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Another dating classic

This is especially for the married couples and/or live-togethers … one partner asks/tells the other to do something (clean the bathtub, take out the trash, etc.), but seemingly goes out of their way to do so when the other person is doing something else (reading, watching TV), and then gets mad when the task is not performed RIGHT THEN, at that very moment.


February 21, 2009 - Posted by | the science of dating


  1. Murderous rage usually follows.

    Comment by Anthony Paul Smith | February 21, 2009

  2. This is basically my life

    Comment by Dave | February 21, 2009

  3. Oh… sad. I know this one. Now I feel like one of those old married people.

    Comment by strasmangelo jones | February 21, 2009

  4. Yeah, I’m an old married person with this one. And every other one. I should clarify something, though. Your gender- neutral language obscures the likelihood that the requester is a woman and the requestee a man. The requesting-requested dynamic then is likely part of a pattern in which requester feels she MUST explicitly request something in order for it to happen, and the requestee plays an entirely reactive role in home maintenance. This pattern leads to what R. Williams would call a “structure of feeling” in which the completion of household tasks always involves irritation and resentment on her part, and passive avoidance on his part. This structure motivates a strategy on her part of highlighting the inadequacy in the household dynamic by timing her requests for maximum disruptive impact, silently arguing “NOW can’t you see what this is like for me?”

    Sucks, right?

    Comment by Marichiweu | February 21, 2009

  5. I only know that when I say “do it”, she must do it. And toot sweet, as they say back in the old country. It’s all about respect, man. RESPECT.

    Comment by abb1 | February 21, 2009

  6. This post is essentially my entire married life in a nutshell.

    What’s craziest though is that I would say I’m happily married. Human beings are weird.

    Comment by Pat | February 21, 2009

  7. I may be the only man in the world to whom this will never happen.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 21, 2009

  8. This has never happened to me, but for a different reason than Adam’s. It just goes completely against J.’s way of going about getting me to do chores (we’re equally bad about doing them). Now she might do something similar if she wanted me to spend time directly with her.

    Comment by old | February 21, 2009

  9. I seem to be one of the few men who does this to a woman. I don’t feel good about it, even when I’m doing it. It’s almost unconscious. Curiously my mum used to do it to me and it drove me insane. Obviously I swore I’d never do it. I think she got it from her father who famously stopped her wedding reception (at his house) by vaccuming around the guests while they were still revelling.

    Comment by RobDP | February 21, 2009

  10. Chad, I’ve opted to delete you versus the typical course of ridiculing you.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | February 21, 2009

  11. Burn some books while you’re at it.

    Comment by Chad | February 21, 2009

  12. I’d burn the whole industry if I could.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | February 21, 2009

  13. And I’d welcome the ridicule, by the way…I actually like my wife and enjoy easing the housework burden on occasion. Ridicule away.

    Comment by Chad | February 21, 2009

  14. Your love & devotion was not going to be the object of ridicule. The fact that you assume this is indicative of the moral superiority that compelled me delete your comment.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | February 21, 2009

  15. Which would you prefer, Chad, deletion or banning?

    Comment by Brad Johnson | February 22, 2009

  16. Banning Chad might save stras from a heart attack.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 22, 2009

  17. I’m sure chad will enjoyn sending continual comments, considering he knows you still read every one, then delete. I was pleased to learn this was so-even encouraged me to comment more!!!!

    Comment by Love | February 22, 2009

  18. Love, my dear friend, I’ve decided to let your comments through because I can’t bear the burden alone any longer.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 22, 2009

  19. I also wanted to be able to have some way of responding to you and letting you know how pathetic it is that you keep posting, sometimes multiple times a day, even though you’re blocked. Your comments are just generic “concern troll” stuff.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 22, 2009

  20. I couldn’t be more pleased

    Comment by Love | February 22, 2009

  21. Keep me accountable! Any time I seem to have an opinion that I think is right, come on in and tell me that I “always need to be right.” And any time I’m less than completely loving and affirming of my commenters, remind me of what a total asshole I am. I need your help!

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 22, 2009

  22. It’s soooo annoying!

    Comment by pastfirst | February 25, 2009

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