Want to know the secret to male/female cohabitation?

Want to know the secret to male/female cohabitation?
Carly Jacobs

The Stepford Wives


The secret is… the possession or the lack of emotion memory, mutually exclusive to women and men respectively. I lost you there didn’t I? Let me start again.

I’m kind of jealous of other writers who have these mad husbands and hilarious children that provide brilliant fodder for their blogs. Like when Woog’s husband cooks dinner or Kerri Sackville realises that her daughter hates her. Personally, I have very little to work with. My man is pretty bloody perfect*. The worst article I’ve written about my relationship was this one and I incriminated myself far more than Mr Smaggle.

The Perfect Man has however, developed a rather new and Very Annoying Habit and I’m all over it like a fat kid on cake. When Mr Smaggle gets changed he takes off the clothes he is wearing and drapes them over the edge of the washing basket. Not IN the washing basket, DRAPED over the EDGE of the washing basket. The reason he does this, is because he hasn’t yet decided whether or not his clothes are dirty. This happens EVERY SINGLE TIME HE GETS CHANGED. I can’t ever put dirty washing IN the basket because it’s covered in his drapey clothes. I’m about to punch a wall.

The reason why I’ve become so irrational over this pretty harmless behaviour is because, as a woman, I have an emotion memory. Every day that I am annoyed by Mr Smaggle’s draping, it’s added to the Total Amount of Times That I’ve Been Annoyed by the Draping. Basically, it’s incremental. So after a few weeks of enduring the draping it leads to disproportionate nagging and then I want to hurt him. For draping his clothes over the dirty clothes basket. It’s mental.

Seasoned readers will know that I pride myself on my general perfection but I admit that I do have the odd bad habit. Odd being the operative word. My favourite one is when I replace the empty toilet paper roll with a full one, I put the empty roll on the window sill and leave it there. My excuse is that a) toilet going for ladies is a two-handed exercise thus I have to put the empty roll down and b) I have the attention span of a gold-fish and once I put the empty roll down my brain starts thinking about more important things like bricks and food.

This annoys Mr Smaggle but only when it’s right in front of his eyes. His brain goes – ‘Empty toilet roll on the window sill. That’s annoying. I’m going to walk away. I’m no longer annoyed.

And the next time this happens? Mr Smaggle’s Brain – ‘Empty toilet roll on the window sill. That’s annoying. I’m going to walk away. I am no longer annoyed.’

It’s brand new annoyance every time. There’s no snow ball effect. How do I know this? He only ever mentions it when he has come immediately out of the bathroom and I happen to be the first thing he sees. Otherwise the problem doesn’t exist.

I’ve witnessed countless arguments where women can effortlessly rattle off a list of Very Annoying Habits while men stand there wracking their brains trying to come up with even one feeble point of retaliation. Man Brain – ‘Damn it… I was annoyed this morning! Why was that again…?

It’s not that women are less tolerant or even less flawed than men. It’s because our emotion memory is so efficient. It’s why women can sit around talking about feelings for hours. It’s like our version of talking about sex. Also, men don’t care about most things. Mr Smaggle has let my toilet roll habit develop into art installations on several occasions because his emotion memory is totally crap. Whereas I will violently fling his jeans across the room at least twice a day because my emotion memory is reminding me that this Very Annoying Habit has pissed me off at least three times this week. Different strokes.

In conclusion, ladies please remember that men (no emotion memory) are like dogs and every time you chastise them they will have forgotten it thirty seconds later. So try not to be too harsh. And gentlemen, we ladies (photographic emotion memory) wouldn’t have to nag if you just got it right the first time. Towels = hung on racks. Dishes = in dishwasher. Clean dishwasher = empty it. Hope that helps.

And do feel free to have a little rant in the comments! Or comment on Facebook or Twitter.

Love Smaggle

* That jerk just gave me the last chocolate covered macadamia nut. Do you see what I’m dealing with here?


  1. Sarja 8 years ago

     Hilarious! And absolutely true!!! I hate things being left out on the kitchen bench/dining room table. My lovely clean house looks like an instant mess as soon as he comes home and leaves his sunglasses/wallet/keys/etc sitting on top of this smooth open space. First I put them away, then I start throwing them in his office until BOOM, I explode in a rant about him completely messing up the entire house by leaving a piece of paper on the bench!

