Thursday, April 07, 2005

I Stand Accused

I stand accused of being an inadequate person. I stand accused of being less than tolerable. I am a bad, bad person. Why? I have been accused of neglecting my ADLs... Activities of Daily Living. My husband is fed up with my frolicking on the keyboard of my computer. The dishwasher wasn't emptied. He cooked, and I didn't clean up the mess. I left a load of laundry in the dryer. I come home from work and am on the computer all night. I don't do anything to pull my weight. He refuses to speak to me when he sees I am on the computer. His eyes shoot daggers and turn blood red at the thought of me on my computer. Sigh.

Let's look at this dilema for a bit. I get up in the morning, shower, brush my teeth, put on deodorant, get dressed for work, drink some hot tea, eat breakfast (sometimes), and go to work. I work and come home. Normally if he isn't home when I get home, I feed the cats. Then if the coast is still clear I will get on the computer for a bit. Now dinnertime approaches. This is a problem. If he is home, he wants to eat according to his "special diet" which is very inconsistant with my idea of real food (no meat, no fat, no sugar, no dairy, whole grains only, lots of Indian spices, lots of very hot spices). If he cooks though, I eat without complaint. If I cook, he usually doesn't eat. Frequently we out to eat so that we are both happy. He travels a lot so when he is not home I eat what I want. I do laundry. I change the cat boxes. I will run the dishwasher when it gets full. I clean toilets. I clean the sinks, tubs, and shower walls. I even clean evil grout on the bathroom floor. I wipe the counters. I clean the stove top. I change the bed linens (well right now they do need to be changed... I am a bit deliquent there) I really do a lot of things in addition to this. I am not a super housekeeper. I freely admit this. I will leave clean dishes in the dishwasher and not empty it right away when it is done cleaning. I tend to have clutter, and I evidently do not do things in a timely manner according to Himself.

Right now, I have my bedroom closet torn apart because I am reorganizing it. I do a little bit each day towards getting it to the point where I want it. I am throwing a lot of things away, which is hard for me since I tend to get attached to things. Throwing clothes away is hard for me as well. I like to keep several sizes on hand because of weight changes. Then there are winter and summer clothes to separate and deal with. Not finishing this immediatley is not really an ADL to me... it's more like an AML...Activity of Monthly Living.

When he got mad at me for not cleaning up the kitchen after he cooked, I had this thought... What about all of the years when the kids were all still at home and I cooked AND cleaned up? Usually the kids would help, but I can remember many times when himself would not even clear his place at the table. I really could go on and on this way, but who wants to hear about that!

SOOO... I decided that since he has been so accomodating as to point out to me when I neglect my ADLs, that perhaps I should return the favor. For instance the night after the initial lecture, when the dishwasher was open with a few dirty dishes in it, Himself left his dirty plate, glass and knife on the counter right above the open dishwasher. For some reason he did not appreciate my helpfullness in pointing out his neglected ADLs.

Himself is not exactly a neat person. He thinks he is Mr. Clean, but this is definitley not the case. He can have his fishing gear and lures on the kitchen table, golf clubs in the livingroom, boxes lined up down the hall, his tools all over the place in the laundry room, newspapers he has read all over the table or on the floor, and embalming and funeral supplies (which he sells) stacked in the living room by the front door. There was a time when he kept an embalming machine (used!) in the diningroom. His office is such a mess I can't even get in there to use the fax machine... and he has now moved to my desk in the family room. I put up with all of this and do not complain (to him) unless company is coming.

I do enjoy my computer... especially when I am home alone so much. I watch some TV... mostly news, but I do have a few programs that I like to try to watch: 24, Lost, Alias, and I will watch some shows on the SciFi channel, History channel, PBS, or Discovery channel. Himself does not like me watching TV if there is anything to be done. There are some exceptions to that. For instance, if there is a golf tournament, basketball game, football game of interest, or just about anything on the channel that has non-stop fishing programs, the world stops and all else is inconsequential. If he walks in the door and I am watching TV or on the computer, then it is a given for him that that is all I have been doing or ever do.

I guess the main problem is that I have a different point of view regarding ADLs. According to my perception, I have no problem with what I consider my ADLs. The problem seems to be with my AWLs and my AMLs and my AYLs... those things that I do weekly, monthly, or yearly. And I am quite willing to share the housekeeping responsibilities with Himself since we both work. I am not perfect, but I am really a good person. I am creative and a good listender. I don't easily lose my temper. I am patient and kind to stray animals and children. I do the best I can most of the time.

I have come to this conclusion: My hot fudge sundaes are nuts optional, but evidently my family is not!

So here is my query... what do you think? Do you share household responsibilities? Are you a neat freak, a relaxed housekeeper, or a slob?


Fizzy said...

I am so with you on this. My hubby - not a tidy man (but he does cook wonderful meals and can do fantastic DIY) My rule is if you make it you tidy it, however, no one else agrees. I am a mum, full time student I help care for my mum as well. If pushed they can do it, so WHY NOT ALL THE TIME. I am seen as a nag cos I go on and on and on. BUT why not? what makes them think they can come into the house dump thier shit everywhere and I will either ignore it or put it away. I admit I am not oganised and I do not have a house cleaning schedule ....etc I also admit that I will never be a good housewife.
I totally agree with you keep on blogging :)

Fizzy said...

