I Feel Pretty : Non-Toxic Masculinity

I don’t like “buzz words” and political correctness.  Anyone shocked by that?

*crickets chirping*

Didn’t think so.  Let’s start.


I do really hate toxic masculinity, though.

JoJo (the missus) and I really enjoy the Kroger ClickList.  Don’t know what that is?  Well, it’s where you can create your shopping list online, pay for it all online, then you pull up to the Kroger at your assigned time, call the number on the sign to let them know you’re there, and then…they bring your shit out to your car and load it up for you.  Then you just leave.  Transaction over.  It’s awesome.  I mean, sometimes the kid that brings your stuff out has a meltdown in front of you–but that’s for another day’s post.

However, the fact that our order got messed up this last time is important for today’s post.  In our last order, one of the employee’s slipped us a pack of Neutrogena Make-up Removal/Face Cleaning clothes.  We made Kroger aware of this after we got home and discovered it, but they didn’t want us to make the trip back to return it, though they were appreciative that we let them know.

Anyhoozles, usually when we get home, I carry in some groceries on my way, but JoJo carries in the majority and I put them away.  Put a pin in that.

Pin_waving_handsWhen we go anywhere, JoJo usually drives.  JoJo is Hoke and I’m Miss Daisy.  Put a pin in that.

I am a “stay-at-home husband” who writers/blogs for extra scratch (and hopefully a real income in the near future), while JoJo has a traditional job.  Put a pin in that.

Money and the management thereof is not JoJo’s strong suit–so I handle bill paying, finances, etc.  Put a pin in that.

Around the house, I do our meal prep, most of the routine cleaning, organizing, washing, etc. and keep the house in fairly decent order. Put a pin in that.

Now let’s go back a few steps.  When we came home from Kroger this last time, JoJo had finished bringing in the groceries and I was putting them away, organizing the kitchen.  I turn and see her smiling at me, hands on her hips.  Whenever I see her like this, I know a conversation is about to start…

Me: What are you smiling at, you asshole?

JoJo: No judgment, okay?

Me: …okay?

JoJo: Why did you buy Neutrogena Make-up Removal Cloths?

Me: I didn’t…oh, shit.  How bad is our order fucked up?

JoJo: We have everything.  We just have that extra.  So…you didn’t buy them?

Me: Of course not.  We both know I’m cheap.  I remove my makeup with witch hazel and a washcloth I’ve had since nineteen-dickety-two.

JoJo: Okay.  Guess we better call Kroger then.

We all know how that call turned out.  We’ve covered that.

Three days later, we have to go to town to get a few things at several different places.  I told JoJo that if she’d drive (like there was another option), I’d run into every place.  I hadn’t showered since the night before, so I kinda whore-bathed it up, put on deodorant, washed my hair in the sink, brushed my teeth, put on fresh clothes, tra-la-la.  Like ya’ do.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the Neutrogena Make-up Removal Cloths in the medicine cabinet.  I opened the pack, pulled one out, and gave my greasy face a rub down.  Guess how I felt after?

tenor (1)

Those freaking things were amazing.  My skin felt so clean, I felt so refreshed, I didn’t look all greasy and cracked out…now I know what the hell women are hiding from men.  Felt like unicorns came and urinated on my face and pixies exfoliated me gently with it.  I imagine unicorn piss smells like cleanliness, anyway.  I immediately went out to JoJo and said, “I used one of those clothes on my face.  It was so refreshing!  Smell my face!”  JoJo shrugged and said, “I ain’t smellin’ your face, but maybe you should start using them all the time, then.”

I’m kinda cheap–as we’ve discussed.  But, I know they got a generic brand…

So, here’s The Thing™ – people see the way that mine and JoJo’s marriage works, and it baffles them.  She drives, I ride.  She carries, I organize.  She’s the main bread-winner, I’m the nurturer/caregiver/housekeeper.  JoJo doesn’t trust herself to manage the money appropriately, so I do it for us.  We work with our strengths and let the other person work with their strengths.  We have a partnership.  We’re not concerned with the fact that everything JoJo does isn’t “the woman’s role” and that I everything I do isn’t “the man’s role”.  Together, we discussed our strengths and weaknesses, what needed to be done as a team, and we divided and conquered.

There’s no reason for JoJo to feel like less of a woman because she is not great in the kitchen.  There’s no reason for me to feel like less of a man because I don’t like to drive.  You know what makes JoJo a woman?  She has a vagina and identifies as a woman.  You know what makes me a man?  I identify as a man–I’d say I have a penis, but I sold it on eBay years ago for concert tickets.  It wasn’t doing anything but causing me trouble anyway.  Oh, and don’t tell JoJo she has a vagina and she’s a woman–she’ll just snort and say “prove it”. She thinks that’s clever or something.

