‘I was too busy cleaning bathrooms to renew my subscription’
The ink was barely dry on last week’s “Do we have any snacks?” I was dragging the vacuum out of the closet to start in on the latest post-guest cleaning job when Dude Man pops his head in and says, “Hey, you’ve gotta come out and see how I raked the driveway!”
So now you’re getting another post about husbands and their wacky ways.
Perhaps you are half of an enlightened couple where you equally divide household chores. Your husband does laundry. Or the dishes. Maybe he cooks once in a while–or even all the time. Well, bully for you.
At my house, I’m more or less responsible for the inside of the house: laundry, cooking, cleaning. And The Dude is responsible for the outside: lawn stuff, driveway stuff, deck stuff. Which is okay, really. Because I’m better at the indoor chores than he is, and vice versa. (Read “Random Acts of Kidness” for Dude Man’s hilarious bed-making method.) What gets my wifely goat is the fact that his chores need praising.
Like a couple of days ago. “Did you see how I trimmed the path!?” was his inquiry as I was unloading the groceries while juggling the recycling bin. “Gosh,” I thought but did not say. “I would have noticed, had I a chance to walk down said path.”
True, he works really hard at these tasks. Cutting errant branches, tying up vines, splitting the odd log now and then — these are all tough and sweaty jobs. But guess what? If you didn’t do them, nobody would really notice. If I didn’t cook dinner or do laundry or take the trash to the dump, I betcha he’d notice.
The obverse of this, of course, is that if I do my jobs really well, he doesn’t notice. Things just sort of mosey along. There’s really nothing to call his attention to. “Hey, look how neat these piles of folded laundry look!” just doesn’t have the same, well, sex appeal as “Get a load of that rack of firewood!”
One day, after maybe the third round of post houseguest cleaning (see my informative piece “To Clean, or Not to Clean?” on why it’s smart to clean after guests leave as opposed to before they arrive) I’d had it up to my eyebrows with praising Dude Man’s chores. And said so.
Rather indignantly, His Dudeness started enumerating his household workload. Brandishing my toilet brush, I interrupted, “Okay, but all of those are things you do outside in the yard. Doing things outside in the yard is called gardening. And guess what? Gardening is a hobby. There are magazines about gardening. Have you ever seen an issue of Toilet Today?
I rest my case. And now, my tired self.
Soon I’ve got to summon the energy to go rustle up some dinner.
Amagansett, New York. June 2021