Wednesday, April 8, 2009
What Do Women Want?
In the century since Sigmund Freud asked that question many people have tried to answer that question, with varying degrees of success. Have the most penetrating answers come from the world of psychiatry? The overfunded 'Feminist Studies' departments of elite universities? Sage philosophers after much deep pondering? Nope. None of these wise-guys have ever brought any insight to this important question.
So who knows? Who can penetrate the very inner souls of our female wives, daughters, girlfriends, colleagues, and friends? Its so obvious and so simple---the people who make automatic dishwashers! Yes guys, while we would be perfectly happy to have every dish we own coated with a hardened layer of whatever frozen entree we microwaved onto it and laying unwashed in the sink while the hungry cats try to lick some sustenance from the caked-on fossilized goo women are not so easy-going. Even if they are not even in the same room as the dirty dishes they will never be happy or relaxed knowing that they are sitting there, calling out to be sparkling clean and sitting happily in their proper place in the cabinet.
The ancient Chinese pictograph for 'contentment' is a woman under a roof. The modern American pictograph would be a woman standing next to a dishwasher. She pours the viscous oozing liquid into the little plastic door, snaps it shut, closes the door, hits a couple of buttons and PRESTO! the next morning her or her significant other removes all the past day's previously dirty, but now shining clean, dishes and places them in their proper places. Its like the cycle of life; some dishes are used every day. The breakfast ones only stay in their appointed storage places for a few minutes. Some dishes are used intermittently. Some so rarely that its hard to remember where they go. But even a husband can be trusted to load the dishwasher (if there's not too many glasses, dishes, cooking bowls and pots and pans), and males are even capable of operating this simple domestic machine. Well-trained husbands can even unload with a fair degree of accuracy.
Since the middle of the 20th century this time-honored ecology of spotless dishes has ground on in countless households. Unchanging, timeless. But outside of the kitchen a new reality was taking hold in the bigger, wider world in which the innocent dishwashers were a tiny, unnoticed corner of reality, chugging away contentedly freeing women from the chore of washing dishes and men from the occassional guilt of either not washing dishes or sitting by shamefacedly while their female companion washes them. Women began to seize power. They looked around at the Male Patriarchy permeating every aspect of our traditional culture and said, "Enough!" They listened to Oprah and Rachel Maddow and they wised up to the raw deal they've been getting since the first protozoan crawled from the sea two billion years ago. They voted for Freedom, the voted for Progress, they voted for Women's Rights, they voted for Democrats! Radical Democrats, the Redder the better. The Planet is in mortal danger from these hairy testosterone apes, humanity's hope for survival has been left in the sink caked with a layer of hardened patriarchal slime while these clods go off to surf for porn on the internet. The Redder the better and the Greener the better.
But one day, in Spokane, Washington, anywhere USA, a funny thing happened...a woman woke up at the usual time and went to the dishwasher and removed--a DIRTY DISH! In fact, all the dishes were covered with a thin, sticky film of slime. They werent clean! How had this happened? Its simple. In the name of the Planet the local pols had decreed that there should be No More Phosphates in any dishwashing liquid sold in Spokane County. The vile, planet-destroying, capitalist-enriching detergents were gone, replaced with eco-friendly, mixed-with-love, life-sustaining brands. Just one thing was wrong. All the wonderful, Planet-saving, Green detergents wont get dishes clean. The Big Lie of Environmentalism, that only a few minor adjustments to our lives will bring us back into harmony with the Goddess Gaia and her beautiful cycle of life, was writ large on the kitchen walls of Spokane. That there was no problem before doesnt matter. We have to Go Green! So Spokane, which had been existing quite happily with clean dishes has mandated dirty dishes just to do it. Because they care; and if you dont care you're part of the problem.
Of course the Spokanians arent the sort of folks to take this crap lying down. The Costco across the border in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho has been stripped of phosphate dishwashing liquids by alarmed and panicked residents of Spokane. We are living in an age of dishwashing liquid smugglers. Husbands and fathers have been forced to not shave for a couple of days and drive banged-up pickup trucks across the border to load up on 'suds' and drive back into Washington, pretending to be drunk, to throw off the sharp-eyed County Sheriffs who have been pulling over housewives in mini-vans whose springs and shocks are sagging under a heavy load of phosphate-loaded goo and making arrests.
"Whutta buncha saps!" you laugh? This particular 'Green' notion is more widespread than just Spokane. The same people who ripped the cigarette from your lips, are trying to outlaw your pickup truck and replace it with an electric wheelchair and empowered every old biddy in the universe to start squawking about your murderous hamburger habit are on a roll. And they hate your dishwasher. That power-guzzling, water-polluting waste of resources all used to make your pathetic little life 'easier'. You dont care about the Planet very much, do you? And these are the maniacs who won the last election. They were elected by a crowd of people who wanted change. Those people didnt know what 'change' meant but it sounded pretty good after looking at Bush's ugly little face for eight years. And if you're going to vote for The Big O why not go down-ballot and vote Green as well? That'll fix them greedy polecats on Wall Street!
But again their contentment has been shattered by another intrusion by the Busybody State. Now, that's OK with me. I would be happy to return to washing out utensils on a Need To Use basis. But I'm married. The corollary to the question, "What Do Women Want?" is "What Do Women Hate?". The answer, of course, is a sink full of dirty dishes, dishwasher liquid that doesnt work, and a husband, tired from a day of honest toil, settling happily down into comfortable bliss in a soft sofa or easy chair with not a care in the world. What woman would sit still for that? So, now that the communist lunatics that she voted for have ruined her life, who is it who is going to pay for it?
Men, that's who! How many three-pointers are going to sail into the basket while you're in the kitchen up to your elbows in soap suds and hot greasy water? In fact, even when you're done your return to comfort will be in a room dominated by the noise of happy residents painting the walls in their houses strange, florid colors as insanely gay men talk about 'window treatments' and granite countertops. Yes she has taken advantage of the crisis caused by her socialist allies to seize the remote. Hope And Change, like any other system, has winners and losers and guess what you former Male Patriarch...You Lose! Is she going to start voting for people who will protect the integrity of her dishwashing liquid? Nope. She's just going to get a new dishwasher--that would be you, amigo!
And if us older curmudgeons are helpless what of our sons? Those poor, hapless lads whose innocent high-jinks were rewarded with mind-twisting counseling and a lifetime addiction to Ritalin and who have been bombarded with feminist and eco-greenie propaganda since birth? They'll have the burgers ripped from their lips, the 4 wheel drive will disappear from their axles, contact sports will be outlawed but these doughy little wusses wont have the nads to vote for their own freedom. They'll continue to Save The Planet. Enjoy doing the dishes fellas! The vacuum cleaner is next.