Dave: I need a place to crash for a while while my house is getting decorated. Any ideas?
Philip: You can kip at mine if you like, if you don’t mind sleeping on the sofa.
Dave: The sofa, the floor, the dog basket, anywhere is fine as long as I have a roof over my head.
Philip: Ok, I’ll give you the spare set of keys later. One rule, however: please don’t trash my apartment.
Dave: Don’t worry, I’ll be good. I’ll even help out with the chores.
Philip: Really? Thanks. That’d be great.
Dave: No problem. What needs done?
Philip: Not a lot. Do the dishes, take out the bin, do the laundry, feed the fish…
Dave: Consider me your maid for the duration of my stay…
Philip: Dave, you lazy good-for-nothing slob. This place is a sty. Clean this house up!
Dave: What’s wrong with it?
Philip: Are you blind? The bins need taken out, the dishes need cleaned, and the table still needs cleared from last night. As well as that, the floors could do with a mop, and the windows could do with a clean.
Dave: Is that all?
Philip: Is that all? No, that is not all! You need to do the laundry otherwise we’ll have nothing to wear next week, and the fish tank is so dirty I can’t see the fish. Did you feed them?
Philip: Good god. Were you raised in a barn? Honestly, you’re a pig.
Dave: Whatever. Anyway, I’d rather be a pig than a nag.
Philip: That’s it! I want you to move out.
Dave: I didn’t know when I moved in I was going to be your slave.
Philip: Shut up Dave. Shut up and get the hell out.
All my life I have hated doing chores. They are boring, tiresome, and it takes longer to make things clean than it does to mess them up. A lot of chores seem like a waste of time.
After I left home I stopped doing many chores. I never made my bed, cleaned the dishes once a week, and cleaned the bathroom once every six months. If the house looked dirty I would tidy it a little, but apart from that I did very little. I never got a pet because the idea of looking after it every day seemed like hard work.
However, when I met my girlfriend I started to do more housework. I guess I wanted to pretend that I was clean-living and responsible. I thought that after a while I would go back to my old lifestyle, but I haven’t; even though we have been together two years, I still do these darn chores, and I still hate them. My parents say she has changed me for the better. My friends say I am scared of her and ‘under the thumb’. Sometimes I think I am living a lie, because in my heart I know I am a slob.
Many parents try to teach their children financial responsibility at an early age by giving them a weekly or monthly allowance (also called ‘pocket money’). By receiving their own money children can move away from asking ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ to get things for them, and by only receiving a little at a time kids can learn the concept of saving in order to buy more expensive and desirable items later.
However, there are other parents who believe children should be encouraged to work for their earnings, installing the ideas that nothing comes for free and hard work brings rewards. In such cases parents often ask children to take on some casual work (such as delivering newspapers or helping at a shop), or to do chores in exchange for their allowance. Some chores are done every day or every week – vacuuming, cleaning dishes, making the bed – whilst others are one-offs: cleaning windows, mowing the lawn, raking the garden or yard, or painting the fence. Whilst it is illegal for children to work in many countries, this manner of parenting is actually applauded by many.
A common way for younger children to earn money in America is the lemonade stand. The idea is that, during the summer holidays, children put a table in their front yard and sell glasses of lemonade to people walking or driving past. Many stands expand into other areas, including cookies and cakes. In an episode of the cartoon The Simpsons, Bart realizes that selling his dad’s beer makes more money because ‘lemonade sucks’.