Amber McNaught writes…
Like Keris and her husband, Terry and I have had absolute humdingers of arguments about housework. I think almost every married couple does, actually. No matter how laid back you think you’re going to be about the important issues of replacing the loo roll when it runs out (WHY? Why can’t men do this?) and picking dirty socks off the floor, sooner or later it’s all going to go horribly wrong.
For Terry and I, the issue was made even more problematic by the fact that while he’s possibly one of the untidiest people in the world (“I was going to do it later” is Terry’s favourite saying) I’m almost OCD-like in my approach to the household duties. I, you see, cannot stand to be around mess. It makes me start to itchy, to the point where I just have to do something about it – even if we’re in the middle of eating dinner, watching a movie, or working.
Thus it is that the fiercest battles in our home are fought over the issue of Terry’s waste-paper basket. Terry, you see, has a wire wastepaper basket. If we’d only thought to buy a plastic one, with a lid, we could probably have avoided a whole world of trouble, but no – we bought a see-through wire one. The problem with this? Well, you wouldn’t believe the amount of rubbish Terry gets through in any given day. And you probably also wouldn’t believe just how intolerant I am of that rubbish.
As soon as the offending wastepaper basket entered the house, I knew it would end badly. “It’ll save us so much time!” Terry said, meaning “It will save me so much time because you’ll be the one who empties it!” And so it came to pass that the very second Terry’s bin starts to look full (And sometimes sooner), I’m out of my seat and on my way downstairs to empty it. Oh, it’s all kinds of fun being a neat freak, you know!
There is an upside to all of this, though. If Terry wants to get on my good side, for instance, he knows that all he has to do is change the loo roll and empty his bin. Mowing the lawn can earn him a month’s worth of brownie points. And the most romantic words to fall from his lips? “Don’t worry, I’ll do the ironing tonight”. I meanwhile, can occasionally inject a little fun into the relationship by throwing caution to the wind and living dangerously by leaving the dirty coffee mugs on the drainer while we go out to dinner. Ah, the romance!
Amber McNaught is a freelance writer and pathological neat freak. Monica from Friends had an untidy house compared to Amber…