Genetic disposition to housework

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I don’t mind ironing, not that I do it that often. I find it quite therapeutic in that I put on the radio and slowly work through the pile that has collected. My wife loathes it however and complains that I am not quick enough. For her it’s the devils work and has to be finished as quickly as possible.

When it comes to the dishwasher, I like to stack everything neatly. All of the plates need to be in size order and in a neat row. Forks should go with forks, knives with knives and spoons with spoons, while the glasses should be similar in each row. Cups and glasses should never be mixed. My wife, on the other hand, is a free stacker. Everything goes in willy nilly, with no relationship between the different utensils or tableware.

How we have managed to survive for so long must be down to other reasons of attraction.

I am mentioning this as I got into a conversation with my younger daughter about these two things. I can’t remember why but the outcome is that she hates ironing but has to stack the dishwasher neatly. This made me wonder if somehow these were genetic traits, clearly not the love/hate relationship with ironing and the dishwasher but rather the willingness to do dull tasks and being inherently ordered. Perhaps she gets the dishwasher trait from her paternal side and the ironing trait from the maternal side.

I decided to ask my eldest daughter who it turns out loathes ironing and couldn’t care less how the dishwasher is stacked, indeed her husband feels the need to rearrange it after her. I feel his pain.

OK, it is a very small sample size but I may be onto something here. How we deal with things around the house may well have their roots in our genes. Perhaps they are yet another thing for which we can blame our parents.

Clearly I need a bigger sample.

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