Friday, May 21, 2010

Chores Schmores, and Underwear

I couldn't find any clean underwear this morning.

It's an ugly picture, but I'll paint it anyway: Me, in the buff. Freshly primped and primed for the day, wandering around my bedroom looking for something with which to gird my loins. I checked the usual spots, like in my dresser drawer. Nope. I looked on my recliner next to the desk in the corner of the room where stacks of laundry usually end up sitting for a week or two. Nope. Only t-shirts and a pair of shorts that I don't remember wearing, at least not recently, because the hems are tearing out. So I peeked out the bedroom door and found some - the maroon ones that are boxer briefs and aren't all clingy and binding - tucked in the bottom of one of the three laundry baskets stacked in the hallway with clean clothes in them. Everyone's clean clothes. There were Tinkerbell shirts and Guitar Hero pajama bottoms and bras - training and seasoned - and other assorted items, all neatly folded, for the most part, and just waiting for safe passage into Dresserland.

Someone didn't put the laundry away. Again.

This is par for the course, people. For around my place, chores aren't really chores at all, but rather things that eventually get done when the need arises. And only maybe then. After all, isn't it just as easy to get a clean coffee cup out of the dishwasher, or to find one in the sink and rinse it out, as it is to search for one in the cupboard? Same for laundry. I mean, if you want laundry, check the laundry basket, right?

To put it as simply as possible, we all have other things to do. Yeah, it's chaos, but it's an organized chaos. A routine that has grown as comfortable as a favorite pair of underwear. There are six of us, and we are, for the most part, not children. And if you want something done, you generally end up doing it yourself. This, of course, requires two things: 1) a keen awareness, whereby one notices that this or that task needs done, and 2) a willingness to chip in on occasion to ensure that said tasks don't pile up. It's not perfect. It's not the Brady Bunch. It doesn't translate well onto a dry erase board mounted on the wall or a checklist on a Post-It note slapped onto the fridge. And it can lead to occasional frustrations.

Like when you can't find underwear.

But we aren't an easily frustrated bunch. As I said, par for the course.

But the question remains: Is there one gender-specific task that I do that I wish my wife would do instead? In all honesty, I can't think of a single thing. At least not one that would be considered a chore. Like getting the oil changed. This, of course, only comes up when the light starts blinking in the van. About that time, I start getting the Why-Don't-You-Swing-By-Walmart-And-Get-The-Oil-Changed speech. No dear. Why don't YOU swing by Walmart and get the oil changed. It's not like it's hard or anything. They have all the information right there in their handy little computer thingy. Just nod your head and smile and sign in the little box. And then you'll have that rare and glorious opportunity to schmooze with the garrulous and smiley octogenarian guy at the service desk who uses the word "vehicle" instead of car when he pages you. What joy! What fun! I hate him. So you, my dear, can do it this time. And the next time. And the time after that.

You get the picture . . .


tysdaddy said...

Oh! And another thing? I wish she'd be the one to go in and ask for directions every once in a while. She's the one that usually gets us lost, after all . . .


Leah said...

LOL! You'll not be up for taking part in 'Wife-Swop' then?

Vodka Logic said...

No real gender specific jobs at our house. I may not do some cuz I am not strong enough or know how. And we usually do what we prefer to do... but it all gets done eventually.

Oil changes, husband does his car.. old and easily accesable. I take mine to the dealer. Does that count. :)

Portland Dad said...

As a Stay at home dad most of the house work falls to me, as well as the car, yard, and other typically Y chromosome tasks. While we strive to take a more egalitarian approach to chores it seems like my fair share is a bit bigger then hers.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Hmmmmm... organized chaos. I always try and re-invent myself and make sure the laundry is put away as SOON as I fold it. But then I remember something else that I wanted or needed to do and the laundry stays folded in the laundry room or on our bed or in the living room in the baskets.

My husband when he does the laundry, and he does DO the laundry thank goodnes, he doesn't fold as often... but WHEN HE DOES... it gets put away.

It's time. If I do a little at a time it gets done and well... it's when I let it pile up that I get overwhelmed and decide it's just to much.

It's a vicious cycle.

Now I need to go and look at pretty rainbow pictures to get you in the buff out of my mind!!! heheh

Great post.

Anonymous said...

yup that won't work for me. I have kids, they do those things. The bride cooks, mops and sweeps, I take the trash, instruct the troops and mow the yard.

everything gets done.

Anjeny said...

Funny how you just kinda describe my house, more like my hub could've written up this post, him in the buff and all..LOL.

Sometimes I think it's kind of a joke that I'm the one who stays home since I am seriously domestically challenged so I loathe any housekeeping.

My system on the laundry is: I do the hub's laundry seperate from everyone else's, his job requires him to dress up a bit so I just hang everything he wears for work, his underwear & socks, I just throw them in his drawers and any other clothes he wear I just leave them in a basket and leave it in our room. So usually the kids and I are the one who gets up and search for clothes to wear..(on the occasions that I get too sidetracked and forget about his laundry, we get into the situation you just described).

This is a fun post.

Just Jules said...

Putting away laundry is the ONE chore that is person specific. It is that persons job to put it away - and for the kids it is to be done within 15 minutes of me handing them the basket. Not only that but they must must must straighten their drawers before adding new stuff.

NOW.... here is where the problem lies -the time the clothes come out of the washer until they get to a folded state...... that sir is chaos some weeks. Depends if I am on a mental strike or a let's get it done to feel better attitude. Check next week - this week was a get 'er done

However (hubby's basket is still sitting by his dresser full and now picked through) *whistling.....and looking around innocently

heelsnstocking said...

I hate it when he puts the non iron in the ironing mountain! like it needs any extra padding!!!! arrgggh

kyooty said...

Ah but if it's a Caravan it needs a SPECIFIC oil and no matter how many times "I" the woman tell them which kind to use? they mess up! so I get= the HE of the house, to do it at home!

Joanna Cake said...

Everyone should put their own washing away.