Saturday, October 13, 2007

MY FIRST JOB




Brought to you by Sunday Scribblings

The very first job I ever had was assigned to me by my Drill Sargent Mother. And it was washing the dishes after the evening meal. Not only did I have to wash the dishes, I had to set the table and peel the potatoes. Being Irish, we had mashed potatoes with every meal, except Fridays which back in the day was still meatless. But I still had to wash the dishes.

As our family grew, the ordeal of washing the dishes grew!!

I was a feminist by situation and had many a futile argument with my mother over the division of "jobs" in our family. I was the oldest girl, and the next sister was 11 years younger than me. So I was saddled with all the girl stuff.

On the other hand, there were the boys, three of them. Their jobs were "shared" and included clearing the table, taking our the garbage, drying and putting away the dishes.

Taking out the garbage!! A 30 second chore that consisted of just walking down to the trash cans and tossing in a bag or two of gross stuff! What I would give to have that job rather than scrapping all the plates, washing all the utensils and plates and pots for eight people!! It took at the least a half hour.

I argued and argued about how unfair it all was. The boys just ignored me and went about their easy chores and more than likely watched more TV than me too.

I thought it was much easier to be a boy rather than a girl, something that remains pretty much true in most of the division of jobs and roles for the sexes.

Having children....need I say more.

God certainly has a good sense of humor.

19 comments:

meno said...

That is one hell of a cute photo.

When i was about 10, my family purchased our first dishwasher. My oldest brother was convinced that he was the only one who knew how to load it correctly. We let him think that for several months before he wised up.

colleen said...

My brothers washed dishes too. We had nights when it was our turn. But, making the beds was ordained a girl thing in our big Irish Catholic family of 11. I protested in vain

tumblewords said...

What a nifty photo!! I remember the drill, too. Only one brother, younger, and he got off lightly - actually I don't recall that he had chores nor that he was ever scolded but I'm sure he'd argue with me about that, too! Grin. Love this post!!

Lisa :-] said...

Yeah...and the men think that they are the ones that do all the hard stuff...

gautami tripathy said...

I have three brothers. I think my dad was more into my not doing any household work. You see, I was his favourite child..:D

Chris said...

Having come from a family where I was the youngest, my sister 3 years older, and my brother 6 years older, I would agree with your assessment.

My sister was stuck with the dishes which was far more time consuming than our usual chores. 30 or more minutes every night vs. our 5-10 minutes.

But the one area that made up for it was mowing that huge corner lot in the Florida heat every saturday for 2 hours.

Jo said...

Yep, one younger brother who never had to lift a finger, whilst I helped with all the 'womanly' chores. GRRRR. And my mother is still running round after him (rolleyes); that said he's a great guy. I enjoyed reading this.c

sister AE said...

I enjoyed this, and I feel lucky that when I was growing up, the chores were evenly divided. But when it came to washing dishes, things went much faster when I washed and my brother dried - when he washed, many pieces had to go back because he had "missed a spot." I guess my perfectionist tendencies started early!

The Alchemist said...

An only child so I had to wash the dishes, peel the spuds and take out the garbage...poor poor pitiful me. Did it ever occur to you that you filled the garbage bags a little extra gavy for an unsuspecting bros!!

AC said...

That is undoubtedly the most adorable photo! Just imagine...I was an only child. No sharing. Lots of complaints anyway but no photo nearly as cute.

Tressa said...

I had 3 sisters and 1 brother....all he ever had to do was take out the garbage unless he was busy than one of us girls had to do it for him because boys stuff was so much more important that girls stuff....

Its a wonder we didn't mutiny on him!

Adorable picture though!

http://journals.aol.com/st0rmwhispers/SWAOS/

pia said...

Love the photo
My sister and I had to take turns prepping or cleaning dinner
We were only allowed to make salads as cooking was my mother's domain. Then when we turned out to be good cooks she tried to take credit--we wouldn't let her

My father had one responsibility--not even car maintenance--that was my mother

Yes he got to take out the garbage--oh and sit and watch me clean up and tell me how it could be improved

And since he had been a waiter in the Catskills as a teenager, he got to teach us how to set a perfect table for 40--could do it by age eight. He didn't carve the turkey or meat--his friend did

I'm probably moving to North Myrtle Beach SC--the revolt of the New Yorker

Tired of paying what other people think is expensive rent over and above the cost of the apartment--which I was fortunate to pay for in cash

emmapeelDallas said...

What a cutie! And we had the same division of labor, btw, and I just returned from a weekend of driving 5 hours to visit my sibs and...I was assigned a day of cooking...but none of my brothers were! And there was no comparable thing for them to do! Grrrrrrr...after all these years, the same old patterns...next year, I'm not cooking either!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

what a very cute photo; kind of sad. it looked like a kid sized kitchen too; not a normal sized kitchen. thank goodness for dishwashers these days

Nelle said...

I had an older brother and two younger brothers. They took out the garbage and sometimes shovelled snow. Other than that I don't remember them doing anything. I had to do the ironing, help prepare meals which eventually lead to me doing all the cooking as a teen and cleaning the downstairs bathroom. It was certainly a sexist upbringing. My brothers let their wives do most of that now. My husband helps and is capable of doing everything that I can. That photo is adorable.

Paul said...

Jayz, Mary, how much mashed potatoes do you think we've eaten between the two of us?

Tina said...

Hey there, my friend. Thought I'd stop by and see how you are doing. Well, would ya look at that sweet and cute little gal!
Oh, that comment about the mashed potatoes hit home. With a pack full of kids to feed ( Catholic here, too ) mashed potatoes were served at just about every meal. And the damned things stuck to the plates like glue ...As you can see, I was a dishwasher, too. Four girls and one boy in my family. As you can imagine, he had it made. =) Tina

M said...

I love this post. There were all girls in my family, so we all shared the housework. We had coke for dinner every night, so we decided who would wash the dishes according to whose bottle was manufactured the furthest away. While we shared kitchen duty, since there were no boys we shared the garbage and lawn duty as well.

I have missed your writing... I've been remiss in my visits. I'll be back a lot more often.

mamacita chilena said...

hahaha, SO true! I'm really happy to have a husband who shares all chores with me equally. He does dishes and cooks half the week, I do it the other half. We both take turns taking out the garbage, etc.

But, I don't know how he turned out that way, when he dad is totally macho and has never washed a dish in his life...and the division of chores when he was a kid was definitely like your household :)

Cute picture by the way!