Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Great Procrastination Conspiracy

What is on your to do list right now? I bet there is more on there than you realize. Why do I think this? Because living in a male-dominated household (MDH) has enlightened me to the fact that the few items that were on your to do list that you handed off to one of the males in your household will most likely end up being done by you.

Take my friend Christina, who also lives in a MDH. She wrote, “If men wait long enough to do something, the woman will eventually do it because it will drive her insane waiting...examples: iron the shirt for tonight, empty the trash, fill or empty the dish washer, pick up toys, make beds, etc, etc.” So true.

Through experimentation and years of honing the skill, men have discovered that women get tired of waiting for something to get done and eventually just do it themselves. They have figured out that the few hours of the silent treatment or evil-eyed looks they get as the female is taking out the trash are no big deal if it means that they get out of doing something. I call this the Great Procrastination Conspiracy.

The Great Procrastination Conspiracy won’t work for all things, and men have figured out which requests they can ignore and which they cannot.

Can Ignore:
The overflowing recycling bin/trash can.
The pile of junk mail on the dining room table.
The RSVP to the cousin’s wedding.
The birthday card for his sister/mother/father.

Can’t Ignore:
The spider on the ceiling.
The dead mouse in the garage.
The snake in the yard the boys are poking with a stick.
The birthday reservations for the wife’s night out.

With boys, it is less of a conspiracy and more of a product of age and inexperience. Boys don’t purposefully try to put off doing things hoping they get done by someone else. Usually anyway. I remember asking my youngest son Luke to hang up his bath towel when he was done drying off. The next morning, it was still balled up on the floor of the bathroom. I hung it up and when he woke up asked him why he didn’t hang it up like I asked him. “Because I knew you’d do it.” Ouch!

Could females get away with taking part in the Great Procrastination Conspiracy? First we have to ask ourselves if the men in our lives would even notice that we were procrastinating. It’s not really a conspiracy if our procrastinating doesn’t lead to the men taking care of the procrastinated task. Second, we have to determine if it is in our nature to procrastinate. For me, it would depend on the task being procrastinated. There are things that I just can’t stand to ignore, like piled-up dishes and dirty laundry (I went to college with a guy that wore his underwear inside out when they got dirty to avoid doing laundry – my first thought was “How’s that?” followed closely by “Disgusting!”).

I did recently put off and put off and put off getting the oil changed in my car. I wasn’t doing this on purpose. I just couldn’t find the time. My husband was really mad at me. The next week, he took my car and got the oil changed.

Me unloading the car after I got tired of waiting. That is the evil-eye I was talking about.

P.S. My experiment that I am doing may not go over very well with my husband and may get me into trouble. Stay tuned for results, probably on Friday. Then, stay tuned on Monday to see if I still have a blog.

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