After 30 years of wrangling my four knuckle-headed sons and their distracted father, I can tell you with certainty that it does not profit a “neat” woman to shovel the droppings of the average American male. Unless you’re getting paid WAY-above-market by your man, let those papers, dirty dishes and crispy socks just lay there until he gets a clue. I apologize in advance for besmirching the reputations of any “neat” men out there. But such men are like unicorns. And they’re all probably taken. So the world’s unattached “neat” women had better listen to Modah.
Let us examine three unprofitable scenarios where a well-intentioned “neat” woman might be tempted clean up after her man:
Unprofitable scenario #1: Cleaning the dorm room/apartment of your hygiene-deprived college boyfriend.
Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re in LOVE. And during this time of happy delusion people will fall all over themselves to please the object of their affections. But darling girl, listen to Modah, do not give Freddy Frat the love gift of cleaning his place.
First, no matter how many things you may “tidy,” “fold,” “put away,” “hide” or “toss” for the sake of love and sanitation…trust me, it’s just gonna grow back. And it’s gonna bring friends. Disturbing a pile of collegiate man-crap is like trying to kill a pregnant spider. If you poke it, it will explode into a thousand live, scurrying things.
Second, if you decide to surprise Freddy Frat by cleaning his hovel you actually might spook the hell out of him and run him off. By straightening-up his personal space you’re acting more like his “controlling mother” than his “Ay, ma-MI!” So, should you come over to watch Netflix with Freddy on his sticky couch (which already shows that you’ve lowered your standards), you must insist that HE brush off those pizza crusts and half-used packets of Taco Bell Hot Sauce himself. But, remember to be gentle with Freddy. You’ll get rid of more flies with honey than vinegar, if you really wanna keep him.
Unprofitable scenario #2: Cleaning up after your hygiene-deprived-college-boyfriend-who-is-now-a-grown-ass-man.
Let us assume that you have chosen to co-hab with Freddy, who is now a high-functioning adult male*. Let us also assume that you are now a high-functioning adult female. You both work. You both pay bills. You both have your higher purposes to fulfill. Well then, you should equally share the responsibility of keeping your place from looking like an episode of “Hoarders.”
Girl, you’ve got better to do than washing/folding/putting-away his laundry, cooking his meals, and recycling the magazines that he leaves on the bathroom floor. Make sure that you hammer out a “neatness contract” before you co-hab with grown-ass-Freddy, or you’ll end up picking up after him at the expense of your yoga classes, GNO’s and manicures. And if you truly love his adorable, slovenly self, take heart. If he breaks your “neatness contract,” you can always use your, uh, charms, to lure him back to his senses.
Unprofitable scenario #3: Cleaning up after your hygiene-deprived-college-boyfriend-turned-grown-ass-man’s-knuckle-headed-progeny.
Young mother, here’s where your life gets REAL. By the time you reach your reproductive peak you will realize that a mother teaches her precious manlet NOTHING by doing for him what he should be doing for himself. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that, because little Freddy Junior has a small and malleable mind, that he will naturally follow the clean and personally responsible example of his loving mother…especially if his father spends every Saturday in belchey splendor, watching sports amid an accumulating strata of beer cans and snack bags. You must remind yourself that Freddy Junior, at ages two, ten and fourteen, has hardly any mind at all, and that you gotta mold his cranial Play-doh before it hardens.
Make sure to convince/train your progeny that “there’s a place for everything and that everything goes into its place.” Or be forewarned that, if your little knucklehead doesn’t learn to put his smudged Underoos in the laundry hamper, he will grow up to repel any smart, neat, clean, organized candidate for a daughter-in-law-who-will-one-day-help-pick-your-assisted-living-facility.
So, my fellow “neat” women, DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DID, and NEVER PICK UP AFTER YOUR MAN. And you will help break a centuries-old cycle of “neat” women who’ve inadvertently created, and then suffered, fools.
(*Definition of a high-functioning adult male = full-time-employed, excellent character, no pending criminal charges….BTW if your man falls short of these standards, STOP READING THIS ARTICLE IMMEDIATELY AND MOVE OUT until he gets his sh*t together.)