Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just do the dishes already!

It is the mister’s turn to do dishes. We take turns, in theory, but what really happens is I do the dishes, making it his turn, and he ignores them until we’re out of everything and I’m eating my morning cereal with a ladle and then I get annoyed and do them myself.

So, it’s his turn to dishes right now, which means every dish in the house is piled up on our counter and the kitchen is a mess.

His sister is crashing with us tonight (which is totally fine; I like her company, she’s got a meeting near our house and with traffic being what it is, I’m glad to have her stay with us instead of sit in her car for 3 hours).

But the sheets on the guest bed needed washing, since my mom was sleeping in them and weeping into the pillows. I asked the mister to toss them in the wash yesterday.

I got home from work and, oh, there they were, still on the bed. So I washed them and asked him this morning to make the bed, and reminded him that it was his turn to wash the dishes.

I just talked to him on the phone, and, hey, guess what! The dishes, they’re not done. The bed, it’s not made. And the mister? He’s going to Owatonna, which is, you might know, not where my house, the dishwasher, or guest bed are located. In fact, it’s about an hour away from all those things and, conveniently enough, he doesn’t have the time to run home and clean up the joint.

So now my options are to skip spin class and rush home from work to quick-fast tidy up or to let my sister in law in on a little secret: we live like pigs and it’s all the mister’s fault.

I guess the good news is that this is making spin class look more appealing. I wasn’t that excited about going but now I’m pissed that his inability to just WASH THE FUCKING DISHES, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD is interfering with my working out. And if he hints just one more time that he thinks I could stand to lose and pound or two, I am going to lose control and start bellowing at him about why I can’t go to the gym and whose fault that is and if he doesn’t like my spare tire HE CAN DAMNED WELL HELP OUT AROUND THE HOUSE SO I HAVE MORE TIME TO GO TO THE GYM.

Holy shit, where’s the Tylenol?

Seriously, I scrub the bathroom. I clean the kitchen. I stock up on toilet paper and groceries, I wash the towels and sheets and make the bed, I sort the mail, I sweep and mop and windex and wipe and scrub and do most of the cooking (though that’s by choice because his cooking is sometimes not so good; see strange alfredo-sauce-and-pasta-creation with a side of chips and guacamole). I feel like it’s not too much to ask him, when it’s HIS sister coming over, to do a little bit of housework.

Or, at the very least to acknowledge that he’s being an ass and leaving all the work to me, apologizing for doing so, and thanking me for picking up the slack. Is that too much to ask?

And before you ask, no, we don’t have those nicely defined roles where I cook and clean and he does all the outside work, like mowing the yard and shoveling and fixing cars. I clean. I cook. I change my own oil. I fix my own brakes. I mow the yard. I shovel the walk. I change lightbulbs and fix electrical sockets and screw the door of the mailbox back on when it falls off. About the only thing he does that I don’t is snowblow the driveway. And that’s not to say I haven’t done it, just that I don’t usually do it.

In return for my being such a renaissance woman, he’s supposed to do the same stuff: clean, cook, shop, do yard work, and pick up after himself. But that doesn’t happen. What happens is that I end up doing it all until I freak out and shout at him (see: ten minutes ago), then he steps up for about a day, and then things fall back into their old patterns.

The way were operating is not healthy. I feel incredibly put-upon, unappreciated, and over-worked, and he feels like his wife is completely insane because for weeks things hum along nicely, fresh towels and toilet paper magically appear and his shoes line themselves up neatly by the door, and then out of nowhere, I’m up in his face bellowing about how I do it all and he’s lazy and ungrateful.

Anyone have some advice? Should we more clearly define our roles: I will do dishes and wash the towels, he will mop the floors and make the bed? Should I just stop doing everything until he figures out how much I do? Screech at him until he understands?


MOLLY said...

Nice. I made Bob read this. :)

Meg said...

grrrr! I know the feeling. When Jori and I first started living together after college, we ran into this issue. He got LOTS better after he lived on his own for a year or two. Maybe make HIM come up with a plan for stopping this madness. If he comes up with the plan, he can't bitch about it! Good luck- remember that you're not alone in these feelings!!

Buster said...

Rereading this, I realize it's a little bit on the shrewish, bitchy side. Oops. I think my feelings of annoyance are pretty justified, but I could maybe be a tiny bit more mature in handling it.

Of course, he could do the dishes, too.

Janet said...

If you figure this one out, PLEASE let me know the secret.

Talmadge, love of my life, does not know how to:
hang up his coat (it sits on the back of the couch, 2 feet from the coat closet every day until I hang it up while making frustrated noises),
close the diswasher or kitchen cabinets (if you know how small our kitchen is, this is even more comical -- the dishwasher, when open, takes up full 1/3 of the floor space),
or put his dirty clothes into his hamper (he claims that this is because he wants to sort by color, which he cannot do in his hamper, but I think that being damn-near-thirty is high time to stop leaving dirty clothes on the floor).

And don't even get me started on the dish washing situation. Ahhhhh!

zarah said...

Yes..... PLEASE let me know the secret if you figure it out. At least you know you're not the only one with this problem!