoever involve household chores.

Brian's points are spot on. As my friend put it "no one wants to have sex with the other child in the house," i.e., if your husband has as much responsibility as the kids (on token chore), and if you spend as much time cleaning up after him as you do the kids, you start to think of him as one of the kids. And that's not sexy.

The husband doing his share instead of leaving it to the wife makes her feel appreciated. And it's a lot easier to get in the mood if you're happy rather than resentful that you spent your night cleaning while he watched TV.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 8:17 AM

That should be "(one token chore)." After the site ate my first post, I kind of rushed through this one.

Why does that keep happening anyway?

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 8:19 AM

johnl, I'm afraid it's that way at our house too. He has always done his share when it comes to everyday chores, so it's an expectation rather than "help." But he gets major points when we does more than his share. For example, we split mowing the lawn. I do the front and he does the back. But if I'm busy with something else and he decides to do the whole lawn, I am very appreciative.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 8:24 AM

"While I don't think the sound of the vacuum sends my wife's heart aflutter"

What sets men's hearts aflutter? How does this work for same sex couples?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 8:24 AM

Meesh,

I also mow the yard, deal with any household repairs (inside & out), make sure the oil is in her car, sweep and mop the floors, feed the cats and give them their medicine, and do the grocery shopping.

What sets men's hearts aflutter? We're really simple creatures; an appreciative woman is about all we need...

Posted by: johnl | August 16, 2007 8:33 AM

What johnl said! I think Meesh got it right, too: once you do certain things (e.g., cooking, laundry, etc.) that becomes the expectation. Doing that brings no reward; you have to continually raise the bar if you want the appreciation shown.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 16, 2007 8:34 AM

I sent your blog to my husband, Brian. Let's see what happens.

My BIL sent these "poems" a few weeks ago. So, Hillary, does this answer your question about what men want?

Woman's Poem
Before I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for a man, who's not a creep,
One who's handsome, smart and strong.
One who loves to listen long,
One who thinks before he speaks,
One who'll call, not wait for weeks.
I pray he's gainfully employed,
When I spend his cash, won't be annoyed.
Pulls out my chair and opens my door,
Massages my back and begs to do more.
Oh! Send me a man who'll make love to my mind,
Knows what to answer to "how big is my behind?"
I pray that this man will love me to no end,
And always be my very best friend.

MAN'S POEM
I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge b00bs.
Who owns a liquor store and a golf course.
This doesn't rhyme and I don't give a s*&t.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 16, 2007 8:34 AM

MAN'S POEM
WorkingMomX |

I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge b00bs.
Who owns a liquor store and a golf course.
This doesn't rhyme and I don't give a s*&t.

Gotta wonder how we ever made it to the moon!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 8:38 AM

Hillary -- Well, according to the latest news, at least some astronauts might be interested in a woman who owned a liquor store. And I'm sure some of them play golf. Maybe an astronaut wrote the poem? :)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 16, 2007 8:41 AM

johnl- Any your wife does? It sounds like you got the short end of the stick. Is the division of labor equal in your house? Are you a stay at home?

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 8:42 AM

I would do more housework but I just do not know how to sew. In fact here is all I know about sewing.

Sewing
by Fred

A woman needs darts
To sucessfully cover her private parts

Posted by: Fred | August 16, 2007 8:43 AM

ArmyBrat, I'll add to that. I have no idea what I have to do to get appreciation. I could clean the entire house from top to bottom, make dinner and do the dishes, and change the oil in both cars and wash them, and all I get from hubby is a yawn. How do I raise the bar? Cure cancer?

This is all TIC, of course. I know exactly how to get appreciated, and it also doesn't in any way whatsoever involve household chores.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 8:51 AM

Meesh: Bingo! Sounds like you and my wife know the same things.

(What's in the water at WaPo.com-land? Between this and the "On parenting" topic, sounds like some bloggers have a one-track mind lately.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 16, 2007 8:55 AM

Fred, sewing is no longer a household chore...

It's an expensive hobby!

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007 9:01 AM

My husband does more housework than me. I hate to clean. I am pretty much a scatterbrain who leaves things all over the house.

I, for my part, do the rather icky things, cleaning up the vomit, poop, etc. Getting up with the sick kid in the middle of the night. I do all the shopping for food, birthdays, Chirstmas, etc. I do all the cooking too.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 9:04 AM

Yes, yes, yes! Equal (not my old ID name, but the concept) is sexy. I can only add that men doing their share of housework is even sexier if it's done simply because they are our partners rather than because they know we'd want it this way. When we stop being their managers at home, the intimacy of peers/best friends who are lovers really catches fire.

