Learning a Lesson?

[bold]I DON’T UNDERSTAND![/bold] Why would anyone continue to do something that they are clearly aware will be perceived badly? Why would anyone keep doing something that doesn’t work? In my experience, it’s more often men who do this sort of thing – and I want to sent a search party to find their clue. “My girlfriend’s gonna yell… she hates it when I come home late.” So – you either need a girlfriend who likes the things you like (staying out late) or you need to go home. “My wife is always yelling at me to put my stuff in the hamper.” You can see how to stop the yelling?

What I think most men don’t clearly understand is that it’s not the relative importance of the issue (the original quote concerned changing toilet paper, or more accurately, failing to do so), it’s the disrespect I know I perceive when someone persists in doing something they know I find irritating. The first time or two it’s no big deal. After I’ve made the effort to say something and to clarify what I would prefer, to ignore or forget my preferences seems malicious. Maybe I am over-sensitive – but I would bet I am not alone!

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

Hooo boy! Here we go, I get to be a typical male here for a few and explain some things. Hold on, let me scratch myself first…

There we go. So, anyway, the big reason why men don’t change for small things is because… well, they’re small things. If they were earth shattering things, we’d probably change for them. For instance, clothes in the hamper. Big deal… you round 'em up on laundry day and go wash them. Now, if we were an item and you were to say “Hey, I want you to quit smoking” that’d be something to consider as it’s a bigger deal. But guys really don’t see much need to get up the enthusiasm to change for the little stuff that doesn’t matter much.

Now, so you say “well, if it’s a little thing and it matters to me, why can’t you respect my wishes and just throw the damn clothes in the hamper, you lumbering troglodyte?” Because, that’s the first step down the slippery path to becoming a hollow shell of a man, whipped by his feminine oppressors. Sure, it starts with “I must show her respect by placing my dirty unmentionables in the hamper” and before you know it, I’ve got you yelling at me to cap the toothpaste, rinse the soap and replace the toilet paper on the roll, all in the name of respect. To hell with that. It’s so much easier to say “get over it, you insane bundle of PMS” and keep my manliness intact. For additional ammunition, I can say “Good sweet Jehovah, woman… I went to the freakin’ opera with you! Now you say I don’t care about you because the toothpaste is uncapped?” Damn insane women with their petty demands.

Wow… that felt great. Don’t ever tell my girlfriend I typed it though :wink:

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

How very cute, Jophiel.

No, Sassy, you are most certainly not alone. I can no longer allow myself to publicly go into details, because my husband is incapable of understanding logic AND humour, but I will meekly stand to the side and think “ain’t it the truth”.

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

To be honest women are guilty of it to, maybe its some silly human thing.

Now, (before you blow up at me) I happen to be a trained male, I know bathroom etiquette, pick up my clothes, etc… (I cook and clean too)

I don’t know why ppl do it, maybe it’s the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Gen A.C. McAuliffe
“The general’s nuts.”
unknown 101st AB grunt

At my place, there’s always a pile of mail, bills, magazines, etc. on the kitchen table. Every so often, my GF mentions that it’s bothering her, and I sort through it and put everything where it “belongs”. One time she asked me, “Why don’t you clean it up when it gets too messy? Why do I always have to ask you to do it?”

My reponse was, “I do clean it up when it gets too messy. But my definition of a mess is much bigger than yours. Up until that point, I don’t even notice it’s there.”

AFAIC, this illustrates one of the basic differences between male and female housekeeping.

I’m not a warlock.
I’m a witch with a Y chromosome.

The question I have is why are women bothered by so many more things than men? If you ask most guys what their wives do that annoys them, they will have maybe one or two items. But as a woman about her husbands habits and you will get a laundry list.

don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t go out, keep the house clean, put down the seat, cap the toothpaste, don’t drive so fast, those clothes don’t go together, eat slower, white neater…and so on.

My Question: Why the hell do women care about all of this stuff? I really can’t fathom it.

We care about this stuff because we spent our whole childhood getting yelled at for little things while our brothers got to eat like pigs and wear whatever the hell they wanted to. REVENGE IS SWEET!

Actually, I have never gotten mad at a guy for doing any of the things Mr. Zambezi mentioned (hell, I do most of 'em myself), BUT I agree with Sassy that it’s rude and disrespectful to keep doing something your significant other can’t stand. My own pet peeve is sexist / ethnic / generally derogatory jokes. (For some reason, most guys seem to think this is good clean fun.) I’ve reached the point – after much hard experience – where I’ll tell a guy ONCE that I don’t want to hear this crap. Second time, he gets dumped. If I’d started following this rule when I started dating, it would have saved me a hell of a lot of heartache. I’ve come to see that if they don’t respect you in small matters, they don’t respect you at ALL.

