Wife Strike.



I live in Texas. Everything down here is a little slower, including policy reform and the southern drawl, yall. So what’s a feminist to do when she ties the knot, and moves in with her new hubby? Go on wife strike, I suppose. Here is a post I wrote when shit hit the fan, and I finally told my husband that gender roles do NOT necessarily apply in our house! I got a great response from family and friends…and my husband was legitimately pissed off that I “aired our dirty laundry” (figuratively and literally, I suppose). Enjoy. The photos are even more entertaining than my pissed off tone of voice, which I sincerely hope you detect!

“It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along…”

Right? You know you’re singin’ it. At least you are if you’re a girl, and you’ve seen this YouTube clip a million times when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are awarded Best Kiss (I think I’m probably 50 of the 1 million+ views!).

Of course, Ryan Gosling isn’t really Noah from the Notebook, and the adorable Feminist Flickr isn’t exactly real. Which brings me to my blogpost.

I have blogged about George more than any other topic in this blog. Back in 2010, I blogged about how scared I was to one day live with the man. Reading that post again today helped calm me down a bit.

While George and I share many commonalities (ie: our sense of humor, mutual love of the outdoors, free-spirited nature, and love of deep philosophical convos), we are also very different.

I admittedly have two personalities. I can be very chill and laid back, but also very type A and obsessive. It’s the Gemini in me. George tends to leave little trails in the house. Diet coke cans, beer bottles, shoes, socks, dishes, trash. I like every item in the house to have a home. I’m not a ‘clean freak’ (I shamelessly haven’t dusted or vacuumed since moving in, which is horrible since we’ve been here since May 10th!) by any means. But I’m ORDERLY. And he’s the opposite.

His apartment got so messy (before we got married), I wouldn’t even spend the night and I rarely went over, because the disheveled wreck put me in anxiety mode. I just avoided it. Twice, I helped him all weekend completely organize his room. Both times I told him “I won’t be doing this again.” Ha.

So, I’m going on strike. Wife Strike. The reason is because it bothers me if housework is not done. It doesn’t bother him if it’s not done. And half the time, I’m fairly certain he’s unaware of the work I even do. So I told him I was going on strike. I wasn’t going to do a single chore until he was aware of how much I do, appreciates what I do, and helps out.

The laundry pile is continuing to grow…

Here’s the thing. I love George. I love his heart, his mind, his personality, his quirks. But we both work full time jobs (and I’m VERY grateful for this!). I’m not a housewife. I’m a workin’ woman. So why is it that when I come home, with swollen feet from being on them for 12 hours, I have to do 90% of the housework? Jessica Valenti coincidentally wrote an amazing article TODAY about this very topic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (a legit source) shows that women-EVEN THOSE WITH FULL TIME JOBS-still do the bulk of housework. ”On an average day, 48% of women and 19% of men did housework. Married women with children who work full time spend 51 minutes a day on housework while married men with children spend just 14 minutes a day.” This is insane. Don’t get me wrong…if I stayed home, I would expect to do all the housework. And if George did, I would expect him to do all the housework. When we BOTH work out of the home, we BOTH need to work in the home. Period. It’s 2012. I know that George never had to worry about this before, and it’s coming as a bit of a shock now, but I figure if I don’t put my foot down in the first few months of our marriage, I’m setting myself up for misery. I don’t want that, and I know he doesn’t want that….

The dishes continue to sit….

It’s so ridiculous, I think it’s kind of humorous. That’s why I decided to share publicly. That, and because for all 28 times that I’ve gushed about George, I think it’s only fair to make an accurate portrayal of our relationship. Yes, I’m still giddy in love with him, and I know I’ll love him forever. But he annoys me with his messiness, and I have to put my foot down at some point. I know it’s sounding one sided since I’m the author of this post, so to be fair, I know I’m on his nerves right now, too. I know he thinks I’m being dramatic and mean. There are three sides to every story…his, hers, and the truth. My hope is that eventually (and hopefully that’s SOONER rather than LATER) he will realize all I do, appreciate all I do, and help out. Until then, enjoy the disgusting pictures of our humble abode…

My biggest reason for going on strike is explained in this photo. About 4 days after moving in, George lost the mailbox and housekey. I never had a chance to make copies. I asked him multiple times to handle the situation, but going in the backdoor and ignoring the postal service seemed to be easier. I finally told him I’m going on strike.
This was a note from George on our one and only toilet. He clogged it up with dog feces and paper towels after picking up the mess and doing one big flush. We didn’t have a plunger. Past-tense, because I picked one up after work today. (I guess I’m not as tough as I like to think I am!)
This was what I woke up to this morning. This is part of my reasoning for going all out in a “Wife Strike.”
This would be one of the other reasons! We have puppy pads. George either didn’t know where they are (mind you we live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 800 square foot house), or didn’t want to take the time to get one out, so he put down two paper towels. All day long. This was before the wife strike. I cleaned up this mess, but this is also part of my reasoning for putting my foot down.
Everyday I clean up the dogs’ puppy pad mess. Not today.


Everyday I clean up his Diet Coke cans. Not today.


Everyday I pick up his trash (wrappers, pieces of paper, empty boxes, etc.), and when the trash/recycling piles up, I usually take it out. Not today.


We got a package today. It’s still sitting outside!


Oh yes. The straw that broke the camel’s back. When George was hanging a shelf on our bedroom wall (a task that he does NOT care about or desire, and one I’ve been asking him to do for about 6 weeks), my vintage sconce from Canton fell and broke one of our Anthropologie coasters. The lightbulb shattered on the floor.
When I zombie-walked to the coffee maker yesterday morning, I stepped in broken glass because he didn’t clean it up. He left the broken glass on the floor! After throwing a fit that evening, he hung the sconce back up but didn’t replace the bulb or shade. So now it’s sitting on the bed, and I’m NOT GOING TO FIX IT!

Okay. I feel better now. I’ve ranted, I’ve tried to maintain a neutral perspective, and I’ve shown the world (more like the few people who MIGHT care) that all that glitters isn’t gold. I wouldn’t trade George for anything in the world. I LOVE being married (believe it or not!) and living with my best friend. But I’m also not going to pretend that we are in this perfect relationship because it is the cool online social media thing to do. It’s not perfect. Nobody’s relationship is. I know this is transitional and I know we are going to get better at this living together thing.


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One Comment

  1. Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’d remark how I don’t do any cleaning (And I mean just about any. Like, I’ll let dishes sit in the sink for weeks until someone asks me to wash them and do laundry about once a month.) But… not sweeping up broken glass? Wow, that… that’s a bit much. That’s not housework — that’s basic safety, as you proved by stepping on the shards.

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