Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Domestic Division

There are certain domestic responsibilities that I do not participate in for a number of distasteful reasons. Established in our first year of marriage, without prenuptial agreements or contract negotiations, the division of labor in our home happened naturally. For instance, anything to do with the disposal of trash to the outside holds little appeal for me so I pretend that it is not a skill I possess. Likewise, emptying the dishwasher is not an interest of pursuit for my husband, so he feigns lack of proficiency.

For me, yard work brings about allergies, sore muscles and unnecessary damage to nail cuticles. For him, putting clean clothes into drawers defies all logic when it is clear leaving them in the laundry basket provides better accessibility.

I don’t understand how the noise of the vacuum cleaner presents such a deterrent for my spouse when the volume of the leaf blower he uses at every opportunity can be heard in outer space. He doesn’t get how the toilet plunger can be considered so difficult to operate by yours truly when I can defrost meat in the microwave while cleaning out the refrigerator and simultaneously engage in a three-way conversation on the cell phone.

Our systematic approach to household chores may not make sense, but somehow, fifteen years later, it continues to joyfully work. He is Manager of the Maintenance Crew, of which I am the only reluctant member. I am Head of Housekeeping, in charge of just one, whose tendency is to hide from me when given the chance.

A few days ago, I bravely, and somewhat spontaneously, decided to cross the domestic lines that have divided us for so long. Recognizing that my husband, John, had experienced a difficult week at work, I decided to lessen his load by taking out the trash to the outside bins.

Those bins were full so I changed directions and headed towards the yard art that has been sitting on our front lawn for the past ten weeks.

Unbeknownst to me, trash bags weren't necessarily designed to drag across pavement, down steps and then across a path made of sharp pebbles.

Apparently, the folks at Hefty never considered the lengths a wife will go to all for the purpose of helping her hubby.

Certainly, no concessions made by the trashbag manufacturers for someone who stepped from behind her vacuum cleaner in order to attempt the seemingly impossible.

And damaged a nail cuticle in the process.


ekrisdinger said...

and due to your crossing of the lines, it seems as though he will hope in the future that you remain in your comfort zone! ;)

how long until the house is done?

Joni said...


That is correct. Apparently I make smaller messes when stationed in my comfort zone. : )

House is finished. Photos coming soon.


elizabeth said...

We have the same responsiblities in our house (or aversions), but my Ty will run the vaccuum cleaner. This is ONLY b/c I have gotten very good at acting like I don't know how to use it, to which he usually will just suggest he do it since he will do it "the right way." :) Works every time. I would think you secured your NON-trash duties for a LONG time now.

Joni said...


I have been banned from the trash permanently.

Particularly since the pack of dogs my spill attracted left unsightly, smelly remnants for the Manager of the Maintenance crew to collect.


Bitterroot Mama said...

This is totally unrelated to this post, but I just read your article in Momsense and just about died laughing. My 15-month-old loves to wear my underwear like bracelets on her arm. Your story is too funny! Thanks for sharing. P.S. I'm now following your blog.

Joni said...

Bitterroot Mama -

I'm glad you enjoyed the article!

Thanks for following all of my nonsense!


Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through the MOMSense article... Loved your story! Oh, a girl's gotta have accessories! LOL!

Tammy B

Joni said...

Tammy -

It's the power of the x chromosome! Starting at an early age, little girls will hunt down something with which to accessorize.

Even if it happens to be elastically challenged underwear. : )