Not Suited for This

Not Suited For This

Rowena looked in disgust at the messy kitchen, the pile of dishes loaded to the top. She wondered how two teenage boys could create such chaos. The foul smell of rotten food filtered through her nose, making her pinch her nose in displeasure.

“Dreyson! Pierce!” she yelled, her voice stern.

Two begrudging boys strolled into the kitchen, frowning. “Why are you yelling, Aunt Rowena?” Pierce asked, closing his ears in mock annoyance.

Rowena chuckled and shook her head. “As long as you are stuck with me this summer, you will definitely learn some manners.”

“Sorry, Aunt, good morning,” they chorused half-heartedly.

“What is good about the morning?” she quizzed, gesturing at the pile of dirty dishes and the messy counter.

“But that is not our job,” Dreyson shrugged. “Abigail will…”

Rowena arched her brow, cutting him off. “Abby had a sleepover at Suzzie’s house, and what has she got to do with this?”

“We are not good with kitchen stuff, so mom makes Abby…” Pierce trailed off.

“Well, I am not your mom, and if you don’t clear this kitchen, you will miss your practice,” Rowena replied firmly.

The boys exchanged glances, realizing that Aunt Rowena was not going to back down. She had a way of seeing through their excuses.

Dreyson finally spoke up, “But it’s just so boring and takes forever! Besides, Abby never does boy chores.”

Rowena sighed, understanding that the boys had grown accustomed to traditional gender roles within the household. She knew it was essential to address this misconception and break the stereotype.

“Doing chores is not about whether they are ‘boy chores’ or ‘girl chores,’ Dreyson,” she said calmly. “It’s about being responsible and contributing to the household as a team. Cleaning up after yourselves is something everyone should do, regardless of gender.”

Pierce chimed in, “But mom always asks Abby to help with cooking and cleaning, not us. Besides, she is no good at washing cars or mowing the lawn so we are even auntie.”

“I understand that it might have been that way in the past, but it’s time to change that.” Rowena replied. “We’re all capable of taking care of ourselves and the house. By dividing the chores equally, we show respect for each other and create a fair and harmonious environment.”

The boys looked skeptical, but Rowena was determined to make them see things differently. She led them to the living room and sat them down.

“Let me tell you a story,” she began. “Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, there was a young prince named Lucas. He lived in a grand castle, and he had servants to do everything for him. He didn’t need to clean or cook because he had others to do it. One day, his wise old mentor, Sir William, decided to teach him a valuable lesson. He asked Lucas to spend a week doing all the chores himself, without any help from the servants.”

As Rowena continued the story, the boys listened intently. She narrated how Prince Lucas struggled with the tasks at first but gradually learned the importance of taking responsibility for his space and appreciating the hard work done by the castle’s staff. The lessons came in handy when invaders attacked and took him hostage. He was able to blend in. After some days in the hand of his captors, the commander sent for Lucas.

“You are not royal.” One of the invaders snarled. “No royal blood would ever be able to perform menial tasks.”

“You are right. I bet he is a decoy. Let’s send him away. He is of no good to us and besides he is as lowly as us.” The commander said.

Prince Lucas was sent away.

“You see, boys,” Rowena said, “we can learn a lot from Prince Lucas. Taking care of our home is not just a duty; it’s an opportunity to grow and become better individuals. By working together, you’ll develop life skills that will serve you well in the future.”

As the boys listened, their faces showed signs of understanding. “So, it’s not just about cleaning but also about growing and becoming better individuals?” Dreyson asked.

“Exactly,” Rowena nodded. “It’s about developing life skills and appreciating the efforts of others.”

The boys took this to heart, and from that day on, Rowena implemented a fair chore schedule for everyone. The division was based on abilities rather than traditional gender roles. She encouraged them to try different tasks, promoting teamwork and cooperation.

The boys nodded slowly, starting to understand the importance of Rowena’s message. From that day on, Rowena implemented a fair chore schedule that included tasks for everyone, regardless of their gender. She encouraged them to try different chores, promoting teamwork and cooperation.

One day, Dreyson and Pierce glanced at the sitting room and shook their heads. 

“This is so tedious and boring.” Pierce murmured.

