Some Men Are Apparently Learning Basic Household Chores for the First Time Because of Quarantine

As if quarantining wasn't stressful enough, some women have had to deal with partners who simply don't know how to complete household tasks even though they are grown men.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

May 20 2020, Updated 6:00 p.m. ET

Something quarantine has crystallized for many heterosexual couples is just how uneven household labor responsibilities are. Women do the lion's share of the chores and unpaid labor to keep the household running, even when their male partners are suddenly home all the time and have just as much time on their hands.

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Of course, this isn't true in every household, but statistically, men don't do household chores and housekeeping tasks as often as their female partners. Even when they think they are, they're not. So when they're forced to, due to the sudden apparentness of their lack of contribution to their own lives, it sometimes doesn't go well. 

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For example, Abby Tomlinson's boyfriend, ostensibly an adult male with a few decades of experience being alive and moving through the world, thought it'd be fine to substitute dish soap, the kind that you squirt on your sponge to hand-wash dishes, for dishwasher tablets or detergent.

Has this man watched movies? Television shows? Infomercials? This is a classic, cartoonish blunder I thought only existed in pop culture. Surely, no one who has ever watched a sitcom would still think it's fine to use liquid dish soap in the dishwasher. It always causes way too many suds!

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You'd think this would be self-explanatory. Except men are notoriously bad when it comes to noticing things around them, especially when they don't directly affect them. 

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Maybe the kids are becoming more insufferable in quarantine. Or maybe Kristen's husband hasn't really had to deal with them to the extent Kristen has until now! 

Speaking of dudes who don't understand how things go despite it being in front of their faces for years and years, Joanne Sterling took to Facebook to share how her husband, Jim, decided to make the bed for the first time in their 45 years together. "I don't think he knows that to do with the extra pillows," she wrote in the caption. 

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Yeah, I don't think he knows what to do with the pillows either, Joanne! Or the sheets and blankets for that matter. After 45 years of getting into a made bed every night, he can't re-create it?! Jim. Jim. Get with the program, Jim.

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Not to mention, there are millions of images of made beds out in the world, on the internet, on TV commercials, in movies, etc. Has he ever once seen a bed with the pillows stacked like that? Ooh, I can answer that: No, he has not. 

Because it's recommended these days that only one person from each household do the grocery shopping, lots of dudes are finding themselves roaming the aisles for the first time in a long time. And they're helpless.

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One woman wrote on Twitter, "My husband came home from the store with red delicious apples like he thinks I won't divorce him just because we're in the middle of a pandemic." Everyone knows that Red Delicious apples have been deemed the worst kind of apples (Personally, I disagree that they are The Worst, but I will submit that their quality has declined massively in recent years). How can one not know this?!

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Perhaps the most blatant display of men's infuriating penchant to casually not participate in their own lives came from a man who inadvertently outed himself in a New York Times article. Writer Rachel Riederer generously did the labor of pointing out the section that makes our blood boil.

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His "annual!" "Attempt!" "At cooking!" This grown man didn't know where to find a spatula in his own kitchen because he only tries to cook for his family once a year. Unforgivable. He is clearly presenting this in a, "Ha, ha, isn't it so funny how I'm so hopeless?" way, but almost every woman I know turns red with anger when she sees something like this.

It's not funny and it's not cute when grown men don't know how to do the dishes or make a bed or care for their kids or grocery shop or find a spatula. Men need to pull their weight. And that means, among other things, knowing that you never, ever, ever buy red delicious apples.

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