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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: Ep 3 [20190117|21:32]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |USELESS DAD: WHY]

This was the episode that forced me to face the fact that I am VERY JUDGY AND ANGRY about USELESS DADS. With CAPSLOCK.

Ep 3: The Mersier family

Couple with two pre-teen children who moved from a big 4-bed house in Michigan to a two-bed flat in LA, so Mum could take advantage of an unspecified job opportunity (something in hair styling). All of them are sweet, energetic, and expressive. And apart from the mum, horribly disorganised. It becomes clear pretty quickly that not only is she the main breadwinner, she also does the bulk of the housework. A low simmer of rage begins bubbling inside me.

The kitchen is very packed. Husband: “This is my favourite room not to be in.” This is where we find out he doesn’t do any of the cooking. Son, talking about his preferred method of finding things: “I just spam [Mom’s] phone until she answers.” OOOOOERRRR. *glares*

The kids’ room is cluttered. Daughter: “There’s no space. It’s hard for me to feel like this is an actual home.” Wife starts crying. Everybody cuddles her. Well done guys but also, maybe try addressing the actual problem that’s driving her to tears. So. Much. Rage.

Wife: “I feel like I’m to blame...Mom is the one who’s supposed to cook and clean and make home home...I feel like I’m failing in that area.” GIRL NO MAKE THAT LAZY S.O.B PULL HIS WEIGHT. Ahem. And the kids too, but it’s not so much their fault especially if they’re watching the dad adopt exactly the same coping strategies (e.g. rely completely on the mom).

These lot let MK do her house-greeting ritual on their own. I mean, they have a moment but it’s more about all of them being together. I like these guys. It’s not just me who’s really not into the mystical house connection thing!

Time to make the clothing mountains.

Wife: “I feel like I’m not setting her up to succeed at life. He’s twelve, she’s eleven; I should have been doing this since age five, just like you.” MK, warmly: “It’s never too late to start.” This is good counselling.

The family start on their homework going through their clothes. Brother: “Why did I do that to these shoes too?” *bends sole away from shoe* Sister: “Broooo, oh no! But those are such good shoes.”

MK returns to give a folding lesson. The fitted sheet folding instructions are quite useful but MK’s teaching persona freaks me out a bit. Something about the deliberate blinking.

MK queries Wife about whether she thinks some of the burden of tidying will be lifted from her through this process. Wife: “I’ll be able to guide them and it won’t just be me doing it.” YES YES well done you have graduated to management level.

Wife begins the process of teaching the family how to organise “for the sake of having a home and not just a house.” WILD APPLAUSE.

I get the feeling that this family (okay, the wife/mum) is taking on board the philosophy of the KonMari method more explicitly and obviously than the people in the previous episodes. You get the sense that there will be a long-lasting impact. Much as I liked the Akiyama couple, I got the sense they needed to go through the decluttering process once and then could easily let it lapse without much in the way of consequences, simply because they have a massive house. This family need to integrate everything about the tidying process into their daily lives, simply through lack of space.

Husband: “I never realised the pressure of doing having to do everything until I actually did it.” *long hard stare* *slow clap*

Wife: “My kids know how to take care of their resources!...This house is finally a home.” I’m so happy for you, lady. You deserve this.

All of them seem to have come to an awareness of collective effort that will be needed to keep it up. Even the husband. I just hope for Her sake that they all hold on to that realisation. *narrowed eyes*

This entry was originally posted at https://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1227331.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.

[User Picture]From: sight
2019-01-17 22:47 (UTC)
I'm enjoying these episodes. I disapprove of useless dads. There are way too many in this world! D:
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2019-01-18 20:41 (UTC)
I mean, I think everybody has to work to harmonise their housecleaning habits with a long-term live-in partner, but way too often it falls to women/mums to do the harmonising, and thus end up taking the path of least resistance, which is simply to do the things that don't get done otherwise.

Edited at 2019-01-18 08:42 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: xina_gee
2019-01-18 00:10 (UTC)
I wouldn't make it far into that episode. That would make me so mad. Putting it all on one person is total BS.

They live there too, big slobs.
You can bet your bottom dollar the house would be easy peasy if they'd put away their own crap instead of piling it all on one person.

If you live with someone everyone should pitch in dammit. Whether a roommate or spouse, just pitch in with the messes you help create.
*grumbles obscenities under breath).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2019-01-18 20:44 (UTC)
As a point of balance, they were a super loving family. They had a wonderful, genuinely affectionate dynamic (apart from when the mum was obviously stressed), which was totally charming. I think that's probably how they'd managed to muddle along for a year and a half before MK came to help.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2019-01-18 20:44 (UTC)
But also, USELESS DADS, AAAAARGH. *stomps*
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[User Picture]From: spiffikins
2019-01-18 03:51 (UTC)
I love your recap :)

Growing up, my father did NOTHING to run the household - his contribution was solely "provide income" and "expect stuff" - i.e. dinner on the table at 5pm, clothing magically goes from the laundry hamper through washing/drying and back into his drawers!

My mother drafted us kids EARLY on in our lives to do our part - there's no way she could have (or should have!) done it on her own!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2019-01-18 20:46 (UTC)
Heh, thanks.

Aaaaugh, your poor mum! I mean, it's good that you kids learnt to do your bit so you wouldn't end up expecting your partners to do everything, but how unnecessarily stressful for her. :(
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[User Picture]From: spiffikins
2019-01-19 03:31 (UTC)
Yes, it was definitely an unequal division of labour!

After we had grown up, and my parents were divorced, my mother would often recount the story of how, early in their marriage (before there were 4 kids!) my mom was feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the number of things on her list that had to get done.

My father, smugly, explained that he was *never* stressed out, because he only took on what he could accomplish. In his words, he only took on the tasks that would fit on his plate. Thus, he was never in danger of NOT getting all his tasks done, and was never overwhelmed.

My mother, who is clearly a saint, because she did not smash his condescending face in, replied that this was all well and good for HIM - but those tasks that did not fit on his plate, STILL NEEDED TO BE DONE - and thus became HER problem.

I'm glad she didn't kill him - I mean - I like being alive and all - but I'm amazed she stayed married to him for another 30 years.

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