When I first met my husband, he asked me my my definition of 'sexy'. I said 'being known'. Okay, this is a little philosophical rather than specific, but the idea is that with a partnership of equals, we both know and understand each other because we walk in each others shoes. This leads to mutual appreciation, connection and...well...

Brian - great point about sharing and more energy! I so agree.

Posted by: violinline | August 16, 2007 9:07 AM

As a working mom, I expect a somewhat equal division of labor. I don't get that, but to imply that my husband is giving me "help" by doing certain tasks is insulting. He has as much responsibilty for the house and the baby as I do, and should do his share. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, and I'll say that I'm less likely to be up for a little slap 'n tickle if I've been working on cooking and dishes and bathing the baby and putting him to bed and laundry...etc. from the time I get home until I crash in bed. While he putters ouside watering the flowers or futzing with the bookshelves.

Posted by: Mazarin | August 16, 2007 9:07 AM

Just the other day I told Frieda the way to my heart. I noted that she can repair breast pumps. I said that if you can repair pumps, you can replace the a/c compressor in the Creepy Van (tm). That would make the Creepy Van (tm) cool! And warm my heart!

Posted by: Fred | August 16, 2007 9:08 AM

Eh, after rereading my last comment it looks like my husband doesn't do anything. That's not true at all, but I do shoulder a majority of the burden, and the days that it's oppressive are definitely the days I'm not in the mood.

So, that's all I was trying to say. What is that saying "Think twice, post once?" Well, I guess I had to post twice. Sorry.

Posted by: Mazarin | August 16, 2007 9:17 AM

No sale here. The sight of my husband doing household chores doesn't inspire me to jump him - it has quite the opposite effect.

Paging Colin Farrell!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 9:20 AM

atb,

My wife handles the family finances, keeps our computers upgraded (she can diagnose and fix one where to me it's all a bunch of wires and bug-looking things inside), washes the clothes and handles taking the cats to the vet. She'll also cook when she's got time (she works later than I, which is why I started cooking dinner) and is responsible for dealing with the clutter around the house (I am not authorized to throw stuff away; apparently I don't know the difference between Junk and Stuff That Must Be Kept, I just throw it all away).

The thing is, while our work assignments appears unequal to an outsider, to us it isn't. Both of us work outside the home, but my schedule is a lot more flexible and I've got the ultra-short commute time, so I've got more time at home to get things done.

Still, it would be nice to be "appreciated" more, but I think every man would say that anyway...

Posted by: johnl | August 16, 2007 9:38 AM

hillary- It's not the sight of him cleaning, it's that he cleaned. Do you find you're in a better mood if you do the lion's share of the work or if you get some help? I have a feeling you're unlikely to see Colin Farrell helping out anyone. There's no amount of pretty that would inspire me to clean up after a man.

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 9:40 AM

johnl- Gotcha. If she's working, you're working. That's the way I feel, too. I will do my husband's agreed upon chores if he's working late and I'm home. It seems like the right thing to do.

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 9:42 AM

atb

"I have a feeling you're unlikely to see Colin Farrell helping out anyone. There's no amount of pretty that would inspire me to clean up after a man."

Gentle Reader

To each his own.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 9:46 AM

Well, Hillary I am with you about Colin, I would clean up after him all day!

I actually bet he is a nice Irish mama's boy who is good to all the females in his life. Just a guess.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 9:50 AM

Sorry ATB I have a thing for the Irish!

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 9:51 AM

The caveat I'd make is that the spouse needs to do his/her part of the housework CHEERFULLY!

The attitude of "I'm doing you a favor by doing this" or "you're such a slob I'm forced to do this because I can't stand it anymore" isn't too friendly.

Posted by: RedBird27 | August 16, 2007 9:53 AM


Well, Hillary I am with you about Colin, I would clean up after him all day!

I actually bet he is a nice Irish mama's boy who is good to all the females in his life. Just a guess.

Posted by: Irishgirl74

I am also willing to overlook his immigration status.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 9:54 AM

I think the underlying turn-on is generosity - not the kind where you give each other material things - but the kind where you are generous with your emotions, your time, your energy for each other. Whether it's doing some extra housework or calling in the middle of the day to see how a big meeting went, I think it all leads to intimacy.

Posted by: Lori | August 16, 2007 10:19 AM

Maybe it just has to do with one of the partners not being too dang tired if the other partner does a reasonable share of the housework too.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 16, 2007 10:39 AM

How about this then: hire someone to clean, and spend more quality time with Colin. This I can get behind.

