I can't fold fitted sheets.
Flat sheets are fine. Flick 'em and keep folding them in halves until you have a nice, flat square that tucks nicely onto the sheet shelf.
But fitted sheets have those elastic things around the corners that bunch up on the edges and make flat and square practically impossible. I'd say it can't be done, but I've witnessed it. I still haven't figured out where they kept the smoke. Or the mirrors.
I asked a zen master once how to remain calm and cool while folding the perfect sheet.
''Are you crazy?'' the zen guy shouted. ''Wad the thing up and jam it in the closet before it drives you nuts.''
I bring this up in light of two news stories, last week's revelation that a record 40 percent of all households with children have ''breadwinner moms,'' and one from a while back with tips on ''How to Get Your Husband to Help at Home.''
Apparently, not only are there more single moms out there, but 37 percent of married mothers bring home more bacon than the fathers do. But apparently, most mothers are still expected to fry it.
I am perfectly fine with my wife earning a bigger paycheck than I do. Then I could stay home.
This brings up the other part of the equation - housework. I think I'd be fine. My spouse, like lots of other wives out there, can't help but harbor suspicions.
In the getting your husband to help with housework, author Beth Levine insists that in two-income families, men still aren't doing their fair share. The study she cites states that more than half of all husbands put in five hours or less of housework a week, and 15 percent do none at all. But nearly half the wives logged more than 20 hours of housework a week.
A key point she made was to quit playing the ''I don't know how'' game. If a man can fix a car, he certainly can figure out a washing machine.
Judging by the number of cars burping and spluttering down the road, we shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a washing machine. Most of us operate on the ''make do'' method of repairs. If it gets us there, we let that clunker clatter and rumble.
Likewise, most of us wouldn't buy pink underwear on purpose, but if that's what came out of the washer, we'd wear it rather than do laundry twice - though we'd drive our clunkers carefully so as not to get into any accidents.
This is why so many of us have been banned from laundry. Our wives do not wish to ''make do'' with their blouses.
As for cooking, lots of guys are great chefs. But we love to experiment. While the pan's sizzling, I'm rummaging through the cupboard and adding a little of this and a pinch of that - nah, better make it a fistful - to the mix.
More than once, my family's been gobbling with delight until I made the mistake of answering the question, ''So, what'd you put in this?'' Then they lose their appetites.
Once I wanted to mop, but there wasn't enough soap left. So I grabbed a bunch of bottles from under the sink and dumped a little of this and pinch of that into the wash pail, and...
You barely noticed the smell after three or four weeks. The ventilation fans from the fire department helped.
The point is, to make this changing money / housework thing pan out, ladies, you're going to have to let us wad up those stupid fitted sheets and let it go at that. Or buy some new ones with your bigger paychecks.
---- Send folding instructions to Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.