"Ha ha, darling wife!," he'll jocularly exclaim. "So I have joke-repeated your flawless and golden humor again! I am a silly man rife with flaws, and I acknowledge that joke-repeating is but one among many. How you love me after all these years I'll never understand, and I am forever grateful for your continued affections!" Then we make out.
And this acknowledgement is why I don't smother him in his sleep after decades - DECADES! - of his joke-repeating.
Clint Edwards and the Washington Post don't get off so easily.
On July 21, the Post published Edwards's piece titled "I blamed my wife for our messy house, I was wrong for so many reasons" in its On Parenting section online. Truly, it is a benign little self-congratulatory realization of the obvious fact that his wife's job as a stay-at-home mother, just as his job as a professional writer, does not automatically guarantee a magically clean house. It might even do some couples some good because it follows Edwards's transformation from an entitled critic ("Shortly after she became a stay-at-home mom, I started getting really judgmental. I started looking at the state of the house and thinking, 'You have one job! One job! To take care of the home.'") to an enlightened and understanding partner ("I stopped looking at the dirty dishes, assuming that they were evidence of Mel sitting around all day. Instead, I got up myself and started washing the dishes. I realized that this was not her mess, but our mess, and I started pitching in more."). I imagine that this is not a transformation that many male partners are not able to make as quickly or whole-heartedly, if at all. So, for any change that this piece is able to promote, then I say thanks for "pitching in."
But the content of the piece is not really it's main problem or why it earned the inaugural OTPBS acknowledgement. The story's main flaw is in who is telling it and why that teller's voice and perspective is privileged enough to warrant publication. Every stay-at-home parent, over 97% of which are women according to the
"Columbusing" is a new term floating around that generally refers to white people "discovering" something that has existed in other ethnic cultures for ages. Perhaps a gendered corollary is required to accurately describe what Edwards and the Post are doing in this piece. (Lovelacing perhaps? The grammar isn't parallel, but I'll be damned if we call it Babbaging.). Whichever name we apply to it, it is a prime example of the kind of Old-Timey Patriarchal Bullshit to which we should all say "enough."