…ll do it. He has no idea what his daughter’s shoe size is, or even that she needs new shoes at all. It’s the “myth of the male bumbler” — the absurdity of men believing themselves fit to run the world, but unable to figure out how to do the laundry or put a child down for a nap.
The myth feeds on the antiquated idea that doing laundry or doing any of the other overlooked domestic labors a woman does to keep your life comfy is seen as 'less important' therefore something they don't need to do. She can do it. "She likes to do it, because she just does it better or likes it a certain way," gaslighting trap.
I've seen enough sitcoms and know how this plays out. "Wait, you can work a job, pay bills, taxes, and figure out what is wrong with the car or lawnmower. But you can't manage to understand the complexity of moving wet clothing from the washer to the dryer in a timely fashion (or at all)? Or when asked (even though we shouldn't have to ask) to get something clean out of the dishwasher, you can't conceive of putting everything away? Or (gasp) refilling it with dirty dishes after?"
He understands it alright. He just doesn't want to do it. It is easier to pluck the mug he wants from the dishwasher and go than it is to empty everything and refill it. At some point, someone has to empty and refill it. He can just wait her out, and eventually, she’ll do it. Sure, she’ll be annoyed with him about it. But for fear of not wanting to be called a nag, she’ll suck it up and clean up after him like he’s one of the youngsters. She’ll start treating him like he’s incompetent — someone who can’t seem to do anything right because he doesn’t show any initiative to do anything to make her life any easier. But she struggles to articulate it beyond telling him over and over and over to do something. And when she does try to explain how something he finds seemingly harmless bothers her, he will dismiss it because, to him, it isn’t super important. Why are you wasting time being frustrated about this?
She’ll stop asking him to do things (what he playfully calls nagging). Even when she asks nicely because it always has to be in a nice tone when we repeatedly ask someone to do their share. Still, it doesn’t get done. A few years later, he will have the gall to be surprised when their sex-life is on life support and she’s contemplating divorce because he just doesn’t understand or respect her needs, she feels taken for granted, and she’s calling him a selfish jerk. It is the death of a relationship by a million little cuts, adding up over the years. Every rare once in a while you neglect to clean up after yourself, fine. Do it all the time, it adds up, taking a toll on the person who is following along behind you — sacrificing their personal time to tidy up after you.
I remember an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where his wife finally grills into him about his faking his inability to do anything helpful around the house, to lighten her domestic load. During this episode, he literally flails at putting a pillowcase on, telling her he has a weak chin and can't figure it out. She loses it. She knows she didn’t marry an idiot.
He's not inept. He thinks he has cleverly bumbled under her radar for years and conned her into doing pretty much everything around the house. She knows it, always has in a way and resents it. Hates being made the responsible one by default; the one who cooks and cleans and does all of the invisible labor to keep things going (while being criticized about it) while he goes off to play golf every chance he gets.
I know real-life people who have struggled their whole marriage with this crap.
I was disappointed with that show. They constantly and wrongfully painted his wife out like a nag or shrew, as she was regularly belittled for her inability to keep a clean home or cook a meal as well as his mother. Bullshit like that.