I Take The Second Shift.

I live with a roommate who is a boy. Surprisingly, we are not your typical messy college boys. Our apartment is usually praised for being relatively clean in relation to other college students. One of the suites down the hall is inhabited by four girls. In a way, they defy gender roles by being extremely messy. I mean like REALLY messy. I spent a lot of time in their apartment and notice when it gets really dirty. Two of the girls are really busy and rarely have time to do housework. The other two are like messy children. This is where I come in and take on the second shift.

Once every few weeks, I come into their apartment and clean. I do the dishes, i sweep, I clean the living room, I wipe everything down, and, every once in a while, I bake for them. As I do it, I imagine myself in one of those 50s advertisements of women cleaning the house in nice clothes and in full make up. Thought sometimes it is tedious, I kind of enjoy it.

I am not saying that it is easy. I only do it once every few weeks. I don’t do it for ten hours a day. I think that it is ironic that me, being the single man, does the housework of four women. I think that it is possible for men to take care of the household if they really wanted to. Is it extremely tedious? yes. However, I think that it is work that anyone can do, regardless of gender. The girls are usually busy and I have the free time. Because I spend so much time in their room, I feel like I owe it to them to help out. I don’t think that helping clean takes a blow at my masculinity or my “manliness.” If anything, it makes me seem like a kind person willing to help out.

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1 Response to I Take The Second Shift.

  1. taek2012 says:

    I think this is a very sweet thing for you to do, and I’m sure they appreciate it greatly. What you said about anybody being able to do this kind of work, regardless of gender, is clearly true. Another thing that is clearly true in your post is that men can notice cleanliness and care about it. I think our society paints men as the “careless” (or maybe “carefree”) gender, which can’t be bothered by trivial matters such as cleanliness. I’m curious to know — how do your friends react when they find out you do this? I know you don’t view it as a blow to your masculinity (which is good!), but do others? Also, you are a perfect example of how men actually can contribute to the housework, and it is frustrating that many men fail to do so. The work is not very strenuous, but it is tedious and gross at times, and I don’t understand why it should be seen as “women’s work.”

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