Division of Labor
by John Norberg, humor columnist s

In this day and age when men and women are splitting household tasks it is important that everyone does a fair and equal amount of the work.

But how do you measure "fair and equal?" Sometimes it's a bit hard to determine what is fair and what is equal.

It depends on your perspective.

It depends on how you define certain household chores.

Husband: "I've been thinking, and I've decided I need to do more around the house to help you. We're equal partners."

Wife: "I appreciate it."

Husband: "From now on, I'm going to do half of all the work. Where do you want me to start?"

Wife: "How about the wash?"

Husband: "You don't have to say another word. I will do all the washing."

Wife: "All! You don't have to do it all! Just you're fair share."

Husband: "I don't mind doing the washing. I think this is a fair way to start dividing the household chores.

Wife: "Just out of curiosity, how do you define 'doing the washing?'"

Husband: "It means putting the dirty clothes into the washer and eventually moving them to the dryer."

Wife: "Okay. But, what about taking them out of the dryer? What about folding the clothes and putting the rest on hangars? What about putting them all away in drawers and in the closet?"

Husband: "What about it."

Wife: "That's part of 'doing the wash.'"

Husband: "Okay. But that's your half. My half is washing and drying and yours is folding, hanging and putting away."

Wife: "My half of this job is all manual labor. Your half involves letting a machine do the work."

Husband: "Right, that's why it's a man's job. Why do we need to have everything folded, put on hangars and put away in the first place. I can never find the stuff I want."

Wife: "How would you handle this?"

Husband: "Leave everything in the dryer and then when I need it I'll know exactly where it is."

Wife: "Let's try splitting up cooking dinner."

Husband: "Sounds fair."

Wife: "Let's switch every other day. Are we agreed that cooking dinner includes planning the meal, shopping, preparing it, serving it and cleaning up?"

Husband: "Absolutely."

Wife: "Great. I'll start tomorrow. I'm fixing a meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, a tossed salad with my special homemade rolls and apple pie. Now, what are you planning the next night?"

Husband: "Big Macs and fries."

Wife: "You're kidding!"

Husband: "I guess you're right. Okay. I'll supersize.

Wife: "So cooking dinner on your night means eating at McDonald's?"

Husband: "Absolutely not. We'll pick it up at the drive thru and bring it home."

Another way to divide up household chores is for each person to do separate jobs that take about the same amount of time - such as carrying out the garbage and emptying the dishwasher.

At our house, I'm in charge of the plumbing.

Wife: "How long do you think it will take you to fix that dripping faucet?"

Me: "It's a huge job. It could take all week. It's going to take several trips to the store to buy tools, supplies and parts that I break in the process. If you do all the other work around the house, I should have this job done by Wednesday."

Actually, I might have to ask my wife to do a little more work around the house to compensate. This is going to take a little longer than I originally thought.

The plumber can't come by until Thursday.

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