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 10:46 AM

Posted by: johnl | August 16, 2007 09:38 AM

This is a good point. My wife does more housework than me. she also is more interested in keeping a clean house, so I really don't feel bad at all. I am left playing MACGYVER and figuring out how to do a million different chores so it works out. Honey the fence post is leaning, the dryer vent is broken, the toilet is loose etc. I have amazed myself sometimes that I somehow figured out how to do these things.
But each house must find its equilibrium.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 10:47 AM

atb

"How about this then: hire someone to clean, and spend more quality time with Colin. This I can get behind."

Agree. Colin's paydays for "Alexander" & "Miami Vice" were 10 million dollars EACH.

Enough to ignore the flops and hire PLENTY of help!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 10:50 AM

Posted by: hillary | August 16, 2007 10:50 AM
I normally don't wade into women's sex fantasies on ON BALANCE but he seems like a dirty person grooming wise.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 10:52 AM

And if his thing is to watch you clean, that's OK, too. I'm warming up to Colin a little bit.

Posted by: atb2 | August 16, 2007 10:54 AM

pATRICK

"I normally don't wade into women's sex fantasies on ON BALANCE but he seems like a dirty person grooming wise."

That's why it is a FANTASY...

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 10:58 AM

That's why it is a FANTASY

You fantasize about men who are dirty and have grooming issues? I am running back out the door as fast as my legs can carry me now.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 11:00 AM

That's why it is a FANTASY

You fantasize about men who are dirty and have grooming issues? I am running back out the door as fast as my legs can carry me now.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 11:00 AM

Judging by the look and smell of most hookers, a lot of men are into the "natural" type.

The point of a FANTASY is that I can erase the flaws of my heart's desire.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 11:06 AM

Routine housework, split it up, each family decides how. Disaster, who does preparation work when disaster is threatening? A hurricane, it is on the way, the radio warns, «board up all windows», best done by «using bamboo shoots», the bamboo lawn furniture, who will chop it up into shoots, husband or wife? Radio says, «Lash down your ox carts», who goes out into driving rain to lash them down, husband or wife? Radio says, «Be sure to tether your elephants carefully», who goes out in rain, tethers big, strong elephants, husband or wife? Your wife, do you want her chopping up furniture, lashing down ox carts, tethering elephants in a storm? Maybe you should do those things, let her get children to shelter before hurricane hits. Different balance when disaster is coming.

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | August 16, 2007 11:17 AM

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | August 16, 2007 11:17 AM
This has to win post of the day. Simply for the elephants.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 11:21 AM

The big, strong, elephants will be better off if we don't tether them, but simply get in our car with our kids and exit the hurricane zone. When disaster is coming, our family handles it together, and doesn't worry about whether we lose an ox cart or two.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 11:40 AM

"This has to win post of the day. Simply for the elephants."

Nothing about hurricanes will ever win the FQOTD.

If you really need to ask why...

Posted by: Fred | August 16, 2007 11:47 AM

Alright. I'll bite. Why?

Posted by: Emily | August 16, 2007 11:49 AM

Emily,

Still fixing my house from Katrina.

(you have been here long enough to know that?)

Posted by: Fred | August 16, 2007 11:51 AM

"Disaster, who does preparation work when disaster is threatening?"

Abu, what does this have to do with better sex?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 11:51 AM

C'mon Fred, advice about tethering elephants is really very funny

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 11:52 AM

Oh my goodness, first we are step dancing in the yard and now we are dirty? That's it, I am moving back to the island where being dirty and stepdancing is the norm.

Just Kidding pATRICK, but he looks damn good to me.

http://www.colinfarrellfansite.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=393&pos=1

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 11:56 AM

So what do you girls here think.

Is 45 minutes of the bedroom chore (15 minutes action + half hour nap / cuddle time) worth 45 minutes help with household chores from your husband?

Sounds fair to me, but I'm a dude.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007 11:56 AM

I knew I should not have waded into the waters........................

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 11:58 AM

Irishgirl74

"Oh my goodness, first we are step dancing in the yard and now we are dirty?"

No question. There is something VERY deep within Colin's eyes. He was a line dancer imstructor! OMG, can you imagine? Where do I sign up for lessons!

How did the Irish get such a bad rep?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 12:07 PM

"C'mon Fred, advice about tethering elephants is really very funny"

Oh, absolutely! but the editorial policy for the FQOTD is set in stone and I just cannot change the mind of that old geezer!

Posted by: Fred | August 16, 2007 12:09 PM

Is 45 minutes of the bedroom chore (15 minutes action + half hour nap / cuddle time) worth 45 minutes help with household chores from your husband?

