The Rules I Never Even Saw Coming
1. There is ALWAYS something more to clean.
“You’re such a man,” The Princess told me Wednesday night as I sat on my bed and watched TV after helping her clean up. I smiled and thought, “Damn straight.” But she didn’t mean it in a complimentary way. Although I felt we had cleaned our place up as much as humanly possible after her birthday party, there were still things left to be done. Don’t get me wrong. In no way was I trying to shirk my responsibilities. But as a “man” (i.e., freak genetic mutation), I was unable to detect the remaining chores that she so clearly perceived. “I don’t see what you see,” I told The Princess. “Oh, I know that,” she replied.
2. Watching TV together does not count as “quality time”.
This mystifies me. You’re sitting on the couch, watching the latest Prison Break after a long day at the office, hanging out with your best girl. You’re comfortable, you’re relaxed, maybe you’re even having a glass of wine. This, my friends, does not qualify as “spending time together” to The Princess. Though you can weaken the rule by giving her a foot rub or shoulder massage, don’t feel like you’ve logged in any good “us” time.
2(a): This rule doesn’t count when she wants to watch Grey’s Anatomy.
3. Cooking together is supposed to be fun.
When your kitchen is the size of your standard DC-issued cubicle, cooking a meal together can look like a Cirque du Soleil production. Lots of dancing around each other, yelling unintelligible commands, and a high risk of injury if one isn’t paying attention. Being Argentinian, I grew up in a household where the men sat and the women served us. But I also consider myself an enlightened, progressive feminist who believes in all that equality crap. So over the years, I have had to reconcile these two seemingly opposite facets. But at my basest level, I want to be served my dinner and I want to take a minimal role in helping prepare that meal. And by “minimal role” I mean “do nothing”. But it IS important to The Princess that I help out in the kitchen so I do what I can, which mostly means listening to whatever she tells me to do. Granted, it is fun to actually “eat” the meal together but no one will ever convince me that “cooking” it is an experience much higher than doing laundry.
4. The last one to wake up makes the bed.
Who the hell made up this rule? Was there some furtive Grand Council of Women who voted on this rule at their annual conference (which, I assume, includes workshops titled “Pillow Fights in Sexy Underwear” and “Braiding Each Other’s Hair: How Tight is Too Tight?”)? I think this rule should be amended to: First one who wants to go to sleep makes the bed.
5. Ten o’clock is late.
I remember pretty vividly being in my 20s and possessing the PHYSICAL ABILITY to stay up until 3am on a weeknight, drinking with my friends, eating at Ben’s Chili Bowl, and STILL getting up on time to go to work. But much like a superhero who has lost his superpowers, age has pulled a kryptonite on me and I can no longer stay up late without risking oversleeping. Still, though I may not be the powerful partier I once was, no matter how “early” you feel like you should go to bed, women always feel like it could be earlier. In my apartment, The Princess is usually yawning and fantasizing about her pillow at about 10pm. I’m usually thinking if it’s not too late to meet the guys for a beer.
For those of you who currently cohabitate, have cohabitated in the past, or are considering the possibility of someday cohabitating with someone, what are some unforeseen rules you’ve learned? Are there any rules women have learned about men that they didn’t know existed?