For best results

On my tube of toothpaste is written the following:

For best results, squeeze the tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up.

For best results? First of all, I do not think that how an individual squeezes a toothpaste tube is going to affect, in any way, the efficacy of said toothpaste. I am absolutely certain – absolutely certain – that the cleaning, freshening, polishing, or whitening power of the toothpaste is not going to change regardless of my squeezing methodology. Second, isn’t it just common knowledge that squeezing from the bottom and flattening the tube is the most effective way of extracting the toothpaste? Third, the toothpaste tube is not the boss of me. If I want to squeeze my toothpaste tube from the middle until it gets awkward and THEN squeeze from the bottom and flatten as I go, I will. I am not at the mercy of Big Toothpaste.

Lately the bananas I have been purchasing have been embellished with a sticker that claims that I can “win a banana costume” which makes me simultaneously want to go to the banana website for my chance to dress up as a giant banana, and wonder if anyone out there is really doing this. Do you think that a banana is this year’s hot new costume? To be sure, I have not yet seen a “sexy banana” costume advertised anywhere, but then again, I haven’t really been looking either.

Thanks to social media, I was made aware of a sexy goldfish costume, which, well. It is astonishingly expensive, but then, maybe one could wear it on more than one occasion.

PEOPLE, I JUST GOOGLED SEXY BANANA COSTUME AND IT WAS MORE DISTURBING THAN I EVER IMAGINED. My google search led me to many, many obscene looking men’s costumes, plus a couple of women wearing strapless yellow minidresses with white detailing at the neckline, I suppose to mimic the white inside peel.

This is a timely reminder to never google anything unless you are prepared for the results.

There has been a lot of talk about emotional labour, and how women bear the brunt of it, and that is certainly true in my house. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that happen in this house that I do not have a thing to do with, and they are deeply gender divided. Wrapping up the air conditioner in a tarp, putting up seasonal outdoor decorations, cleaning gutters, lawn maintenance, leveling the strangely-mobile washing machine, and anything at all to do with vehicle maintenance are a few examples I can think of. Not only do I not have anything to do with those activities, I also actively avoid learning how to do them myself. Not today, sir.

However, when it comes to the Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, well, I am those departments. I am the person who knows exactly what is in the fridges, freezers, and cupboards, and what will be the lunches, dinners, and home-baked snack foods for the week. I am the person who schedules all doctor, dentist, and orthodontist appointments, along with parent-teacher interviews. I know the email addresses for every single teacher the kids have off by heart and I know when their homework is due and when they have exams and what their marks were. I know clothing sizes and when the towels and sheets were last changed, and where all the winter gloves and hats are. Just today I bought pumpkins and Halloween candy, without which the upcoming holiday would not be the same.

Starting last year, though, I drew the line at Halloween costumes. I feel that at this age, the kids can either come up with their own thing, or ask their dad for help. This is my new line in the sand. I AM DONE. If I am going to spend time and mental energy thinking about a Halloween costume, it will be for idle wondering if anyone actually goes to a party dressed as a sexy M&M and if so, why.

My god, I just saw a “sexy nun costume” and I feel like somewhere, we went terribly wrong. Just like with the US president opening his mouth, every time I think something can’t go more downhill, IT DOES. Oh, it does.


  1. In our household it’s not gender-divided because, well, the only non-female member of our family is the puppy. But I fully anticipate being the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for our children in the future. Heck, I already am! The solution we have hit upon is outsourcing the responsibility for remembering stuff to a series of whiteboards and index cards. We’re running out of coffee? Write it on the whiteboard! It’s Wednesday? The card file says it’s cat litter tray cleaning day! Big improvement in balance.

  2. I am still shaking my head about the sexy goldfish costume. And some of the ones featured below as well…sexy SWAT team member???

    I do lot of the female-identified work– menu planning, cooking, dishes, housecleaning, laundry– because I’m home more, but Beth’s the grocery shopper and I’m the one who most often mows the lawn (followed by Noah).

  3. Hee hee! Loved this post. Our house works pretty much exactly the same, in terms of division, and it works most of the time. This year for the first time, the kids who will be dressing up actually made their own costumes! It is the dawn of a new golden age.

    Toothpaste: clearly my children have never read the side of a toothpaste tube package. They literally cannot seem to make the mental leap to pushing toothpaste up the tube to get more out. They just declare it empty when squeezing in the dead centre no longer works. SIGH.

  4. I can’t believe I’m sitting here mentally defending the toothpaste label: “It didn’t say you HAVE to roll it up from the bottom, NICOLE, it just said FOR BEST RESULTS, GOD, do you have to be so contrary?” Also, I totally googled sexy banana too (someone’s comment on Facebook the other day was “I love allison because of course she googled it, of course she did – don’t ask). I am the department of health and welfare here but not necessarily education because, shamefully, I am a girl who is bad at math. And physics. And my poor husband is running water through a dismantled dishwasher right now so I’m feeling kind of happy about being the Pink Job holder. This changes regularly, though.

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