Wow!! Do you folks really think this can be divided down gender lines? :slight_smile:
FTR: I am female. I am a slob. (largely as a result of a 1st marriage to an absolute tyranical, power freak who used housekeeping as a tool…but I’m ok, now ;))
Now older, and much wiser, I am married to a wonderful man who shares these tasks. Issues like social, family, health should be sorted out b/4 lasting commitment…so I’ll leave those alone.
Working out individual idiocyncracies and differences is what makes relationships work or not. COMPROMISE is what you have to do. One person cannot expect the other to do all the changing. BTW, the person that usually asks for the most changes is typically the one with the most rules. In any case, you both have to give and take. One agrees to put clothes in hamper and pick up clutter, the other agrees to lighten up a little, and maybe even starts to leave the cap off the toothpaste. (You would be surprised how much stress you can get rid of just by doing away with so many little rules.) It’s a little like raising a child. You pick your fights. If all you do is nag and say no…the child tunes you out and rebels at everything.
It’s all just a matter of being human…I don’t think men or women have a market on any of these complaints.

“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

BTW Jophiel…I’m not sure what this says about me…but I agree with your post and feel the same way. Problem is, I’m a woman… You say:

I say: a submissive woman, over powered by her troglydite male opressors.
We say: folks fighting for there right to be themselves.

“Can’t we all just get along?” :wink:

I know why I care – because I know that if anyone comes into my house and sees a mess, they are not going to say “my goodness, the equal balance of chores here isn’t working very well. These people must be busy, or else they care less about the elements of neatness than I.” It would be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t - and I still respond to peer pressure in this regard. Since I am seen as having all the responsibility, I think that any assistance I request should be taken seriously. Yes, people perceive mess differently - but women are the ones who take the heat if we don’t live up to the standards of our community in that regard. I would guess the opposing view would be that men are “responsible” for yard-work, whether they are interested or not – but I don’t have a yard!

It’s the same sort of weirdness which responds to the fact that a man dresses badly by wondering why his wife/girlfriend/whatever let him leave the house that way. I’ve heard it too often – and no one ever asks why a full grown adult should be dressed by someone else! BTW, my man dresses very well and has never needed me to assist… but I would be I get the (mental) credit when he shows up somewhere looking good. On the other hand, if I left the house in fuschia and tangerine, no one would think he was liable in any way! (not that he would allow it…)

I do agree - and believe I stated - that the trivializing of requests can be a quirk of either sex … but most of my experience has been with men.

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

Boy, Sassy, I don’t know who your circle of friends are, but they sure seem critical of your life. I guess the only answer is to continue to fight with your honey and be unhappy with the situation.

Actually, I consider myself one of the lucky few whose relationship rarely encounters this problem… my post originated from frustration at listening to others make the sort of comment I quoted in my OP.

On the other hand, you are right that I let other peoples opinion affect me too much - I wish I knew how to control that reaction! I am working on it, since I know it’s crazy to live my life by other people’s standard.

You know, I forgot to mention this before mainly because my previous post was me having fun while I raised points. But, now I just want to gripe for a minute.

“Because I have asked you to [fill in blank] and yet you haven’t, you do not respect me.”

Excuse me? I got into this a little with my girlfriend the other week, and she used about the exact same line. Here’s my advice: learn to pick a better fight for respect.

I love Candace (my girlfriend). I have changed my life completely for her. I have resigned a large portion of my income to my life with her. I stayed awake in the hospital for over 48 hours when our baby was born so she could rest. I do not flirt with other women, I do not act abusive to her, I make an honest attempt to make her happy, I’m even willing to watch Titanic with her, for heaven’s sake. Now, granted, she also treats me well and I’m not trying to pat my own back here, but when she says something along the lines of “If you respected me, you’d put the clothes in the hamper”, my first thought it “Well, if not putting the clothes in hamper means I don’t respect you, why in the hell am I not out drinking and picking up loose women right now since I don’t give a shit about you anyway?” If everything I do to try to make her happy and make a relationship work is suddenly invalidated by a damn pair of socks on the floor, what’s the point?

My point is, if you’re looking for respect, look at the big picture. The little things aren’t worth getting into a huff about - at least not to the point of declaring them a sign of disrespect.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Sassy…good for you, you are one of the fortunate ones (as am I) We all have our own endearing qualities to work out. My own personal favorite is my tendency to long posts. I’m sure it drives some of you nuts, but, imagine how my husband and sons feel? :wink:

Jophiel…what can I say? You’re a gem. :wink: but I already suspected that.

“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

All I can say is I am very happy that I live alone. I’m not knocking anyone but man, it seems like such a headache to merge two lives together. I don’t think I could do it. I like my things were they are and the level of clean/dirty goes up and down around here like the stock market. Sometimes I’m into keeping everything just so and other times I couldn’t care less. I always thought (besides chores) the big thing in relationships was money.

