Trust me. One topic that you do not want to get MrsDavy started on is Male Learned Incompetence Disorder (MLID). She’s a world expert on the subject having studied it for the last 30 years (which coincidentally is exactly how long she’s known me).
If you’re lucky you’ll get away with the short version, which is akin to being fixed in Superman’s heat vision for 30 seconds. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get her keynote address to the Romaine Rand Institute conference, including 96 Powerpoint slides and extensive footnotes.
MLID affects about half the population. Its symptoms include an inability to listen properly, or remember instructions, or see things staring you in the face, when in a domestic environment. Untreated it can lead to doing absolutely no housework ever.
I inherited my MLID from my father. I once watched him packing for an overnight business trip. It consisted of taking a beautifully ironed shirt off the hanger, putting it together with some undies and socks in a bundle, and stuffing the whole thing into a briefcase.
There is no cure, as such, but there are some useful treatments that range from an undeservedly gentle reminder to a full-blown surgical intervention involving various bits of insertion and extraction.
A medium course of therapy is to write notes to yourself, such as I have attached to our dryer to remind me of things that simply will not stick in the cranium despite a long succession of disasters:
All washing is created equal, but some washing is more equal than others.
1. Inspect every item.
2. Separate light, dark and fluffy.
3. No wool or delicates in dryer.
I once had the courage to ask MrsDavy whether there was an XX-chromosome version of the disorder, as I had observed that she had never ever mowed the lawn.
“No,” she said. “I just don’t want to.”
Bugger. That’s another symptom of MLID: absolutely no forethought.