I was unloading the dishwasher yesterday when I thought, when is The Husband ever going to learn where the damn plates go in this house? Then I realized that I have exact same thought every single Monday. See, he only does the dishes on weekends. Not because he is not a lovely, helpful man but because he’s literally not home during the hours of the day Monday through Friday when there are dirty dishes to be done.
Here’s how I see it. In this moment, I have three choices. I could:
- resent him for living here two years and still not knowing where the dishes go and spin that into some crazy metaphor for his workaholic absenteeism.
- appeal to him to learn where the dishes go, knowing he would give it a college try.
- resolve to not give a damn where the dishes are Monday mornings and just move them to the correct spot knowing that he could be playing golf, or poker or chasing girls on the weekends instead of spending time with his family and doing dishes.
I choose number three of course. I mean, don’t get me wrong my standards are not so low that “not chasing girls” is how I judge his success as a husband. But seriously, the man works his butt off (literally, have you seen him?) all week long and then on weekends complains not a bit when I expect him to do nearly all the domestic chores that fall on me during the week, so I can escape for two days. (Figuratively, of course. I’m not off jet-setting on weekends.)
I’m sure the reverse is true. I can guarantee my husband lets some things go.
Some years ago, when we lived another life, The Husband came to me with a plea to throw away my Splenda packets as soon as I used them instead of leaving them on the counter with the coffee spoon until the day’s dishes were done. I tried very hard to abide by his wishes as he doesn’t really ask much and this Splenda thing seemed to drive him pretty close to the edge.
Then we moved and you can read above to see how often he is in our kitchen to even notice Splenda packets. Guess what? I don’t throw them away anymore. I leave them until I clean the counters at the end of the night. Sometimes on weekends I will still think to throw them away because I realize he has to see them all day. But when I forget, he doesn’t say anything. Occassionally, when I’m nagging he’ll mention Splenda packets which usually brings out my glare that reminds him, “you gave up the right to complain about my kitchen when you effectively vacated it for 100 hours a week” glare. The complaining ceases instantly.
He has chosen number three. He could spin the Splenda packets into a metaphor for how much I hate that he is away. He could call it passive, aggressive or spiteful. But he doesn’t, which is good because it is not. I’m afraid my kitchen messiness is inherited. I come from a mother who believed in the clean once a day rule and she passed that on. My kitchen is clean, but during the day, it is not necessarily neat. With The (super-neat) Husband gone much of the time I reverted to my old laziness not out of some mission to make a statement but out of, well, laziness.
That’s life in a marriage I guess. Give and take. Take and Take. Give and Give. Most importantly, if you want to stay happy, choose to overlook the misplaced dishes and Splenda packets and focus on the bigger picture.
**I was in no way compensated for this post. In fact, I don’t even use Splenda anymore. I use Stevia. We’ve just made Splenda a code word for my filth.
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