Sober Dad Asks: Should You Get A Medal For Taking Out The Garbage?

In a word, no.

When I first got married and we had our first child promptly thereafter, all I could think about was how wonderful I was.

Let me give you direct evidence of my wonderfulness.

Every Tuesday night, I rolled the garbage carts down to the street.

Every Wednesday afternoon, I rolled them back up to the side of the house.

On occasions far too numerous to count, I put my plate in the sink.

Sometimes I even scraped it off.

My socks seldom remained on the floor by the side of the bed for more than two days.

I know what you’re thinking.

Sober Dad has set a really high bar for the rest of us.

Actually, we all know that’s not true, and the person who knows it best is my wife.

I’ve talked to other husbands about this, and we often resent just how little acknowledgement we receive for our token gestures of helpfulness around the house.

We have come to the conclusion that we deserve medals for our self-sacrifice, decency, and, I’ll say it.


There should be the Distinguished Flying Cross For Taking Out The Trash On A Regular Basis.

There should be a Service Medal for putting the cap back on the tube of toothpaste.

There should be Oakleaf Clusters for putting the milk back in the fridge.

Stunningly, our wives disagreed with our assessment of our valor and enormous contributions to the upkeep of our homes.

This difference in perception has led to many unhappy disputes.

Worst of all, no medals were forthcoming.

I’m going to respectfully suggest that you give your wife at some point soon a spa day, or better still, an overnight somewhere fun with her best girlfriend.

You take care of the house and the kids for an entire 24-hour period.

You shop.

You cook.

You put away.

And while you’re at it, make the distinction between just putting things away and actually cleaning, a distinction lost on most of us men.

The purpose of this vacation day for your wife is not just to show her how wonderful you are.

Instead, it’s to educate you as to just how much work goes into having a clean, well-organized, well-stocked home where the socks are in the drawer and food is on the table.

When we were single, nothing was sexier to a woman than a guy with a nice car, a nice haircut, a nice plan for the evening, and a nice stack of cash.

Once you’re married with children, the sexiest thing a woman can see is you folding your socks without her help.

It’s understandable why we men feel downright gleeful whenever we do anything that smacks of contribution to the home.

It’s because when we grew up, there was mom, and when we were single, everything was a total mess (unless your girlfriend was coming over, in which case everything was spotless).

Why does biology dictate who separates whites and colors for the laundry?

If you do all this stuff already, more power to you.

If you don’t, stop reading this blog entry right now and go clean something.

You will not get a medal, but you might just get something much better.