I’ve been living in a condo for the past two years. Admittedly, there have been a lot of adjustments. I was used to having people around me to care of my needs in our old house. After getting married, I had to get used to a lot less people, and a lot less space. More so, my wife is a fashion stylist/menswear designer — you can just imagine how packed our place is with clothes, accessories, luggage etc. We couldn’t even fit a washing machine into our unit! My wife, ever the multi-tasker, even had to juggle cooking our meals while prepping for work. Inevitably, I had to learn how to pull my own weight — that meant having to do my own laundry.
Don’t get me wrong, we get most of our clothes washed in a local laundry shop, but I found it uncomfortably strange to entrust my delicates to other people. With my wife always on the run, I had to come to terms with the reality of doing my own dirty laundry. Man, was it scary. I was one of those dudes that thought chores were left to the helpers, let alone the women. It was mind-boggling to even think I’d be sitting on a wet floor, turning my fingers into prunes just to get the job done.
I manned up and did what I had to do. If I wanted to go out with clean underwear — and not go commando underneath my jeans (plus the unwanted chaffing!), I would have to suck it up and just do it. So I did. Inside our bathroom, I made space for the basics: the dirty undies, detergent, water and a basin. Initially, I didn’t know what I had to do first. Did I need to water down the delicates? Did I need to dissolve the detergent? My first few tries naturally failed. Some shrank, some got discolored , and some even bore holes in them. But I survived, yes I did. I just thought to myself that practice makes perfect. Eventually, like with anything I set my mind to, I got it right. And yes, no more “free willy” for me.
Funny as it may sound, I am now good at it. I have a weekly schedule to do my laundry. Call it ironic — a man doing a “woman’s” job. Suffice it to say, I’m pretty proud of myself, not just because I now know how to separate my whites from my coloured delicates, but more importantly, because I broke my own stereotype. My wife has never been prouder. At the end of the day, it isn’t about roles we think we should play or what society tells us we should or shouldn’t do. It’s about what I truly believe in — committing to a relationship where I do my part to make it work. There are certain norms of society that dictate how men and women act, but there was never a rule about not breaking the rules. I think we’re past the archaic times when men and women were boxed into specific moulds. If it’s wrong for a Man to do a Woman’s work, then let me pay the price. But I honestly believe I’ve become a better person than ever before. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been domesticated, and that I do the laundry. I think it’s definitely something to be proud of.
We easily get caught up in roles the norm has dictated upon us, when we lose sight of what it truly essential. In my case, I just like wearing clean underwear, and I rather enjoy cleaning them myself. Add to that the fact that my wife is a scorpio, and doing the household chores secures me a spot on her good side.