TikTok user’s ‘shopping list’ for husband sparks debate over male ‘incompetence’

Plenty of people get exasperated with their partners when it comes to the household chores.

We all think we know best so don’t always have faith in our other half’s ability to perform everyday tasks correctly.

However, one woman called Melinda mesmerised and, in many cases, horrified Tiktok after she posted an apparent look at the shopping lists she leaves her husband.

In one clip, she stuck pictures of each grocery item onto a piece of paper so that he could see exactly what he needed to buy; asking in the caption: “Anyone else?”

In a follow-up video, she took things a step further – not only including the images but also the aisle, price and quantity of each item, as well as a map of the store.

In total, the two clips racked up more than 28.8 million views and 3.5 million comments on her page alone, as fellow TikTokers offered their take on her approach.

“This is so sad. Men do better,” one wrote, while another added: “Men remind me of children.”

Others suggested that the meticulously detailed instructions would make no difference: “He’ll still come home with the wrong things,” one joked.

“I bet he still called to ask questions,” said another.

Meanwhile, others admitted that the list looked very helpful, with one acknowledging that it would be great for “visual learners”.

Melinda did later clarify that the whole thing was a joke, which makes sense given that her TikTok – which she shares with her husband Adam – is all about the couple’s dynamic. (Visitors will note that their comic videos are often grounded in gender stereotypes.)

However, others conceded that parody or not, the incredible response the videos had garnered proved that Melinda had hit a nerve.

“I know it’s a joke but after seeing all those TikToks on husbands/dads, you have to realise that the bar for them is so low,” one wrote.

Indeed, such was the fascination in the debate that another TikToker stitched Melinda’s video to illustrate a discussion of intentional “incompetence” among men.

Pointing to the original clip, influencer @notwildlin told his 232,000+ followers: “Actually, what this husband is doing is exaggerating their own incompetence and exaggerating their own incapability to force the labour that they don’t want to do onto their partner.”

He suggested that, in such cases, the man hopes his other half will admit defeat and say: “It’s just easier if I do it myself,” thereby absolving him of the need to contribute.

“So actually, that performance of incompetence is an investment the man is making for his future self,” he continued, adding that the benefits for the man were “two-pronged”.

“One, you don’t have to do the thing that you don’t want to do […] and two, you set the expectations for your own capabilities so low that whatever you end up doing is incredible.”

His points were met with emphatic agreement by scores of TikTokers, with one writing: “It’s ridiculous and so common. A boyfriend told me that he once messed up laundry so his mum would do it. Didn’t marry him. My husband does a ton.”

Meanwhile, another suggested that she used to fall for such traps, but no longer took any nonsense.

“I absolutely used to fall into the category of ‘I’ll just do it myself’,” she said. “Now if he goes to the grocery store and can’t figure it out… he goes back.”

Leave a Comment