Monday, June 25, 2012

That's Not How You Do It

Photo Credit
Kellie, tears streaming down her cheeks, begged me to release her from her misery. I often have to take responsibility for life’s unpleasant tasks, so I gallantly stepped forward to cut a red onion for her. Pressing into my first slice, Kellie started to say something. In my head, I heard a needle dragging across a record; Kellie was taking exception to my technique for hacking produce. “Hey, that’s not how I slice an onion.” 
Are YOU slicing the onion?” I shot back rhetorically. Recognizing her own mistake, Kellie quickly retreated and left me to chop as I pleased. Here I am, a grown man with a bachelor’s degree in physics and philosophy, a master’s in engineering management, a former captain of not one, but two nuclear powered submarines, and yet she somehow thinks I lack the mental and physical capacity to dice vegetables. 
And it’s not just the culinary arts where Kellie feels the compelled to provide guided instruction. She also gives driving lectures, cleaning demonstrations, and laundry seminars. About the only place where she doesn’t tell what to do and how to do it is in the bedroom. At least I do something right, either that or she doesn’t want to prolong the agony.
Admittedly, I’m not immune to offering unwanted recommendations, except when I do it, it’s clearly necessary. No matter what activity Kellie is engaged in, I always have a little advice on how she could do it better. I provide tutelage in: how to load a dishwasher for maximum capacity and cleaning, the proper technique for folding my tee-shirts, and the correct way to make up a bed. There is literally no household job where I can’t provide a few tips on how Kellie could do it better. Even when she’s performing a task correctly, I’m always there to provide the scientific rationale on why the method she’s chosen is preferred option. My help is seldom accepted with the grace with which it was offered. You’d think she’d be a little more appreciative of my experience and knowledge.
I don’t know why we each feel compelled to offer advice on how to carry out tasks we don’t want perform ourselves. It never seems to do any good. Plates still come out of the dishwasher caked with food, my tee-shirts are always on hangers instead of folded, and she’s advised me that dispensing advice like her father is not conducive to sexy time. Maybe that's a piece of advice I should heed.


  1. I want a sign for my house that reads:
    He/She/Mother-in-Law who complains about the way it is being done is volunteering to do it right.

    What do you think?

  2. My wife acts like I am one of the Minions..."Here, let m show you how to do it right...."

    Although in some cases it works to my advantage, I get out of doing the task I didn't want to do....

  3. I couldn't stand when I would come home and vent about my job or clients to Doc H, and he would give me advice on how I could fix it or what I should have done differently! UGG! I know, I KNOW! I just want to vent...peacefully. All he had to do was just listen, nod his head and say, "so sorry to hear you had a bad day". That's all.

  4. Ha! It's true, no one likes nitpicking. Yet it's just SO HARD not to do sometimes.

  5. Joe, I offer no apologies from us wives but I will submit our explanation. It's all a part of RETRAINING. We have found it a universal phenomenon that all men experience an inherent “lobotomical” transformation the moment the wedding ring goes on. Bright and resourceful men who had been perfectly competent in domestic matters while dating suddenly lose their ability to scrub a dish, purchase anything on sale or figure out which end of the vacuum the hose goes in. Even those versed in the operation of not one, but two nuclear submarines would find themselves baffled at the controls of the washing machine they once mastered before the precious metal was placed on their finger. It’s a sad state of affairs, this voluntary household strand of Alzheimer’s, but we endure it.

  6. Karen ... Or how to lift something to see if the checkbook is underneath ...Sigh

  7. I love how you write about your dyanmic, Joe :) I clearly know how to load the dishwasher in our house, and yet I am ALWAYS ignored.

    1. Thanks, Cindy. I try to keep a majority of the posts on our dynamic, but I've been straying.