Anyhoozles, JoJo = woman, Allen = man.  These other things are just arbitrary and boring chores that have to be done and one of us has to do them.  Who cares who does which chore?  Me doing dishes and cooking doesn’t threaten my masculinity.  Doing the driving and earning money doesn’t threaten JoJo’s femininity.  And you know what?  When I used that fucking face cloth–it was refreshing!  Refreshing I say!

It’s so irritating to me when men feel threatened by stepping outside of their “role”.  Bitch, who did the dishes before you were married?  God, I hope you did–otherwise, you were living in filth and I’m surprised a woman stuck around long enough to marry your nasty ass.  I mean, in gay couples and lesbian couples, who the hell is the “man” and who’s the “woman”?  No one, you dumbfuck.  The couples divide and conquer.  Each partner does the part that they’re the best fit for in the relationship.  It. Is. A. Partnership.

Pro-Caulk-Causdglking_kit_lesdgts_1_largeSide note: I love JoJo, but if I get married again (because, let’s face it, at some point, JoJo will get sick of my shit), it’s going to be to a lesbian.  Them gals can install a light fixture and replumb the gas before you even brush your teeth in the morning.  She can cheat on me all she wants!  Just caulk the shower, Debbie!

And you know how I’d feel while Debbie is caulking the shower and I’m sitting on the couch with an iced-tea?  Like a goddamn princess.  And Debbie would feel like a goddamn prince while I was making her lasagna for dinner and packing her lunch for work the next day.  And neither one of us would feel threatened by it, either.

Until next time…




  1. “What are you smiling at, you asshole?” This was my absolute favorite part of this post aside from the great point you made about labels and gender roles, of course. No matter who you choose to spend your life with, as long as you have this kind of love and affection, you’re golden (the dude and I have a similar relationship- though I usually call him Hot Fart and he does the grocery shopping while I handle finances). 😂

  2. I hate labels, they’re so limiting. Who cares who washes the dishes or caulks the tub as long as it gets done? Sounds like you’re both working your strengths and that’s as it should be. Labelers be damned. I mow the lawn and stain the deck, does that make me any less a woman? No. It just makes me a grass covered, redwood spotted Goddess. Nothing wrong with that!

  3. Absolutely nothing wrong with “switching” roles. I’ve always earned more money in my relationship and The Husband Dude was a SAHD for five years when Shane was little. He was in charge of ALL the household chores. I handle the bills because I’m better with numbers. And now that he works full time again, we probably take on more of the traditional roles, but we also negotiate tasks. I hate grocery shopping so he does that and I do all the laundry. Shane has chores of all types around the house. He mows the grass, does the dishes, does his own laundry and is in charge of vacuuming the living room. I figure he needs to know how to do it all!

  4. Allen,

    And that is what a healthy partnership/marriage looks like! It’s when couples get hung up and try and live by societal constructs/conventions that don’t work for them that creates problems — but hell, isn’t that true about everyone, anyway, when you generalize outward? Btw, I haven’t tried that service from Kroger. I should look into that!


  5. You and JoJo are relationships goals. I’m generally okay with rolling with the traditional “woman’s role” in a relationship, despite not actually identifying as a woman (but that’s a different post entirely), but I hate grocery shopping. You couldn’t pay me to do it in a million, billion years. I have to be pretty desperate (or think whoever is buying my groceries is going to seriously mess it up) to step foot into a grocery store (especially on a weekend… *shudder*). When Pup and I were still together, that was his job. I wanted no part of it unless absolutely necessary, and probably very late at night when it wasn’t crowded.

    “YOU MEAN YOU NEVER GROCERY SHOP?!?!?!?!” When I told people I didn’t do the shopping (usually on the heels of them saying “It’s so nice your boyfriend helps you with the grocery shopping and picks things up for you!” when I’d text him what we needed), you would think I’d told them that I’ve never taken a shower in my whole life or something. They were just appalled. Like, listen Barb, HE WORKS AT A FRICKIN GROCERY STORE. IT JUST MAKES SENSE. I did almost all the cooking, too, because I was home to do it so when he got home at ten at night he could just eat and go about his business. Everyone’s heard the saying, “He brings home the bacon, she fries it up!” We took it literally. Sue me.

    So, yea, people who concern themselves with traditional gender roles are #TheWorst. Especially when they spill their BS all over your life. Sit down, Barb. No one cares that you think everyone with a vagina should be a “wifey.”

    1. Well, between you and me, JoJo has tried grocery shopping, but twice the amount of money was spent and we still had no real food. Just like when I drive we nearly end up dying. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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