1. Gender specific household chores. In the last week I’ve seen a literal shitload of social media posts boohooing that traditional “women’s work” is unappreciated in the household. Yes, I’m sure these posts are directed at a certain sub set of the population that largely includes households that consist of two adults and a few spawn, but honest to God my reaction is almost universally “Oh just shut the hell up.” If I don’t do the “girly” things like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and making of doctor’s appointments those things don’t get done. If I don’t feed the dogs, cat, and tortoise they don’t get fed. Likewise if I don’t do the “manly” things like cut the grass, change the oil, clean the gutters, and do the other household maintenance, those things don’t get done. If I don’t drag my ass out of bed and into the office 40 hours a week, there’s no money to do any of the above mentioned activities. You see, I’m an adult. I do the things because that’s what being an adult means. There are days I’d love to have the luxury of dividing it vaguely near the middle and calling some of it someone else’s responsibility. The fact that somewhere out there many pairs of grown ass adult humans apparently can’t figure out how to each do approximately half the things I somehow manage to do on my own ranks somewhere between appalling and infuriating.
2. Pet owners who shouldn’t. If you need to be told to bring your pets inside during a hurricane you are an absolute fuckwit and would do the world a considerable favor by tying yourself to a bundle of cinder blocks and letting the storm surge have you. I’m willing to accept no excuse of stupidity, poverty, or unavoidable circumstance to justify your ineptitude to provide even the most basic level of care for a creature that relies solely on you to provide for it. In the benevolent reign of King Jeff you would be drug into the street, given a fair trial, and then summarily shot and left where you fall.
3. Internet experts. I love hurricane season because it’s when the internet experts in material acquisition and distribution logistics all come out of the woodwork with an “opinion” on how to a) get the right stuff and b) move it to the right place at the right time. I won’t go into my firm believe that these are the same experts who are personally challenged to execute their weekly trip to pick up family groceries and who’s greatest logistical achievement to date is packing the family truckster for a week long roadtrip to Wally World. My point is, it’s fine to have an opinion, you’re entitled to it… but it’s always best to try not to sound like a complete idiot while you’re having it.
So given the stink being raised (pun clearly intended) about who should and shouldn’t be using the variously marked public restrooms, I can’t help but wade in to the mess. See what I did there?
For purposes of this discussion let’s assume for a moment that there’s a clearly designated men’s room and a clearly designated women’s room. Anyone who self-identifies as a man uses the men’s room. Anyone who self-identifies as a woman uses the women’s room. Seems easy enough as long as we don’t get stuck on who has what plumbing.
With that understanding of the situation, my biggest question is what’s to stop me, a 300 pound, goteed, heteronormative male, from deciding I’d just rather use the ladies loo? Maybe it’s closer to my desk. Maybe it’s just because the ladies (maybe) don’t piss all over the seat. The reason behind my decision doesn’t really matter because we’ve established that people get to pick the bathroom where they feel most comfortable regardless of what their personal equipment or what anyone else using those facilities thinks.
Personally, I don’t care who’s popping a squat in the stall next to me, but if we’re all going to be cheerleaders for equal-access restrooms, don’t be surprised if I show up farting and belching in the ladies room at some point just because it’s more convenient. If anyone makes a fuss, I’ll just call myself a big, bald, ugly chick who likes looking awfully butch and wearing polos and khakis. How dare you question my authenticity and can you please point the way to the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity office so I can file a complaint and set myself up for a nice settlement.
I’m sure the issue is full of nuance and subtlety that I’m somehow missing, but what it seems to boil down to for me is a question of how far does my right to make the vast majority of those around me uncomfortable stretch in my relentless pursuit of pooping where I want to poop?
I complain alot about Uncle Sam’s half-assed approach to managing his people… and God knows I’m not going to withdraw any of those previous commentaries. They all have the convenient aspect of being statements of fact rather than simple opinion. The one thing, though, that I won’t fault Uncle on is his policy on sick leave. We rack up 104 hours of sick leave every year and the unused balance rolls over from year to year assuming you don’t use all 13 days earned. Not a bad deal compared to some of the paid-time-off schemes out there.
The only reason I bring it up is I’m currently on the second day in a row sitting here on the couch alternately burning up and shivering. It’s good times. Really. I heard from several people yesterday that men are babies when it comes to dealing with the average case of “sick.” Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. I tend to go with the latter. I’m still keeping up with feeding and watering the zoo, taking care of the three S’s every morning, and making my own trips to the drug store. I’ve even managed to feed myself for the last 36 hours – which has been pretty easy since the only flavor I can really taste is salty. I even think I’m getting along with a minimum amount of complaint.
Maybe the deciding element for “being a baby” has to do with not feeling the compulsion to go sit at my desk while I’m hacking and wheezing all over everything. I know some people do, but I just can’t see any up side to it. If I’m going to spend the day shooting weird neon colored snot out my nose, blowing through two boxes of tissues a day, and generally feeling sick and tired, I’d rather do that in the privacy of my own home than have ten people listening in on my progress. If that makes me a baby, well, fine… but I’d go more with responsible adult.
Now if anyone needs me, I’ll be watching House reruns and trying to diagnose myself.