by Dave Williams
Today is house cleaning Thursday. I always dread it.
Every bloody Saturday.
While the rest of the world slept late and then enjoyed coffee and a leisurely breakfast while weighing their options for a fun weekend, I awoke hating Saturday knowing I’d spend it dancing with the vacuum and mop.
This was my first marriage. We both worked during the week and Saturday was the only time available for house cleaning.
Every bloody Saturday.
“It’s a beautiful day!” I enthused. “Let’s go on a picnic or just take a drive in the mountains!”
No, she explained with thinly-veiled annoyance. It’s Saturday, cleaning day.
I was a very young man then, never even taught to clean my own room or to appreciate the neatness and order that just seemed to me like the natural state of things. My mother had done it all.
My equally young wife, on the other hand, had been taught to do her share of family chores, to do them correctly and on time.
I tried telling her that the house wasn’t going to get any messier while we were gone but she was disciplined. I hesitate to use words like rigid or inflexible, though they leap to mind. My first wife and her parents were happy, fun-loving people when off duty but they were always sticklers for planning. When I suggested we should “just take a drive a drive in the mountains” I was challenged for a specific destination and plan. I never had one.
It took me years to understand in retrospect that I should have planned to have a plan and not be so spontaneous. It couldn’t have worked, of course. It’s not who I am.
Fast forward: my now and final wife of 30 years, the lovely-and-feisty CarolAnn, is spontaneous like me. We love doing things at the spur of the moment specifically because we’ve made no schedule. Sometimes we even plan ahead to make no plans. Our home has never gotten any messier while we’re away goofing off and we’re both happy with that.
But the problem is the same as it was 40 years ago: we both still work; now in our sixties we’re too tired to clean house and far too rigidly spontaneous to change or care.
And yet, somebody has to do it.
Paying a woman to clean our home every two weeks is a luxury that stretches our budget but as long as I’m still employed it’s worth the expense.
Now I have a new problem:
I have to clean the house before the cleaning lady gets here. It’s better than giving up my Saturdays but it’s still a pain in the ass.
Talk about your spoiled man-child first world problems.