Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

The Anatomy Of A Nag


I’m lazy.

Not lazy in a way that has had an effect (well, a serious effect) on my professional or personal life. In fact, considering what I do for a living, some may even consider me industrious and ambitious. (ha!) I’m also pretty punctual, and I’m annoyed by people who are not. (After you read the next few paragraphs, this paragraph is going to seem like a paradox. It’s not. But it will seem like it.)

My laziness is more intentional. It manifests when I just don’t believe that certain tasks need done in a timely and/or thorough manner. Basically, if you need me to help you move into a new place tomorrow morning, I’m there. But, if you need me to help you move a couch from your living room to your dining room, well, I’ll get there when I get there.

Since the majority of my male friends also share some variant of this trait, this laziness has never been an issue for them. If asked, they’d probably (well, maybe) even say that it’s proof of my character.

Unsurprisingly, this has been an issue with every woman I’ve ever seriously dated.

My girlfriend and I have a tacit agreement where she buys, prepares, cooks, and serves all of the food. My tasks? Take out the garbage and take care of the dishes. (I know this is a pretty good deal. My barber once told me that the key to happiness is to find pretty good deals and keep them. This is why he’s still my barber despite the fact that I hate the way he cuts my hair.)

Because I hate the way garbage smells, I have no problem with the first one.

The dishes, though? I try to make sure the dishes are done before I go to bed. Sometimes, I try harder than others. Sometimes I don’t try at all. I know I’ll get them done. Eventually. But, there just isn’t much difference between a dish done at 10:30 pm and a dish done at 10:30 am the next morning.

Actually, let me rephrase that. There isn’t much difference in my mind between a dish done at 10:30 pm and a dish done at 10:30 am the next morning. In my girlfriend’s mind, however, this is an insult. A discourtesy. A war crime. An act against God. A fart in mother nature’s mouth. She is to “dishes in the morning” what Kanye West is to “leather jogging pants.” (Don’t ask.)

Naturally, she’ll occasionally make her annoyance known. And—and I don’t know why I do this, so don’t bother asking—this makes me even more apathetic. But, while the apathy was true before—I’d honestly just forget about them—it somehow becomes intentional. I do the dishes, but I’ll do them so, um, unthoroughly that, well, it eventually leads to yellow post-it notes behind our kitchen sink.

This thoughtful nag was captured by my cousin when she came to our apartment last week. She thought it was cute, and decided to post it to her Instagram account. I think it’s a cute reminder of why my girlfriend—who I love dearly—is kinda, sorta, f*cking crazy.

But, as much as it pains me to admit this, the nag is a direct result of my selective laziness. Which I do not intend to change. Which, if true, also kinda, sorta means the nagging must not bother me that much.

I’ll never actually admit that to her, though. Can’t give her the satisfaction. And, even if I wanted to, I just don’t feel like doing it. My laziness has integrity.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

    I have two streams of thoughts. My first is that you’re complaining about a woman who does all the cooking and food shopping. Meanwhile, I’ve only had 2 (well, more like 1 and a half because I ended up having to finish meals for my wife when we were dating) women cook for me in my life. Meanwhile, I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and child rearing for a soon-to-be-ex wife (seriously…8 days until I sign #thempapers) who has decided to abandon her child and leave me to choose either sleep or a house that won’t risk an ACS removal on a twice a month basis. Since I need sleep to work on my consulting gigs (and my shady-a$$ temp job), welp…

    N*gga, cry me a river. Seriously. Cry me a river so I can sail from New York to Pittsburgh so I can tap your jaw. All you have to do is the dishes, and I have to raise a girl dolo for solo when I haven’t the foggiest clue how to keep a woman’s hair up and play dolls.

    Now to my second stream of thought. Men communicate directly, women communicate indirectly and people think the opposite sex communicates like they do. (Another lesson from my temp job where I work with doctors and a 30+ staff that’s all female.) If a woman would wait to 10:30 AM the next morning for another woman, she would do that as a form of aggression, and the other woman would pick it up as such. Meanwhile, if a man was pissed at another dude, he’d just say F*ck you, or something plainly obvious. Women TEND (and the key word is tend, as not all men or women are alike) to perceive this as a form of anger, when if you really were angry, you’d embrace you inner Ike Turner, complete with the processed shaggy haircut. Just acknowledge she’s on some different ish, do your best to do the dishes, and let it slide…

  • Rachmo

    I have things like this (folding laundry, sweeping, dishes) that I know I get pissed over. Therefore, I just do them myself bc it’s easier than arguing. Plus I actually find satisfaction in doing domestic ish. I used to volunteer to iron everyone’s clothes before we get out bc ironing + wine makes me happy.

    But let’s not paint me as a saint here and I’ll unload my crazy. We don’t live together but it drives me UP THE WALL that my boyfriend does not clean the kitchen while he is cooking. I have had to control my emotions cooking with him bc he’ll use every. Fricking. Utensil to cook. I have literally stared him down when he reached for yet ANOTHER bowl. So I am trying to show him how to clean while cooking. And by that I mean I’m cooking while demanding asking him to please wash the dirty utensils we don’t need.

  • http://www.cornerpolitics.net/ Breazy Taylor

    I am a selective nag, being on time is the number 1 thing that causes me to nag. If you know you are going to be late when I asked you to do something, please don’t say you are going to be there the time that I asked you.
    Also cleaning up after yourself is something I nag about. Assuming you are in your right mind and can life a finger, I don’t see how a grown ass person can’t have the decency to clean up after themselves. Aint no maids around here, Jack.

  • Shannon

    I am a terrible housekeeper, but I live in an apartment and I am not trying to find out what that roach life is like. Perhaps you can renegotiate the chores. As a SAHM I appreciate the few things my man does, rather than him promising he’ll do stuff and won’t. That makes me angrier than doing most of the housework.

  • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

    Entitled b*stard! I spend a LOT of my weekends cooking and cleaning. The cleaning is like the old Citibank ads: it never sleeps…

  • IcePrincess

    Damn homie! What did you do to make him wanna put a hot one in you? No homo lol

  • Rachmo

    Yeah I agree most men can nail the hair. As for dolls, I say give her trucks instead :-)

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    Leaving a note to leave a message makes sense. Leaving a note to with detailed instructions on how to do something you verbally asked for earlier is passive aggressive because it takes a shit at someone’s intelligence and is venting frustration at the same time

  • ED

    “I hear you, but this is where I think people set themselves up for failure. In relationships people often talk about what people SHOULD do instead of talking about how people actually ARE.”

    This sh!t right here! I couldn’t agree more

  • http://www.cornerpolitics.net/ Breazy Taylor

    I knew a dude, who had a clean cut appearance, wore nice clothes, but the ninja was pig pens first cousin on his mama’s side twice removed. I was dating his roommate and she would invite me over just to laugh at this walking dump. He would have cereal boxes, bowls and plates that he ate out of and dirty towels from a month ago in his bed while he slept, like that shit was natural.

  • http://www.cornerpolitics.net/ Breazy Taylor

    Hell that is crazy, when I lived in Dominica I showered more than a couple of times a day. I’m in sure what country you are from but Dominica was hotter than a hooker in church. I can’t imagine not showering in a hotter than a fart place.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    Yessssssss drunk Halloween sex is coming

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