Sounds fair to me, but I'm a dude.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007

You are talking apples and oranges. But since you are a only a man, you are forgiven. Try a hooker if you are looking for a business deal.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 12:11 PM

Is 45 minutes of the bedroom chore (15 minutes action + half hour nap / cuddle time) worth 45 minutes help with household chores from your husband?

Sounds fair to me, but I'm a dude.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007

Hell, no. Otherwise, it might take you 3 hours to load the dishwasher and put the clothes in the dryer.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 12:16 PM

"I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge b00bs."

You're not thinking it through thoroughly, Meesh. Let me help!

Man's prayer:

"I pray for a wife who is a filthy rich, orphaned, lobotomized, sterilized, deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge b00bs."

I don't know how to make that rhyme.

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 16, 2007 12:18 PM

Oh Hillary, pATRICK I suspect, has a little Irish in him as well, not as much as me of though! I don't think he meant all Irish were dirty and I was making a crack at myself about the step dancing.

Maybe if you are black Irish you just have to scrub harder to impress pATRICK!

Oh and GC, 15 minutes is not enough time, nor should it be considered a chore for your wife.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 12:18 PM

I have never really understood this traditional division of labor stuff. I assume a lot of couples are different now. My husband and I had each been living on our own for at least 10 years before we got married. He knew how to do laundry, clean, and cook before I met him. They weren't women's chores because he didn't have a woman to do them. He would have starved and stunk if he didn't learn to do these things. So it isn't too surprising that after we got married there wasn't a formal division of responsibilities, but we just did what needed to be done. Did what we had been doing on our own -- separately -- for more than a decade. We began to fall into patterns and started "specializing" in certain areas, but it has always seemed fair to both of us. Maybe we are just lucky, but this whole notion of "how do I get my spouse to step up the plate" seems like something from my parents generation. Do people forget what they knew how to do before? Do they just get lazy? I'll concede that there is sometimes differing opinions on level of cleanliness, but sometimes there has to be compromise on that. There are sometimes better ways to spend one's time.

Posted by: DC311 | August 16, 2007 12:22 PM

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 12:18 P

Absolutely I have some Irish in me! I certainly did NOT mean in any way that irish are dirty. i just think Colin is a little dirty looking.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 12:25 PM

Irishgirl74

The men I know of Irish descent are red-headed, leprechaun, Conan O'Brien types; funny-sexy, but not drop-your-panties-sexy.

Nature DOES want some men to spread around their DNA!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 12:27 PM

My partner and I split things up in a sort of 'who finds what the least disgusting/obnoxious way. I hate taking out trash and loading the dishwasher, but will clean cat box and put dishes away from dishwasher with no problems. Partner hates shopping for groceries and folding clothes, but doesn't mind sorting them and putting them into the wash and dryer. I work full time, she works part time, so she gets the errands that have to be done in daytime (mostly school and car related) and I get the after work errands I can do on the way home. I love to cook, she loves to make things tidy. DD doesn't get a choice - she mows the yard and cleans the bathrooms because she can do those on her own schedule as long as they are done by a deadline.

Same sex couples split things up less along gender lines and more along functional lines, but then many heterosexual couples do that now, too.

Posted by: RebeccainAR | August 16, 2007 12:28 PM

"Do people forget what they knew how to do before? Do they just get lazy?"

No.
Yes.

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 16, 2007 12:29 PM

"15 minutes is not enough time, nor should it be considered a chore for your wife."

Just wait till after your 3rd child and you'll see things differently.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007 12:29 PM

"He knew how to do laundry, clean, and cook before I met him. They weren't women's chores because he didn't have a woman to do them. He would have starved and stunk if he didn't learn to do these things."

But. From time to time, a woman probably did those chores. Or he did those chores when there was a woman coming over to his place. Once a couple is living together, there's no "new date" reason for her to buy cute new outfits and no "new girlfriend coming over" deadline for him to straighten up his apartment. Sometimes, for some couples, those missing deadlines lead to her slide into dowdiness and his slide into slobbishness. Then they look up at each other three years later and say, "how did you turn into someone wearing mom jeans" and "how did you turn into someone who doesn't know how to vacuum"?

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 12:31 PM

"Hell, no. Otherwise, it might take you 3 hours to load the dishwasher and put the clothes in the dryer."

OK dcoward, I can work piecemeal. How about doing the dishes, 1 load of laundry, and a toilet scrub?

Posted by: GutlessCoward | August 16, 2007 12:35 PM

Absolutely I have some Irish in me! I certainly did NOT mean in any way that irish are dirty. i just think Colin is a little dirty looking.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 12:25 PM

No, no, no! The word you are all looking for is "rugged" OK?! Rugged! Maybe "relaxed" and "natural" might work too...

