- Advice for your Everyday Life
Section: relationships 

Dear Ann Landers,
One day last weekend, my parents popped in just as my husband and I finished lunch. It was one of those rare occasions when my husband had offered to do the dishes. I was shocked when my mother asked, "Why is HE doing the dishes?" My mother has always been very traditional when it comes to women's roles, and her disapproving remark annoyed me. Wishing to avoid a confrontation, I simply did not respond. What I SHOULD have said was "Maybe because this is the '90s and I work, too." I could have added, "Maybe because I spackled and sanded and painted all the bedroom walls. Maybe because I ripped up the carpet on the stairs, pulled nails and repainted the stairway. Maybe because I go to his shop and do sanding for him while he builds kitchens for a living. Maybe because I helped him put a new floor in the upstairs bathroom. Maybe because I help him unload wood from his pickup truck. Maybe because I'm usually the one who hauls two large garbage cans filled with trash down the road to be collected. Maybe because I'm constantly picking up after him, cooking his meals and doing his laundry. Maybe because we do things for each other and I shouldn't be made to feel guilty if he does the dishes once in a while." I'd love to write more, Ann, but I've got to mop the kitchen floor and start preparing Sunday's dinner. HIS family is coming over. If my mother reads this, I've got another shocker for her. He cooks, too. And now, if I could only get him to sew. -- Doing It All in Binghamton, N.Y.

Dear Bing.,
You don't owe your mother any explanation as to why your husband does the dishes. It's not her business. If the subject comes up again, you can hand her this column. Keep reading for another family problem:

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"If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you'll be married to a man who cheats on his wife."
-Ann Landers