“Let me go get Abby. I can’t deal. I know Aunt Rowena said to be better.”

“Please go and get her.” 

Dreyson appeared with Abby some seconds after, “she’s here.”

“Abby! My lovely sister. Thank goodness you are here.” Pierce smiled.

Abby stood at akimbo, “What do you mischievous boys want from me?”

Dreyson and Pierce clasped their hands. “We are here to bargain.” Pierce said. 

“You know we suck at cleaning and all those things. You are more organized compared to us. Help us.” Dreyson pleaded

“What is so hard about cleaning and mopping? You guys are funny.”

“We can’t imagine doing stuff like these. Stop making it harder? You are better so please do it.” Pierce said.

Dreyson shrugged, “Fine. You win. What exactly do you want?”

“All your money, you and Pierce and I want to attend all your basketball games for the school year.” Abby replied.

“That is too much. Stop making ridiculous demands.” Pierce snapped. 

Abby pretended to look at her watch. “Deal or no deal. If you cannot pay to get the work done then go do it yourself.”

After grumbling they agreed.

“The deal starts officially next week.”

“That is unfair.” They chorused. They quickly dispersed on seeing Aunt Rowena approach.

The boys had to endure till the next week. They did a messy job, left footprints on the floor, cleaned haphazardly, and dumped the rags anywhere. Aunt Rowena kept giving them the benefit of the doubt in the hope they would change.

The following week, Aunt Rowena noticed everywhere was clean. A sharp contrast from previous weeks. She was impressed that the boys had eased into the chores.

Saturday that week Aunt Rowena woke early due to a meeting she was supposed to attend. When she got to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, she saw her niece doing the dishes. Abby jolted when she saw her Aunt.

“Aunt Rowena, what are you doing awake by this time? You need to rest.”

“Miss smarty pants, what do you think you are doing?”

Abby shook her head, “it is not what you think”

“Retire that line. You know you are in a lot of trouble right?” Rowena asked. “Did the boys put you up to this?”

Abby nodded and spilled the tea.

Aunt Rowena sighed. “You do not realize the damage you do to Dreyson and Pierce when you enable them.”

Rowena and Abby waited for the boys to wake up. When they did. Rowena addressed them.

“You abdicated your chores to her?” She asked. “I can’t believe you. You can never pay for everything in life. There are things you must do yourself. How do you expect to be disciplined and successful if you cannot do common house chores? You ought to be ashamed. You should learn from your younger sister on how to be disciplined.”

Abby made faces and Rowena snorted. “You are not left off the hook. Do not think I applaud you for enabling the boys. You should be ashamed of cutting corners.”

“I am sorry.” Abby mumbled.

“Boys get to work or you won’t eat.” Rowena announced.

As they cleaned, the boys murmured. Rowena rolled her eyes. “What was that?” She quizzed. She monitored them closely and pointed out spots they missed occasionally. After a hard morning, the boys finished off their chores.

As the weeks passed, Dreyson and Pierce gradually became more confident in their abilities to handle household tasks. They realized it was not a big deal and were willing to help Abigail with some of her chores.

By the end of the summer, Rowena was proud of the transformation she had witnessed in the three siblings. They had not only learned the value of taking care of their home but also understood that gender should not define one’s responsibilities.

As they bid their farewells on the last day of summer, Dreyson, Pierce, and Abigail thanked Aunt Rowena for the unforgettable summer filled with valuable life lessons. They knew that they would carry these lessons with them, cherishing the memories and the growth they had experienced.

And as Rowena waved, she felt a sense of fulfillment, knowing that she had not only helped them clean a messy kitchen but had also played a role in shaping responsible, open-minded, and caring individuals for the future

Weaponized incompetence is a seemingly harmless cankerworm that has earned a full-course meal in our society. It starts at a little age and then sticks throughout the life of the perpetrator.

It goes beyond gender and often relies heavily on power dynamics. Words like “I am not good at picking up groceries or I know you taught me how to do it but why don’t you just do it?” are warning bells of weaponized incompetence.

Weaponized incompetence should have no place when building a strong and responsible society. Each individual should take pride in contributing positively to his or her environment. Let’s all be responsible magnets and encourage growth and cooperation wherever we go.

Not Suited for This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top