I don't think it matters what the division of labor is; if a man wants his wife to be pleasantly surprised, and perhaps more generous than otherwise, he needs to do whatever chores he has in mind WITHOUT BEING ASKED! Trust me, if I had to broadly hint/huff around/ask ten times/nag, I don't care if the dang house is immaculate, I'm still not putting on the pretty nightie. Anyway, after all that, he probably wouldn't want me to!

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 12:37 PM

"if a man wants his wife to be pleasantly surprised, and perhaps more generous than otherwise, he needs to do whatever chores he has in mind WITHOUT BEING ASKED"

I'm sticking with Colin. Ooh, baby. Again, a man doing housework is a BIG sexual turnoff for me.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 12:42 PM

Again, a man doing housework is a BIG sexual turnoff for me.
You must be the only woman then. My wife always seems frisky if I do the dishes(which I detest). Which sets off an interesting pwer struggle in my male brain...dishes- sex, dishes- sex etc

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 12:47 PM

Well, if I had Colin around, I probably wouldn't notice a dirty house...

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 12:48 PM

The men I know of Irish descent are red-headed, leprechaun, Conan O'Brien types; funny-sexy, but not drop-your-panties-sexy.

Haha, there are two different kinds of Irish. My family are black Irish. We only have one readhead. I do like the word rugged. There are some other cute Irish actors, but they are more pretty as oppossed to rugged. Jonathon Rhys Myers comes to mind.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 12:53 PM

educmom_615

"Well, if I had Colin around, I probably wouldn't notice a dirty house..."


And you would have the best EVER
Show & Tell and Career Days for your class!

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 12:54 PM

"if a man wants his wife to be pleasantly surprised, and perhaps more generous than otherwise, he needs to do whatever chores he has in mind WITHOUT BEING
ASKED"

Nope. Doesn't work. If a spouse takes on a task without request, it gets taken for granted.

You get much more mileage from letting it go until you are asked, then it becomes appreciated and many times with a thank-you to boot.

Posted by: Lil_Husky | August 16, 2007 12:55 PM

You get much more mileage from letting it go until you are asked, then it becomes appreciated and many times with a thank-you to boot.


SHHHHH!! Don't tell anymore secrets or you are out of the club!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 12:57 PM

Not that I would ever admit to reading celebrity trivia or visiting tmz.com, b - u - t, Colin has a reputation as lousy in bed and promiscuous to boot. For fantasy purposes, the second doesn't matter, but isn't the first the whole basis for having a fantasy? Aidan Quinn, Liam Neeson, George Clooney, and even Charlie Sheen might be better fantasies.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 12:58 PM

"Trust me, if I had to broadly hint/huff around/ask ten times/nag, I don't care if the dang house is immaculate, I'm still not putting on the pretty nightie. Anyway, after all that, he probably wouldn't want me to!"

Ask him some time if he cares which nightie he rips off you in the first 3 minutes of wrestling.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 1:00 PM

: gcoward

"Not that I would ever admit to reading celebrity trivia or visiting tmz.com, b - u - t, Colin has a reputation as lousy in bed and promiscuous to boot. For fantasy purposes, the second doesn't matter, but isn't the first the whole basis for having a fantasy? "

ER, no. Again, it is a fantasy. For me, it's pretty much about looks & charisma. Do you get out much?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:02 PM

quite a bit more than it seems you do, hillary. it's a shame you felt the need to unsheath your claws over a random comment about an actor.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 1:04 PM

Irishgirl74

"Haha, there are two different kinds of Irish. My family are black Irish. "

Who knew? Where can I find these black Irish guys in America?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:06 PM

I'll pass on Charlie Sheen, he isn't that Irish anyway, although his old man is from the area I grew up in. He has a problem with women too.

I love Gabriel Bryne he is one nice looking man, but again, no fantasy for me because he looks like my father. Adien is okay, he was hot back in his desperately seeking Susan days and even up to Michael Collins. Liam Neeson has never really done anything for me.

I still like Collin, it doesn't matter if he is good in the sack or not, I am a fat pregnant lady who has no illusions of ever really meeting him.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 1:06 PM

Dylan McDermott, scarry?

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 1:11 PM

Well, if you're fantasizing, go the whole nine yards and fantasize powess as well!

gcoward,
I know he doesn't care -- but when I wear a pretty nightie, it lets him know I'm in the mood without talking (this seems to be a big thing for men, from what you all say).

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 1:15 PM

"I know he doesn't care -- but when I wear a pretty nightie, it lets him know I'm in the mood without talking "

In my fantasy, Colin ALWAYS cares...

