So I'm in the local laundromat working my way through four loads of laundry and some knitting, when I suddenly get the urge to fishslap this a$$hole upside the head . . . but with reason. Oh, so with reason.
There was this couple and their small daughter (maybe 15 months) in there doing a week's worth of laundry (it was Saturday). Obviously this couple was in the same boat as me - washing machine kaput. The wife was very pregnant, but was still working away on the laundry (running 8 machines is pretty much full time - one would stop, she would transfer to the dryer and get that started, the next would stop, etc). The husband alternated between walking around inside and outside (ducking indoors during sprinkles, then out again when the cloud passed) with the baby, and kept her entertained. The only sounds the baby made were happy ones - Dad was doing a great job.
Anyway, as they were finishing up, she (finally) sat down to take a break, and he passed her the baby and proceeded to fold laundry. He was folding away, quietly, and watching while his wife made the baby giggle merrily. Then, this guy comes in through the back door of the laundromat, takes one look at the situation, and sums it up thusly: "What, buddy - first she makes you look after the friggin' kid while she does the laundry, and now she's got ya folding? Just what kinda man areya?" Then this guy titters like he's said something really amusing, grins to everyone in the room, and shuffles off to do whatever the hell he came in for. If I hadn't been in the middle of folding my unmentionables, I would have hauled off and smacked him! Okay, I wouldn't have, but I sure as heck was pissed off!
The young man he had emasculated so badly and publicly was kind of looking down at his feet, not knowing what to do or say. His wife, obviously a decent woman, quietly asked him to start carrying out the folded bags of laundry and start the truck. She then juggled the baby and folded the last few things with one hand, and they left.
So now I want to know - where the hell was the a$$hole during the last 40 years? How could he have possibly missed all the important stuff going on that resulted in a social situation in which both men and women can take part in child care and laundry duties? And, I wonder why his wife puts up with his sh!t? Because it turned out that the reason he was in the laundromat was to check up on his wife, the woman manning the laundry fortress. And by check up on, I mean he was heard saying things like "What you been doin' woman? Why didn't you make me a lunch before you left for work? Do I gotta feed myself now? Holy crap!"
I do believe I showed a hell of a lot of self restraint in that I not only did not hit the a$$hole, but simply finished folding and left quietly. But I'll tell you, the next time his wife tries to start a conversation with me while I'm doing the laundry, I will actually spend some time talking to her. She obviously gets no intelligent conversation at home.