It seems it’s been eons ago now that Jade sent me a link to an article with the subject line “housework issues.” It directed me to an article entitled “Don’t let the dishwasher ruin your marriage.” It was about a woman who’s given up loading the dishwasher because, as she put it, “No matter how I load it, my husband comes after me and reloads it.”
I didn’t have a chance to write about it then. (It was around the time my mom moved in with us.) Also, housework is one of those subjects that seemed to be covered pretty well here in the Marriage Blog. (In fact, some articles that have recently been written by my new blogging partner Dale include Whose Job Is It Anyway?, How to Solve the Problem of Who Does What, and More Advice Regarding Household Chores. For a list of even more, see “Related Articles” below.)
But I happened to think about this article Monday when I was sick. I hadn’t been well enough to get to the store. Wayne came home, saw me miserable on the couch, no food in the fridge, and deduced I was leaving him to his own devices for dinner.
Normally he would just run out to a restaurant and pick something up. But we were out of essentials like milk and bread, and I specifically wanted Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Wayne suddenly found himself assuming my stay-at-home wife duties: shopping, fixing meals, and then doing dishes.
Was I grateful he was doing all this? You bet. Did he mind? Not the shopping or making our meals. But when it comes to cleaning up in the kitchen, Wayne can relate to the woman in that article.
But it extends beyond me lecturing him on proper loading techniques as I’m rearranging what he’s done. There’s also the matter of the sponges. One’s for the counter, the other for the dishes. No matter how many times I tell him “Yellow’s for the counter, pink’s for the dishes,” he inevitably uses the pink on the counter and the yellow for the dishes.
I’m not too particular or fussy about many things. I’m generally among one of the most laid back people out there. Except when it comes to cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Then I’m as persnickety as they come.
Silverware must be loaded in a particular fashion. Specifically, all knives together, all forks, et cetera. Small dishes go in a certain spot, as do larger plates and bowls.
There’s a method to my madness, though. Faster unloading. (If there was an Olympic event for dishwasher unloading, I just might be a medal contender!) It’s one of the few areas in my life where I’ve figured out a time-saving system. Pity the poor soul (usually Wayne) who interferes with it.
So most days he’s banned from kitchen cleaning duties. But even I make exceptions. Like Monday when I was sick.
“I’d clean up, but I don’t want to get in trouble.”
“Go ahead. I’m not going to get mad tonight. I don’t have the energy. Besides, I’d appreciate the help.”
Thinking on it with a less cold medicine-clouded mind today, even though he forgot our anniversary the next day, he still sort of gave me a gift anyway. The gift of TLC and a kitchen I didn’t have to clean up the next morning.