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:25 PM

How about Harrison Ford circa 1985?

I don't think Charlie Sheen is Irish -- isn't his dad's actual last name Estevez? Anyway, his brother was cuter

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 1:25 PM

You know who else I thought was worth watching, and watching, and watching? John Cusak. Anyone ever see Grosse Pointe Blank?

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 1:27 PM

I'd take Conan O'Brien over Colin any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Colin is a shrimp. I needs me an oaf like Conan.

Plus I think a nerdy guy like Conan would appreciate what I have to offer more than Colin who's been around the block a couple zillion times.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 1:29 PM

And educmom, Harrison is mine. Sorry.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 1:31 PM

Martin Sheen's mother was born in Ireland.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:32 PM

Meesh, we can share! And while I don't dig the Conan, I can see what you mean. Besides, a personality comes in handy for the OTHER 23 hours and 30 minutes in a day.

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 1:33 PM

And educmom, Harrison is mine. Sorry.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007

Harrison was hot in "Witness", but he is a bit too old for me now. You girls can fight over him. Still, I am looking forward to his next Indiana Jones flick.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:36 PM

I feel like I stumbled into the wrong blog. Collin Farrell?

In the interests of "Balance", I would do whatever housework Halle Berry wanted me to do.

(At least for the first year.)

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 16, 2007 1:36 PM

ProudPapa15

"I feel like I stumbled into the wrong blog. Collin Farrell?"

"Or How to Achieve Better Sex in Marriage"

Colin works for me forever - Halle works for you for a year. Whatever can this mean?

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:41 PM

Also, I was under the impression that somebody other than Harrison Ford was going to be the new Indiana Jones?

Apparently American filmmakers are taking on the tradition of James Bond, where we can just switch our hero actors out and hope no one notices. First they swapped him out of the Tom Clancy movies (for Affleck?) now this.

Next year I bet they will make a movie where Leo Dicaprio plays Han Solo....

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 16, 2007 1:43 PM

Well Hillary Irish Americans are scattered all around the country. You can check out an Irish fest or a parade. There are a lot of Irish, of course, in Boston and New York. We have a pretty good amount in my area Ohio.

Martin Sheen is half hispanic and half Irish. I do not know what his wife is, either way Charlie is not as Irish or as hot as Collin!!

No GC about the only person who could knock Collin off my hot list is Bono back in the day when he was singing about Ireland and wearing tight blue jeans.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 1:46 PM

ProudPapa15 |

"Also, I was under the impression that somebody other than Harrison Ford was going to be the new Indiana Jones?"

Wrong. BTW, Harrison Ford's father was Irish, his mother Russian-Jewish. Good DNA.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:47 PM

Jon Bon Jovi.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 16, 2007 1:49 PM

Irishgirl74, Some of us consider Hispanic desirable :-)

Posted by: mehitabel | August 16, 2007 1:49 PM

OTOH, both Robert Redford and Paul Newman in "The Sting" (OK, so I'm greedy!), and Redford in "All The President's Men."

Posted by: mehitabel | August 16, 2007 1:51 PM

"Oh my goodness, first we are step dancing in the yard and now we are dirty? That's it, I am moving back to the island where being dirty and stepdancing is the norm."

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 11:56 AM

Who is that who says, "dirty. . . is the norm" on the Island? "Dirty gluttons," maybe? Good old Líam Mac Carráin writes in "Seo, Siúd agus Siúd Eile," his collection of remembrances, about Lizzie Hutton's "atein house" (they wouldn't use the French word "restaurant") in Belfast's Gresham Street, where you could get a full plate of Irish stew for twopence:

Bhí ceann amháin ar Bhóthar na bhFál a raibh "Falls Dinning (sic) Rooms" air ina bhfaighfeá lán plata de stobhach ar dhá phingin, ach ba í Lizzie Hutton i Sráid Gresham a rug barr orthu go léir.

Or if you don't like Irish stew, you could get bacon cuttings:

Cuttin's, cuttin's,
Good oul' bacon cuttin's:
Ham and eggs may be all right
For other dirty gluttons.
When you're down in Gresham Street
Call into Lizzie Hutton's
And fling your cap upon the rack
And order bacon cuttin's.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 16, 2007 1:57 PM

mehitabel

How is Antonio Banderas, born in Spain, classified? That guy is drop-dead gorgeous! (Forgive me, Colin)

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 1:59 PM

Irishgirl74, Some of us consider Hispanic desirable :-)

Irishgirl74, Some of us consider Hispanic desirable :-)

Oh yeah, I do defiantly. I always thought that Esai Morales was hot in La bamba and my family. I was just pointing out that Charlie Sheen wasn't as Irish as others.

