My English friend had just warned me the other day that French men (or is it all men?) have a way of asking “Where’s my belt?” that can be loaded with accusation. As in, “Where did you put my belt, you belt-hiding wench?” So I reacted with my firm voice when my own French man said he couldn’t find any clean jeans the other Sunday. I promptly showed him the pants that were clean and ironed by yours truly in the cabinet. But those were too heavy for Monsieur. Jeans were the texture he wanted/needed. Well, that’s all there is, so deal with it, was my approximate response. And something else like, it’s not my job (or fondest aspiration) to clean my husband’s jeans. Just something I do out of kindness as he works seven days a week at the moment and sometimes doesn’t come home till nine p.m.
In talking with my French girlfriend at work, we realized this is a very common sticking point between husbands and wives. The French guys (again, I wonder, is it all guys?) have this way of thinking clothes magically migrate to the washing machine from no matter where they drop them. E.g. corners, couches, tables. One day soon I’m gonna take Remi by the ear and get him to round up everything he wants washed and show him how to put it in the machine himself. And maybe even turn it on, too! I know, I’m being tough on the guy. He has done laundry a few times in our marriage. And for the most part I don’t mind doing it. I like getting clothes clean and smelling their fresh flowery sweetness when I take them out of the machine. But have I mentioned that we don’t have a dryer? So drying takes at least a day or more on the rack. Then the majority of the clothes is wrinkled and must be ironed. And Remi did warn me before we got married that ironing is not one of his “things”. Why didn’t we get that put in a pre-nup?
I recently saw a report on the TV news here about whether women really were more liberated now compared to the past. They actually asked French couples who did what in terms of chores. Some men did participate more, some even did laundry (can we clone them?). But they made the point that women often just have to work twice as hard. They have a day job, and they do most everything at home, too. And they take care of the kiddies, too. Sure, it’s nothing compared to the women in some parts of the world who must walk four miles to get water. But the “ideal” of totally shared chores is still quite far off for most couples. And until we get a bigger place, I don’t think my dream of having a dryer will become a reality either. One day, one day…
Meanwhile, please participate in my highly scientific survey to prove once and for all who’s doing the laundry. Respond for your household, and if there’s no man or you’re a man who lives alone, just respond, do it myself cause live alone. I can’t get blogger to do the survey in English, but I think you can figure out that “voter” is vote. Afficher les resultants means show results.