In a slight twist to the Teaser Tuesday meme, where readers are invited to pick up their current read, turn to a certain page, and share a random paragraph, I like to take a moment on Tuesdays and share a meaningful passage from the book that’s currently propped open on my bedside table.
I’m gradually starting to adjust to having my husband ’round the house all day. He’s been working from his “home office” (which was once our dining room), and has learned to make himself rather handy when I’m stuck at my own office for longer and longer amounts of time. Why, just the other day he emptied all the trash bins (including the recycle!) without my even asking.
But no matter how handy he tries to be, I think there’s just a serious disconnect between the way men and women see the ordinary activities of daily living. I have a feeling that he does those kinds of chores to humor me, as if he really sees no good reason to make the bed or wipe the crumbs off the counter or vacuum up leaves and sticks the dogs have dragged in from the yard. But he does it to avoid the deep sighs of disgust he knows he’ll hear from me when I come plodding in at the end of the day.
Lorrie Moore’s new novel, A Gate at the Stairs, points out the disconnect between men and women (and people in general) on all levels. Moore is unlike any writer I’ve read before…her writing is at once lyrical and bitingly sarcastic. She meanders along in an almost stream of consciousness style, and leads the reader into funny, poignant, and gorgeous places. This line, spoken by Sarah, a 40-something chef and restaurateur, to her husband Edward, a rather removed research scientist, certainly resonated with me (as I think it might amongst other women):
You emptied the top rack of the dishwasher but not the bottom, so the clean dishes have gotten all mixed up with the dirty ones – and now you want to have sex?
See, they just don’t get it, do they?