Rhodent did you try and E-mail me ? cos I have a message in my inbox saying it could not be accepted. I don't understand it

dbdoberman said...

It is easier for me, I live alone, but try to pick up things on a daily basis. If I don't, who cares? I started not using my dishwasher, I wash up what I use right then, but once again, it's easier for me, because I do not cook meals. Stouffers to the rescue. At the most I have some silverware, a cup, a glass.

I have a friend who does live with a neat freak, she cleans, but it is never good enough. He then does it his way, bitching the whole time about what a pig she has become. I think the guy is anal, and your hubby too.

Ron Southern said...

You can do it his way, your way, or work out a compromise. Oh, I guess you could get a divorce! If you get a divorce, what are you doing Friday night? ON THE COMPUTER? Damn, girl, you'll blog your brains out! I already have, though, so who am I to advise you. Tappity-tap-tap, the decay of modern civilization...

blue2go said...

It's stuff like this that makes me (selfishly) glad that I have no live-in relationship right now! I'm a relaxed housekeeper, neither a neat-nik, nor a slob. Good luck with sorting all of this out!

Adrienne said...

I go in spurts. There are some days when I just don't feel up to doing any housework and the laundry will sit, the dishes will sit and the dust settles down nicely where it usually is.

There are other days where I'm fed up with looking at it all and I want it all clean RIGHT NOW!

When I feel overwhelmed, hubby will help out with whatever I need done. The kids are forced into manual labor and complain about it for years.

Then it's clean and the cycle starts all over again.

Nyx said...

You just described my husband. No, I'll give him a break, he does do the odd thing now that I work but the description of the eyes shooting daggers while you're on the computer definitely happens here too.

I think you got it in one when you said you just have a different perception of the neccesary daily tasks. I'm with you. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Happy and Blue said...

Can't say I'm a neat freak. I live alone so I have to yell at myself about undone chores. Then I get mad at myself and don't speak to myself for a few days. Then I make up with myself and the cycle continues..

frustratedwriter said...

I am a Jekyl and Hyde on this one. At home I do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean up the house, and the mow the lawn. At work I tend to be sloppy, or at least my desk is always covered. So maybe I have a split personality. Who knows... I always say if you don't like the way the house looks, clean it up yourself!
Keep on tapping those keys, I love the blogs!

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Am late to this originating dilemna/frustration although you've probably seen several comments re: progress :)

I've mentioned frustration w/ my husband but we do usually work it out easily. The recurring dumping grounds/messes of his are hard 4 me to accept, but when I relax my former neatnik urges it helps a lot. It also immensely helps when I don't SEE those messes of his, so that's part of the compromise: him confining them moreso and/or cleaning up others more regularly.

To many I would be considered very neat, but I'm far from anal and have never been into "magazine home living" style housekeeping. In other words, I do live with dust, fingerprints, etc and that's life. I want sparkle but I'm practical. I'd miss a whole lot of living that I *refuse* to miss if I scrubbed, polished, and fussed so even b4 having children, I relaxed housekeeping standards a whole lot.

Mr. Escape Artist often does NOT escape housework. I use the term affectionately to describe him traveling or very long work hrs. We've always had an either one of us cleans or cooks approach. It's me who has a lower tolerance level.

I need a certain level of organization, neatness, and cleanliness to feel at home and relaxed. We are at far different saturation points in that area. On the bright side, it means that he does *not* bother me about relaxing in front of a rare TV show.In fact, he wants me to relax MORE, even b4 I needed to work 2+ fulltime jobs. (The only way I can juggle that is from self-employment.)

I blog while paintings dry, photos develop or print, articles are typed, etc plus I type obscenely fast. My computer is in the hospital or I'd have emailed this since it's long.

Love your ADL, AML, AWL, abbrevs. You're so creative. (Yes, you are a character that comes through shining brightly on my screen.) Besides your lovely family photos, I still adore those animated rhodent characters...

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Oh, I'm very much like Adrienne's post about relaxing standards until it reaches a point, when I am compelled by a force more powerful than SuperGEL.

As an artist, I firmly believe that "creative people live in messes" but the definition of mess for me is a rather clean one; it's more clutter/piles as we create. My kids fondly recall the art table that never was required to be wiped clean, just organized now and then, with the real trash thrown out.

In my home studio, it is a working studio. Our home is considered comfy (and aesthetic for a few days to a wk after a good straighening up ;)

We're all happy it looks like we live in it, not a museum. I'm also lucky that both my daughters who are young enough to still be living at home and my husband support blogging. He listens to me talk about blogging friends MUCh moreso than my daughters who are bored w/ blog tidbits, unless it's outrageously funny (to them).

From your recent cleaning posts, it sure looks like things are working out! I hope so.
Lastly, I LOVED the year when we could afford a cleaning person once a month! However, my husband (rightly) kidded my green eyes blue b/c I'd clean up BEFORE the cleaning person arrived.... Although, it made sense to me, b/c i wanted her to deep clean, not straighten clutter.