Wednesday, February 20, 2013


JV: Welcome to This Is What I Live With. With what do you live?
Matt: Look I’ve been married for over 20 years to a wonderful wife and absolutely fantastic mother who now refuses on principal to ever check the pockets of shirts and pants going in the wash for tissues...with the inevitable result that every now and then it’s the tissue apocalypse. On a point of principle I always check for tissues before they go in the wash and now the Maginot line of domestic discussion has been set, beyond which there’s just casualties and conflict. So it is what it is.
JV: So it’s an entrenched warfare at the moment over the tissue check?
Matt: It is.
JV: Over whose responsibility it is. Now there’s children you said?
Matt: Yes, three children.
JV: What age?
Matt: Ah, 16 through to nine and yes, you could argue that they should check themselves and all of that, however...
JV: At what age do you first expect your child to have the wherewithal to check for tissues Matt?
Matt: Ah well, perhaps at some point along the continuum. However, when they are ten years beyond where they are now, it’ll still be the same.
JV: In the domestic division of labour department, who’s in charge of washing?
Matt: Oh, it’s pretty evenly spread.
JV: So you might do it sometimes?
Matt: So I have plenty of practice and authority to say ‘well I always check,’ and  the answer is ‘well it ain’t my job.’ So we move on.
JV: Look, I’m going to come down strongly on this one Matt. It’s not my want, necessarily, to have a definite opinion in this area, but I want to open up the discussion with you and the wife. I want you to go back and say ‘James says...
JV: ‘You’re completely wrong. You’ve got it wrong.’
Matt: Yeah...ah...
JV: If you are standing at the washing machine preparing the garments for washing who else’s job should it be? You want to ruin a whole batch of washing on a point of principle that other people should have checked their pockets. You are preparing the garments for washing.
Matt: That’s exactly what happens throughout the year. On a regular basis, something will get missed.
JV: Of course.
Matt: And you’ve got the tissue covered batch of clothes on the line and we spend the rest of the week picking it off. It’s all avoidable I would argue.
JV: Yeah, I know. Look, isn’t that the same as saying ‘well you didn’t tell me that this was a chocolate stain so how was I meant to know?’ Like, it’s your job. You’re doing the washing..You check the washing.
Matt: You’re sailing a very fine line there.
JV: It’s not a fine like. Look, I think you’ve just got to get a large laminate printed up and stick that on the thing.
Mat: I think I used the term before Maginot line of domestic discussion and it’s impregnable.
JV: Why is she so determined about this?
Matt: Well it has literally become a point of principle. It doesn’t matter what the practicalities are, it’s now a ‘well I said it then. I think I still mean it now,’ and away we go.
JV: So as she hangs out tissue-flecked washing on the hills hoist she has a little glow of satisfaction. ‘I told you so.’
Matt: Exactly. Exactly. Whereas I just think ‘well, there’s a pointless bit of damage that we could have avoided along the way.’

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