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“I’d tell him to make his own sandwich”

by Greg Krehbiel on 4 January 2018

There are various jokes that involve a wife or a widow who makes (or used to make) her husband’s lunch. Often, when I hear such jokes told, some woman will say, “I’d tell him to make his own lunch.”

What’s the point of saying this?

It seems fairly clear to me that there are situations where it makes sense for the wife to make her husband’s lunch. For example, maybe he has less time for such things, or maybe she’s just way better at it.

Just as clearly, there are situations when a husband should make his own lunch.

To put the most positive spin on it, saying “I’d tell him to make his own lunch” is simply a statement that this particular couple is in the second rather than the first situation.

But … why would we care? If someone was telling a joke about a boat, you’d be pretty weird to say, “I don’t have a boat.” As if that matters.

Imagine a joke that involves a husband changing the oil in his wife’s car, and some man feeling as if he had to say, “I’d tell her to change her own oil.” It’s just rude and irrelevant to the joke.

So something else has to be going on here, and the “something else” seems to be indignation at the idea that a wife would ever make her husband’s lunch — or at the least an assertion that the speaker is not the type of woman who would ever make her husband’s lunch, because such a thing is beneath the dignity of right-thinking women.

This kind of attitude is what needs to be shamed.

Couples can decide on the division of household labor however the heck they want, and statements that women should never make their husband’s lunch are just as obnoxious as statements that they always should.

2018-01-04  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 6

  1. smitemouth
    4 January 2018 @ 4:08 pm

    She can fill her own damn gas. She can mow the damn lawn. She can kill the bugs. She can take the trash cans out to the street. She can get the ladder and change the bulb herself.

    Need I go on?

    Here’s the biggest gripe I used to have…

    How come the money I earn is “our money” and totally accountable, while the money she earns is “her money” and totally unaccountable?

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    4 January 2018 @ 4:14 pm

    She can go downstairs and investigate the noise in the basement in the middle of the night. 🙂

    Maybe there are families where the woman does that, and the man nervously waits upstairs while she’s investigating. Is there anything wrong with that? Or is it only wrong when women do things for their husbands that they traditionally used to do?

  3. William
    4 January 2018 @ 4:55 pm

    QUOTE: How come the money I earn is “our money” and totally accountable, while the money she earns is “her money” and totally unaccountable?

    TOTALLY on board with that one! I’ve been pointing out this inconsistency for years. Every time I do, women tend to high-five and congratulate each other for having the upper hand. Yet, if men did the same, the reaction would be so volatile, it would make the Earth stop spinning on its axis.

    Funny thing, many men will say how wacky this dynamic is amongst themselves. Yet, if their wives and other women are present, they clam up. Guess they’re afraid they are not going to get the goodies when they get home. 😉

  4. RR
    4 January 2018 @ 11:24 pm

    My wife screams and does a dance at the sight of a bug in the house. If I didn’t kill it for her, the fit she throws might well give the poor thing a heart attack anyway.

  5. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    5 January 2018 @ 8:33 am

    Regarding telling someone to make their own sandwich, to me there is a difference between choosing to say no to a request and choosing to be bossy.

    It is one thing to say no to a request. It is another thing to tell another person what they should do.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    5 January 2018 @ 8:35 am

    You can’t say “bossy” in any context that might imply you’re possibly talking about a woman. That’s against the rules.

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