And, just so you know when I was in Utah people asked me all the time if I was Spanish and my brother's wife thought he was part Hispanic when she meant him.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 1:59 PM

hillary,
Can we share Antonio?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 16, 2007 2:00 PM

Irishgirl74

"And, just so you know when I was in Utah people asked me all the time if I was Spanish and my brother's wife thought he was part Hispanic when she meant him."

Some of the survivors of the Armada made their way to Ireland and fraternized with the native women.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 2:04 PM

Hillary wrote: "Some of the survivors of the Armada made their way to Ireland and fraternized with the native women."

And Celts long ago made their way to the Iberian peninsula, too.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 16, 2007 2:07 PM

Some of the survivors of the Armada made their way to Ireland and fraternized with the native women.

That is one therory of "Black Irish."

Matt I was being a goof and making fun of pATRICK and myself, we Irish are way clean.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 2:07 PM

Wow! How could I forget Irish-Italian Armand Assante??? Zowie!

Another man who need not do chores to get sex.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 2:12 PM

Hey all,

Let's not forget the Scots, the other part of the Celt equation. I happen to like James McAvoy (blue eyes, black hair!) and Sean Connery...

Husband and I share chores--he's a teacher and home during summer, I'm a vet and have a year-round situation.

Posted by: skyebluescottie | August 16, 2007 2:15 PM

You know who else I thought was worth watching, and watching, and watching? John Cusak. Anyone ever see Grosse Pointe Blank?

Posted by: educmom_615 | August 16, 2007 01:27 PM

Yep--I'm in agreement with you on this one. Toss in Matthew Broderick, David Duchovny and Jim Carrey as well.

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 16, 2007 2:15 PM

David Duchovny is also on my list. I love him so much. He has a new show.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 2:18 PM

Okay, so now I'm torn over this new Indiana Jones thing. I did a little research. I think I would only like more Harrison Ford if he comes with Sean Connery as his father (declined, retired) and Kevin Costner as his brother (declined, idiot).

I can't have all three I want somebody new as Indiana Jones. How about, say, Jack Black?

This post is completely on-topic. Somehow.

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 16, 2007 2:18 PM

And Celts long ago made their way to the Iberian peninsula, too.

Posted by: mehitabel |

That explains Antonio. Sigh.

Reviewing my list of heart throbs, I have been looking for love in all the wrong places - the WASPy stomping grounds.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 2:19 PM

David Duchovny and Jim Carrey.

I am in total agreement with you, maryland mother. You've got great taste.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 2:22 PM

Hillary:

"Reviewing my list of heart throbs, I have been looking for love in all the wrong places - the WASPy stomping grounds."

Don't totally give up on the WASP-y types totally--theirs is a quieter passion, but passion even so! It's only a difference in style...

Posted by: skyebluescottie | August 16, 2007 2:23 PM

Sorry - Jim Carrey just doesn't do it for me.
Russel Crowe fans out there?
How about Scott Baio - I think he's handsome in that NY way. Better looking now than as a kid.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 16, 2007 2:25 PM

Russell Crowe? No way. Doesn't shampoo frequently enough.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 16, 2007 2:29 PM

I know that, Scarry, but "Seo, Siúd agus Siúd Eile" has been sitting in my bookshelf for several years. Thanks for giving me a "hook" so that I could quote the "dirty gluttons" line -- not to mention a few lines of Líam Mac Carráin's Irish prose. If we can write Portuguese on this blog, why not Irish, too?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 16, 2007 2:29 PM

Russell Crowe - no sexual hots, but I am a fan of his acting.

Upcoming movie: Nottingham

A love triangle forms between the legendary do-gooder Robin Hood, his Maid Marion and the archer's arch nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Crowe).

Ridley Scott (Gladiator)is slated to direct.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 2:33 PM

Re: Upcoming movie "Nottingham"....

(((slamming head on desk repeatedly)))

Posted by: ProudPapa15 | August 16, 2007 2:50 PM

Scott Baio is scary gross. See his new reality show for pitiful and immature.

Shia LeBeouf is Indiana Jones' son and the new action star of the franchise. He'll only serve to make Ford look really old.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 3:12 PM

"In the interests of "Balance", I would do whatever housework Halle Berry wanted me to do.

(At least for the first year.)"

Proud Papa has uncovered is a universal truth. Even the very beautiful people can become tiresome. Tom Cruise dumped Nicole Kidman. NICOLE friggin KIDMAN!

