Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs in Our Household

A while back, my spousal unit took on the task of repairing the toilet. He decided a plumber would fast-track a job that might involve “touching crap”. The plumber recommended a new toilet, and since low-flow units are all the rage, that is what was installed. Within a few months, the low-flow was sometimes no-flow (unless you knew how to jiggle the handle just right). Since repairing the toilet now involved new technology AND possibly touching crap, my husband wrote “Call the Plumber” on his to do list.

Months went by, and “Call the Plumber” had not risen to the top of his list. One of my girlfriends, a very handy type, said to me, “Just call the plumber yourself, and get the darn thing fixed.” My other girl friend looked horrified. “No, you can’t do that! That’s a blue job. And if you do a blue job once, it becomes a pink job for ever more.”

I hadn’t really thought about some jobs being pink jobs, and some jobs being blue jobs. In our household, job assignation was more a product of who had the time, talent and resources to do a particular task. My spousal unit is a car guy, so maintenance of vehicles is his job. I have the patience to put mud on drywall, so that is my job. I do most of the yard work, but hubby mows the lawn…  because we have a John Deere mower and that falls into the car guy category.

Hubby often cooks the meat and I cook the vegetables. If hubby cooks the meal, I do the dishes. If I cook the meal…  I do the dishes. Wait a minute… how did doing the dishes become a pink job? When The Spawn were still living here, the dishes were a rotating job that everyone took turns doing. Now, it is almost always my job – it has evolved into a pink job!

I am sure that my spousal unit is as reluctant to do the dishes, as I am to call the plumber, because we are each convinced that once we take on that job, it becomes our job for good. After all, grocery shopping  went from the pink to the blue domain with only one trip to the local market. And the family finances went from the blue to the pink domain when Hubby bounced the rent cheque forty years ago.

Now, I just have to figure out how I can get him to clean the toilets just once…

Update: another Blue Job!

The toilet bowls here at the south house had a really thick limescale buildup. When I put some blue toilet bowl cleaner in, it turned the limescale blue. Not pretty. So I asked The Car Guy to rustle up a product to remove the scale. One thing led to another, as these things do. He couldn’t make the product work without removing most of the water. He couldn’t remove the water without turning off the water valve below the tank. The valve wouldn’t turn, then when it did, it leaked. After a trip to the hardware store for a new valve and more lime scale cleaner etc, etc – he made the toilet bowls look like new!

Here is my daughter’s story about Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs.

9 thoughts on “Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs in Our Household

  1. My partner is a neat freak, I’m not. He is quite organized in style –naturally him but also because he is a parent of 2 adult children.

    As for cooking, it just depends who feels like cooking. But we each tend to fall onto dishes that we naturally can prepare on the fly and it will often taste good: For instance, he makes up all sorts of salads and great salad dressings (yogurt based with fruit purees, or mustard based, fruit vinegarettes), prepares wonderful game meat dishes (bison, venison, etc.), any chocolate dessert, fruit compotes and does flip out super thin fine crepes at 30 per hr.

    And I tend to naturally fall into…stir fries, soup consommés and focaccia (I make savoury as well dessert fruit focaccia from scratch). I would like to think our meals are actually highly diverse, tasty. Neither of us seldom consult cookbooks.

    Yes, he does naturally do some of the mechanical stuff (he does have engineering degree) simply because he’s naturally oriented to it. Yes, I do sew if you want to point a technical skill (which for some women they can’t do it because they can’t seem to piece together stuff and get into the rhythm of using sewing machine properly.)

    And we critique each other’s blogs….:) We research for each other. Of course, it comes naturally to me ….I’m formally trained as and career-wise have been a librarian.

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    • Thanks for your story Jean – just goes to show there are many ways to split up the jobs.
      I think I want to come to your house for dinner – everything sounds yummy!

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  2. This cracked me up—the notion of blue jobs and pink jobs. I’ve never thought about it, but you are so right, Margie. Cooking is definitely a pink job in my house, but grilling outside is a blue job. Hubby almost always does the dishes (well, most of them) in appreciation of my cooking. Car stuff, blue. Grocery shopping, pink. Now you’ve got me going, thinking about our division of labor. Great post!

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  3. Don’t know if jobs in my household are divided amongst pink/blue line as much as “jobs she refuses to do” and “jobs that he gets impatient waiting for her to do.”

    All I know is I’m in charge of taking out trash and removal of insects. Not that we have an iron, but if anything requires ironing, that’s her job.

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