Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Division of Labor

beer in a wineglass from a friend (she painted it)

Aka Nadine over at In Blue Ink wrote a story that derived from an interesting post by Miriel about chores and who does what household jobs.

I am not a very tidy person, and that is a bit of an understatement.  However, I am not the worst slob I've ever seen by a long shot, either.

 When I met my husband, he was extremely tidy.  Turns out that was in part a show he was putting on for me when we were courting, but he's probably still tidier than I am.  During the time we were courting, he did most of the cooking and all the cleaning and laundry etc. when I was staying at his house and I did everything at my house.  I mowed my lawn, he mowed his, I shoveled my driveway and he shoveled his EXCEPT occasionally, he'd also shovel mine.  He was always willing.

 When we discussed living together, and getting married, I expressed a deep concern about my perceived differences in our housekeeping styles and he said, "I'll do everything" and I said, "you can't do everything," and he said, "I WILL do everything," and even though I didn't think trying to do everything was that great an idea, I decided if he was willing to try, I'd do what could and let him do the rest.

 I took over most of the cooking.  He now makes breakfast on Sundays and spaghetti on Wednesdays (or whenever) and also cooks if I have a deadline or am incapacitated (which I was for months earlier this year and he literally did do everything.).

 I tried to take over the laundry, but he insists on fluffing the clothes while they're being folded.  He stands by the dryer with the dryer running and takes out one item at a time and folds it.  Since I have fibromyalgia and cannot do that and don't care enough to want to do it even if I could, he does the laundry.  I am willing to do mine own and the sheets, but he does them anyway.

 He mows the lawns, we both shovel the driveways.  He probably shovels more than I do.  He fixes the cars and motorcycles.  Literally.  Fixes them himself, unless he can't for some reason (as in an engine has to be lifted out).

I handle 98.7% of the personal and non-bill correspondence, he pays the snail-mail bills.  I handle gift-buying, card sending and everything that needs to done online including almost all emails and all online bill paying (but there’s more snail-mail bills) and online banking (transfers etc.).

 I do almost everything that has to be done on a computer, including preparing most of his pictures for the DSS (our club, The Detroit Stereographic Society.)

 We make our own breakfasts and lunches except Sunday breakfast which he makes and occasional special lunches which I make (Saturdays) (but I make lots of leftovers [planned-overs] for his workday lunches. I do the shopping at Village Market, which is most of it, and he does the shopping at Kroger.  He will also often come and carry home the groceries from Village (I walk there).  We both wash dishes.  He usually vacuums. (I hate the sound of the vacuum cleaner [also leaf blowers and lawn mowers], so he usually does it when I’m out.) He usually takes out the trash and recycling and whoever gets there first brings in the can and bin.  (Sometimes me).

He’s 68 and I’m 67 and my health issues are currently worse than his.  But all along, he’s done more than his share of the household “work,” and does it so cheerfully without complaint that I want to do whatever I’m able to make it up to him.

He works.  I am retired.  But I am attempting to be a writer and artist.  One of our family members got very angry (not at me) and said that writing and art are HOBBIES if you’re not making money from them.  So, if that’s true, I’m indulging in hobbies that only theoretically might provide some income at some future date.  However, those hobbies are extremely important to me and luckily, my husband believes in supporting the arts by supporting ME!!!


John said...

Sounds like you are a great team.

a/k/a Nadine said...

Hmn, this clothes fluffing thing is interesting. I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone doing that! I remove almost all of my clothes from the dryer after only 20 minutes and hang dry them (except under-things and lounge wear), so fluffing is not a great concern of mine.

Thanks for sharing your perspective!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks John and a/k/a Nadine. I think we're a great team.

He does have his "little ways"

I like yr idea of both of you doing yr own laundry.

bluerose said...

it's so wonderful you have someone who supports you in your arts. my husband was like that. we divided the chores, too.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I feel as if I underappreciate my sweet husband!!