If I could have Josh Hartnett for a week, I'd take him. But I'd never marry him instead of my husband. Josh would be great for a little while I'm sure, but I'm also sure that I'd get sick of him. My husband, on the other hand, has passed the annoyance test with flying colors. You have to go for the person who annoys you the least instead of the person who looks best in the mirror above your bed.

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 3:36 PM

All right, I just google-imaged (is that a real verb yet?) Shia LeBeouf and he looks, like, 12! What were the casting directors thinking?

"You have to go for the person who annoys you the least instead of the person who looks best in the mirror above your bed."

Meesh, this is fantastic! However, I think my husband and I have reached the stage where we are considering removing the mirror . . . .

Posted by: vegasmom89109 | August 16, 2007 3:40 PM

Meesh

"You have to go for the person who annoys you the least instead of the person who looks best in the mirror above your bed. "


Colin annoys me the least.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 3:41 PM

Yep Matt we can talk Irish all we want, but just to let you know, I bought some tapes and am having a hard time learning it.

"Scott Baio is scary gross. See his new reality show for pitiful and immature."

Ohh, if you like him don't watch the show. It is like watching a 20 year old player and he is 45. Some of the things he does and says make me cringe, but it is fun to watch and make fun of.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 3:47 PM

Googling "Irish fest" or "Irish parade"...

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 3:56 PM

Posted by: Meesh | August 16, 2007 03:36

There is a saying among men "Somewhere there is a beautiful woman and a man sick of her Sh#t." Easily adaptable to men as well.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 16, 2007 4:03 PM

"You have to go for the person who annoys you the least instead of the person who looks best in the mirror above your bed."

"There is a saying among men "Somewhere there is a beautiful woman and a man sick of her Sh#t."

We could change the world if we could get our teenaged children to understand and appreciate the truth of the above two statements.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 4:21 PM

"We could change the world if we could get our teenaged children to understand and appreciate the truth of the above two statements."

Nobel Prize stuff.

Posted by: hillary1 | August 16, 2007 4:22 PM

"I think my husband and I have reached the stage where we are considering removing the mirror . . . ."

It may be time to remove the mirrored ball, too.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 4:39 PM

Googling "Irish fest" or "Irish parade"...

Do you live in DC?

http://www.irisharts.org/

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 16, 2007 4:42 PM

The vision of a man in an apron doesn't do it for me, but I'm not a very visual person.

OTOH, DH is a wonderful musician, and if he plays the song he wrote for me, I'm his. Right up until I walk into the bedroom, and have to remove 4-6 laundry-loads (clean, but not sorted or folded) from the bed before I can get into it.

You'd think he'd have figured out the problem after 20 years of marriage...

Posted by: sue | August 16, 2007 4:44 PM

OTOH, DH is a wonderful musician, and if he plays the song he wrote for me, I'm his. Right up until I walk into the bedroom, and have to remove 4-6 laundry-loads (clean, but not sorted or folded) from the bed before I can get into it.

You'd think he'd have figured out the problem after 20 years of marriage...

Posted by: sue | August 16, 2007 04:44 PM

Yes. You'd think he'd have figured out to take you to another room for wrestling.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 4:58 PM

How funny, this dynamic is completely accurate in our marriage but with gender roles reversed. My husband is more attuned to the cleanliness of our household and does more cleaning than I. Our intimate life improves dramatically when I do more to help keep the house clean as it just seems to generally improve his mood and decrease his stress levels.

Posted by: LizaBean | August 16, 2007 5:21 PM

Isn't "it" better on clean sheets (or clean kitchen table or sofa or desk)?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 16, 2007 5:27 PM

OTOH, DH is a wonderful musician, and if he plays the song he wrote for me, I'm his. Right up until I walk into the bedroom, and have to remove 4-6 laundry-loads (clean, but not sorted or folded) from the bed before I can get into it.

You'd think he'd have figured out the problem after 20 years of marriage...

Posted by: sue | August 16, 2007 04:44 PM

Yes. You'd think he'd have figured out to take you to another room for wrestling.

Posted by: gcoward | August 16, 2007 04:58 PM

Oh, that's too funny!

Before the kids, "wrestling" in any room of the house was possible - even frequent. With 15 and 10-y-o boys, we really need more privacy.

Even when we manage to get both kids out of the house at the same time, DH, the SAHP, doesn't keep the rest of the house any cleaner or more orderly than the bedroom is. I'm going to have the same reaction to clearing the clutter from any available horizontal surface in any room.

I just realized that I sound a lot like the comments on that *other* blog today.

Posted by: sue | August 16, 2007 7:12 PM

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