  2. Didi LeNoir 8 years ago

     Oh Smaggle. I need to read this article to my Mountain Man. Although he would forget it in 15 minutes anyway. My man has a bad habit of leaving socks where he took his shoes off. Then the dog grabs them and runs around the house and chews them (it’s a game). Then I calmly yell at him for doing it AGAIN. And he looks blankly at me as if I am going loopy. I love him to bits though.

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      Ah! Socks! Mr Smaggle takes his off in bed with his feet so there gets to be a giant sock ball like a Sock King that I find once a week when I change the sheets. 

  3. Dr Na 8 years ago

    My own boyfriend does the EXACT SAME THING minus the draping – the way he sees it, the clothes hamper is a halfway house between the closet and the washingmachine, and anything in it is fair game for wearing.
    So I have a solution for you: separate clothes hampers.  

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      I’d be fine if he PUT THEM IN THERE. He can fish his stinky clothes out of the basket ten times for all I care. DON’T FRACKING DRAPE!

  4. Anonymous 8 years ago

     This – “The reason why I’ve become so irrational over this pretty harmless behaviour is because, as a woman, I have an emotion memory. Every day that I am annoyed by Mr Smaggle’s draping, it’s added to the Total Amount of Times That I’ve Been Annoyed by the Draping.”


  5. Erin 8 years ago

    You are onto something here!!!  The emotion memory thing is so true!!!!!!! 

    It is definitely a tally system for us ladies, but I think guys can cancel out their “bad marks” by doing nice and thoughtful things for us, too! 

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      Totally. The chocolate macadamia bought Mr Smaggle several draping times. 

  6. Anonymous 8 years ago

    rofl – that is hilarious.
    i think boys do it too though. i don’t clean up my computer/laptop/blogging station which just happens to be on the coffee table near the tv and each time he complains it feel like he’s ramping up the decibels. 🙁 

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      Yes but that’s because it’s righ in front of him! Ha! I win again!

  7. Mrs Woog 8 years ago

    Mr Woog leaves clothes draped as well – but mainly to air.  The filthy sweat hog x 

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      Ah yes. Mr Smaggle does that with his cycle shorts. Tasty. 

  8. Tim Hansen 8 years ago

    You crack me up.

  9. stephanie 8 years ago

    you perfectly covered why i get so pissed that my husband leaves clothes on the floor in random places in the house.  o m g.

  10. Nessbow 8 years ago

    I’m sending this to my boyfriend right now.  I’ve often wondered why, when I make an effort to remain calm and nicely ask him to stop doing something that’s bugging me, he refrains from said behaviour for about five minutes and then carries right on with it.  You’ve succintly explained this phenomenon, and I feel much better. 

  11. emmams 8 years ago

    Mr Beardy is incapable of closing a drawer. Ever. He closes them partway, then leaves them about 2 inches from completely closed. I find it deeply bizarre and potentially as irritating as a flea in a chastity belt.

    Now, I’m nowhere near perfect. In any way imaginable. But I think I’ve tackled this one. Every time I see a slightly open drawer, the following goes through my head:

    ‘I could yell at Mr Beardy for his odd behaviour. Then he’ll look at me like I’m a crazy bitch and potentially be upset. Or I could just close the goddamn drawer myself.’

    I then close the drawer. 

    I won’t say it’s perfect, but I haven’t yelled at him for this one yet… 

  12. Valid 8 years ago

    Isn’t the female version of sex…sex?

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

       I meant our version of talking about sex! Will have to change that!

  13. Ali 8 years ago

    ha, so funny you mention this as I was the first of my friends to move in with a boyfriend and quite a few have since. my number one piece of advice is always KEEP YOUR LAUNDRY SEPERATE! we both have our own washing baskets and both take care of our own washing. my boyfriend picks through his washing basket every week and washes the work shirts and anything he thinks he might wear in the next week, leaving the other things to rot away in the basket for months on end. but, he does a load every week and irons a shirt every morning.
    I prefer to let my washing pile up and do a HUGE load every 34 days  – I know it’s 34 because that’s how many pairs of undies I have and I do my washing the day I run out of undies – never earlier! however if I’m feeling rich and lazy I’ll just buy more undies. which is how I’ve ended up with 34 pairs.
    I do break my own rules though because if I hear my boyfriend put on a load of washing I’ll run in and sneak a few pairs of my undies in haha

  14. poet 8 years ago

     My guy and me both definitely have emotion memory. The minus side of this is that we can both start fights about the straw that broke the camel’s back, the plus side is that we can have long conversations about emotions. Which, by the way, are not “my version of sex”. My version of sex is sex, thank you very much.

