I was sitting in my living room the other day within earshot of my dishwasher. I was thinking "Isn't it nice to hear the sound of my work being done for me?"
Well, I had to load the dishwasher, but then it said "Let me take it from here, so you can go relax."
I was dreaming, of course. I will never hear those words except in my dreams. I have accustomed myself to that fate, but it doesn't mean I can't wish for a break now and then.
In fact, there seems to be more work to do now, even with all the advances in technology. Those advances have made it possible to get a task done more quickly, so that you can fit more tasks into your day.
Still, a girl's got to prioritize. Some tasks would necessarily fall to the bottom of the To Do List. For example, when was the last time you darned socks or ironed bed sheets? Collectively, we have realized that socks are considered disposable. If they have a hole in them, it takes much less time and effort to go buy another pair rather than wasting precious time trying to darn them. As for ironing bed sheets? Really?
Of course, one could argue that while I was sitting in my living room, letting the dishwasher do my work, I could have been darning socks. However, I would advise all lifetime volunteers to draw the line somewhere. Darning socks is where I drew mine.
As for ironing, most of us have discovered that if your clothes get hung up or folded promptly after drying, ironing is not necessary. Besides, as a nation, we have apparently decided that a few wrinkles are acceptable, and sometimes even desired.
When the fashion world declared that wrinkles were in, women everywhere wryly noted that after high heels, panty hose, mini-skirts and thong underwear, the world finally got something right.
With regard to thong underwear, I'd rather have panty lines, but don't get me started
I digress (but with good reason!)
Anyway, it's clear to me that there is a man in charge of doing the research and development on household appliances. I know this because a women still has to push a vacuum around the house. A man can ride around the backyard on a garden tractor to cut the grass and he'll call it work.
With today's open floor plans, it should be possible to build a house tractor that we can ride around the house. It could pick up everything in its path and sort it: toys, socks, trash, remote controls, food. Then you could simply drive to the appropriate drop zone: closet, toy box, trash can and deposit your load.
For every job men do, they have a machine that does it for them. There are machines for digging a hole, nailing, screwing, sawing, cutting trees, trimming bushes, you name it. Yet, we're still pushing a broom and mop around the kitchen floor. We're still folding every article of clothing in the house. We're still manually removing dust from our furniture. We're still digging crumbs out from beneath our sofa cushions.
What we need is some women on the R & D team. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy sweeping, mopping, folding, and dusting to have any time for tinkering. It's a Catch 22.
My husband seems to have plenty of time for tinkering, as well as channel surfing and exploring the Internet. He has never invented a miracle machine to make household chores any easier. In fact, he is the chief producer of many of the things I have to pick up every day.
However, as he was wandering around the Internet the other day, he discovered that we have 200,000 frequent flier miles; enough for a trip to Hawaii for all of us.
While I swept the kitchen floor for the bazillionth time, he did the research which, in all honesty, took much longer than sweeping the floor. While I folded a mountain of laundry, he booked our tickets. While I wiped spots off bathroom faucets, he reserved a small house on the beach for us.
He has not quite achieved the "Do My Work For Me Award" like my beloved dishwasher, but tickets to Hawaii does feel a lot like "Let me take it from here, so you can go relax."
Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website