Husband deems strategy ineffective, “passive-aggressive”
WATERFORD, Va. – When Shirley Kemp began having trouble sleeping, her husband suggested she start making lists of things she needs to accomplish in order to clear her mind before going to bed.
Kemp had been making traditional to-do lists for years, so recently, when she awoke at 3 a.m. and found herself unable to get back to sleep, she decided to list her chores in a Venn Diagram instead.
Venn Diagrams are a type of graphic organizer unheard of outside of academia, but widely used by educators like Kemp and her husband, both schoolteachers, as an instructional strategy to engage visual learners.
Kemp’s husband, Arnold, said he found his wife’s drawings disturbing, even passive-aggressive.
“I get up at 6 a.m. and the coffee is way stale,” Arnold Kemp said. “I ask Shirley, ‘How long have you been up?’ She says she’s been up ‘awhile’ and shows me this thing with all her household chores on it as well as her to-do list for work. Who needs that at 6 a.m.?”
Arnold Kemp said that upon examining the list, he abandoned his efforts to make coffee and began unloading the dishwasher, breaking a glass as he worked.
“It was an accident,” Arnold Kemp said, “and it never would have happened if she hadn’t started in on me at 6 a.m.”
For her part, Shirley Kemp denied ever making any attempt to engage her husband in the household chores.
“I never asked him to do anything,” she said. “It’s true that the Venn Diagram is considered an engagement strategy to aid visual learners, and I do think men are more visual than women. I mean, he’ll watch a chick flick if it has a good-looking woman in it, but there is no way I’m going to sit through a movie about car chases and explosions. I don’t care who’s in it.”
Arnold Kemp dismissed his wife’s claims that she never intended to upset his peace of mind by listing her stresses in a Venn Diagram.
“She has no concept of all I have to do,” he said. “She’s never mowed a lawn in her life.”
He said he finds ways to enjoy his chores, including restoring antique lawnmowers.
“Women just enjoy talking about their misery. Men know it only makes things worse. We take action,” Arnold Kemp said, as he headed to his garage, where he said he planned to tinker for a couple of hours.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” Arnold Kemp said, “I am so glad I am not a woman.”