    • Author
      Smaggle 8 years ago

      I think that line was misunderstood! I meant talking about emotions is our version of TALKING about sex not our version of actual sex. Obviously sex is that same for and men and women! 

  15. Bess 8 years ago

    Right on!

    I’ve had some tensions with a male colleague at work this week and this post totally articulates our problem. Will work on erasing emotional memory this week and hopefully save a friendship/working relationship!! ta

  16. dempster 8 years ago

    Haha, hilarious. I also live with a serial draper (who leaves the clothes at increasing distances away from the basket according to how dirty they are!!!) He does lots of “dirty work” but also goes to lots of meetings, so the Cataloguing System is unbeknowst to anybody else. 
    I banned his clothing from the bedroom, so now he has his own little cupboard where he can drape to his heart’s content. If he has no clean clothes, he dumps them in front of the washer. Thoughtful!
    Since he is so ridiculously nice & well-trained otherwise – still would not bring me the last choclote, though, he is considerate like that – it’s doable.
    I love your blog!

  17. Anonymous 8 years ago

    One of the best articles I’ve ever read in Psychology Today was about this very phenomena. The article suggested that a) we compare this behavior to other behaviors (was he messy before you moved in? Did he have other odd habits before you co-habitated?) and b) remember that sometimes a sock on the floor is just a sock on the floor.

    I think you’re right…most women take it as a personal affront or SIGN that the dude is messing with you with the draping.  My ex used to hang his towels over the top of the bathroom door. Not on the hook ON the door. Over the top of the door, so you couldn’t close it. I had to finally realize that for some reason, his brain thought this was a better idea than the hook, and that’s it.

  18. (my girlfriend sent me this) 8 years ago

    Meh, one size fits all? As if.

    “I’ve witnessed countless arguments where women can effortlessly rattle off a list of Very Annoying Habits while men stand there wracking their brains trying to come up with even one feeble point of retaliation. Man Brain – ‘Damn it… I was annoyed this morning! Why was that again…?‘”

    Sounds like women are more likely to divulge personal information, gossip and happily rat out someone they supposedly care about for menial bullshit than a guy who may pretend not to remember to avoid the awkward situation that will no doubt arise as a result of him having pointed out flaws of someone who’s a self confessed perfectionist.

    I use “women” here in the same way she does. Everyone is different I’m sure.

    How about “don’t sweat the small stuff”?

    Comparing all men to dogs because they can’t process big picture ideas like toilet rolls is perfectly fair. Maybe they’re busy thinking about bricks?

  19. kwerk 8 years ago

    We actually had this conversation with a friend about a week ago, I may have said something along the lines of “Well, sometimes when you’re annoying…” which was apparently not a good thing to say.  When I then said that there must be plenty of times he found me annoying he said in all sincerity, “No, you never annoy me.”

    Perhaps he just doesn’t remember when I’ve annoyed him?  Fine by me, he can just go on thinking I’m perfect forever.

  20. Silvara 8 years ago

    Hahahah….I was like ‘YES!’ when I read this…my husband does exactly the same thing and funnily enough for the same reason.

    I like to call my mess ‘artistic chaos’. He disagrees but forgets until it hits him again. Very funny stuff.

  21. Sra 8 years ago

    I’m surprised that you keep the same hamper. My boyfriend’s clothes are all over his side of the room, but I don’t care because they are his problem. I do my laundry, he does his (once every two months or so ;). No need for emotional memory if the problem is his.

  22. CamelsAndChocolate 8 years ago

    What is WITH dudes? It seems like every person I know possessing the Y chromosome has a very similar habit. For example, I officially married the neatest guy on the planet (as in enjoys cleaning house on a weekly basis, keeps our apartment spotless), and for some reason unbeknown to me, he insists on depositing his dirty close RIGHT BESIDE THE HAMPER. Every. Single. Day. As if it was such an added effort to actually put them IN THE HAMPER, which actually would probably be easier as they don’t have as far to fall. GRRRRR.

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