The dreaded dump point walk

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Grey nomad men hit the dump point
Is this the natural male habitat?

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
I’ve learnt a lot since my wife Jan and I hit the open road six months ago … including the fact that it’s always me who takes the dreaded walk to the dump point! I’ve had a few chats with other ‘dump point husbands’ while we do what we have to do … and it seems I’m not the only one suffering from this gender job injustice. I love Jan to bits and she’s certainly not lazy but when I mention she should at least learn how to empty the waste, she laughs and looks at me like I’m crazy. It’s basically never going to happen! I’ve never had the nerve to do it but – if I did press the issue – she’d say something along the lines of: “I do all the cooking, washing, shopping and cleaning so it’s only fair.” It’s true but I’d happily cook once in a while if she’d take that walk!

Life on the road is a great lev­eller, Chaz, and many couples find they slowly change roles as they clock up the kilo­metres. Cooks and cleaners become drivers and firewood collectors, and vice verca. It’s all part of the shared journey! Having said that, there are still jobs that are traditionally done by one gender or the other. Very generally, for example, men wash the vehicles and women wash the dishes. That said, many people find cir­cumstances eventually dictate more job sharing. Maybe you’ll be out on a bushwalk and Jan will need to get the fire lit, or Jan will be Skyping the family and you’ll have to get dinner going. Or, heaven forbid, one of you will suffer ill health. It’s only sensible for you to brush up on your culi­nary skills … and for Jan to do a test run to the dump point.

Are you serious? You write a long list of all the jobs that Jan does and then suggest you’ll cook ‘once in a while’ if she takes over the only job you appear to have. What a nerve! Let’s make it a fairer trade. How about you do everything Jan does and she takes your place in the campchair watch­ing TV, reading the paper, and cooking up cunning ways to contribute even less to life on the open road. And then you reckon it’s important that Jan ‘learns’ how to empty the cassette. Obviously, the poor sweetheart wouldn’t have a clue, would she? Only some­body as clever as you or your fellow ‘dump point heroes’ would be bright enough to work that one out, hey? After 40-plus years of Jan cleaning the loo after you, Chaz, maybe it’s time you ‘manned up’!




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