You know, I don’t think the “respect” thing is gender-related and I don’t think the “neatness” thing is gender-related. I do think the “I have to make an issue of this.” is gender-related.

My wife and I are both tolerant of about the same amount of messiness. (I suspect that couples do better when they are closer in this regards, anyway.) Now, different things bother us. She thinks I let bills and newspapers pile up next to my reading chair for far too long, she thinks I put off repairs on the car or lawn mower too long, and she thinks I let the garage get too messy before I do something about it. I know this because I hear from her on these issues quite frequently. On the other hand, I find that she leaves the toilet lid up (I put down the seat and the lid to keep the dog out of it), that she doesn’t take the time to get the tableware clean (I hand wash each item, she swishes the lot once through the water), that she doesn’t put caps on straight for the toothpaste (or the peanut butter, the pickles, or anything else that should be closed), and that she has several other habits that I find irritating. The difference? I know what her habits are and I live with them. Since I do 90% of the dishes (I like them clean), 95% of the vacuuming, 60% of the laundry, 40-50% of the cooking, etc. I figure she can live with my faults just as I live with hers.

As long as she is willing to “remind” me of my “failings” while not making it a “respect” issue, we get along fine.

I did work with a guy who started in at lunch about once a month with the “I don’t understand why she keeps getting mad when I {name-your-deed}.” The general reaction at the lunch table was that anyone who continued to do the same thing every month or week that irritated his spouse, knowing that she would get mad, was pretty much of an idiot.


I dunno about marriages, but my dad is much pickier than my mom when it comes to me.

Why isn’t the other side of the argument being looked at here? If you can say that I do not respect you because I like to go out, can I say that you don’t respect me by wanting to keep me from doing things that I enjoy?

My GF and I have a great relationship but one bone of contention that springs up from time to time is that every two or three weeks, I like to get together with some of my friends and barbecue. She is always invited. There are men and women there, so it isn’t like it is just “the boys” hanging out. Usually she is cool with it but sometimes I feel an icy draft blowing in from her general direction and know what will be waiting for me tomorrow.

Should I say, “Okay, honey-pookie-snookums, I’ll stay home” and simply feel content that I have done the noble and right thing by showing my lady respect? Should I say, “Hey, it isn’t like I go out every night and it isn’t like we’re going cruising for chicks. You are invited and if you don’t want to go, I understand. If you do want to go, put your shoes on. Either way, I am going to go.”?

Mr Z opened his mouth:

And, as always, I have to disagree :wink:

Don’t drink-well, I guess it depends on what you’re like when you’re drunk. Unless your driving or are a mean drunk, I don’t see the problem here

Don’t smoke-because it’ll make you smell offensive to her? because she doesn’t want you to get lung cancer? other than that, I don’t know

Don’t go out-Unless a) she needs your help or b) you all rarely have any time together, I don’t see what the problem here is either

Keep the house clean-clutter is one thing but a grimey house attracts mice and bugs. They may be your little pets but, I can almost promise, she won’t like them. She won’t want them on her babies. As for clutter, some people, like my father, hate clutter. Other people, like my mother and myself, can live with it as long as it isn’t so bad that we can’t find anything

Put down the seat-Guess it depends on where you grew up. I grew up in a house where the seat is always down. There’s nothing quite as yucky as sitting on the thin toilet rim which, in my experience of other people’s toilets, is often growing some rare collections of funk and mold, and then falling into the toilet. Now, if your SO came from a household where the seat was always up, it would be hard to break that habit so one shouldn’t get too nasty about it.

cap the toothpaste-just a pet peeve against having toothpaste oozing out of the tube? Not all women have this pet peeve.

don’t drive too fast-well, let’s see. You might kill someone, kill yourself, or wreck the car. If you kill someone or kill yourself, you’ll either be dead or she’ll be visiting you in jail. Either way you can’t support a family very well so she’ll either struggle standing by you or she’ll have to leave you and, if she has a family, provide for them somehow. You may wreck the car or get a ticket causing financial difficulties and this would take money away from the family because of something that could have been prevented. If you wreck the car or get your license revoked, you can’t drive which causes the family much hardship esp if she has to tote you every place you need to go.

Those clothes don’t go together-Well, in my parents generation, it was seen as a failure on the woman’s part because it showed that she could not dress her husband properly. Today, my only guess it that a) it’s residue from our parents’ generation or b) if you look too bad, your S.O. may be embarrassed.

eat slower-unless you tend to choke, I don’t know

white neater-is that write neater? At least she still wants to read what you wrote :wink:

topolino wrote:

This is one complaint that makes absolutely no sense to me. Is it so difficult to look before you sit down?

I’m not a warlock.
I’m a witch with a Y chromosome.