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I went to a talk recently by a distinguished American scholar on behavioural economics. It was grand. I managed to restrain myself from going up afterwards to tell him that his wife’s first cousin was a good friend of mine from school (welcome to Ireland) although based on his (possibly too extensive for his audience’s liking) introduction about his wedding, I think he would have liked that.

One of the things he mentioned in passing was that it was a rare household where when you asked husband and wife how domestic work was divided between them the total came to 100%. I decided to test this hypothesis at home.

Here are the scores that were returned.

Me – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [I was being generous]
Mr. Waffle – Mr. Waffle 50%: Me 50% [He is very right on]
Herself – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [My work is less visible than his]
Michael – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [Really, my work is less visible than his]
Daniel – Mr. Waffle 83%: Me 17% [Seriously?]

I was outraged by Daniel’s score, the root of which is clearly that my work picking up shoes, laundry and other dropped items is completely invisible. Bitter.

In a, probably not entirely helpful, development since the introduction of the American economist’s aside into our lives I have taken to saying in a bitter undervoice as I go about my alloted tasks, “All part of the 17% service.”

It’s a fun game for you all to try out at home. Let me know how you get on.

4 Responses to “83:17”

  1. Charles Lock Says:

    If you include the gardening then it’s 50 % each way. If you think of it as a hobby and we bought a house with a reasonable sized garden because I like gardening the score is rather worse. But I do mop the kitchen floor and clean the stove on request.

  2. Nicola Says:

    This seems a game that could go wrong … We agreed on 50% at the moment but A pointed out that it’s hard to exactly define all of domestic work (does financial planning count? renewing insurance?)

    Would it be evil to ask how many per cents the young Waffles contribute?

  3. belgianwaffle Says:

    N, I think that financial planning and insurance renewal definitely count. It would not be evil to ask about the contribution of the Wafflettes; it would be apposite.

  4. belgianwaffle Says:

    Mmm, Charles, tough one but assuming that your spouse likes the garden, which I assume she does, then you are safe. I have just invested a fortune in making our tiny garden look nicer and I think on that basis, you are definitely making a very positive contribution.

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