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Marital duties

I grew up in a household of eight. Eight. Do you even have any idea how many dishes eight people produce? Especially considering the fact that it was almost never just the eight of us. My siblings and I always had friends over so a dinner on any given evening could easily have a dozen people or more.

That makes for a lot of dirty dishes. In case you were wondering.

I hate doing the dishes for this reason. I had done more dishes by the time I turned 18 than some people do their entire lives.

Or at least it felt that way. I’m not a drama queen. Shut up.

When I was growing up I used to babysit for a family with three adorable kids. Their mom was young and became quite a good friend. I spent a lot of time with her. One thing she told me was when her and her husband got married they made a deal, she’d do the laundry if he’d do the dishes.

Even at 13 this plan seemed brilliant. I knew I would employee this whenever I finally got married myself. They were such an adorable happy couple* and my friend? Never had to do the dishes. Ever.

Brilliant.

When Joel and I were talking about getting married I pitched him on this plan. He did not seem convinced. Always having to do the dishes? Always? Just in exchange for laundry? Yeah, I wouldn’t have gone for it either.

So I upped the ante. “How about,” I said “I do all the housework. I’ll cook, clean, do laundry, everything. As long as I never have to do the dishes.”

He was sold.

That plan lasted a really long time. And by really long time I mean it lasted until the first time we had guest coming in ZOMGthey’llbehereintwentyminutesandthishouseissomessy!!!1!! and I politely asked made him help me clean the house.

I still did the laundry though. Eventually the deal became what I offered originally. Dishes are Joel’s chore and laundry is mine. This may or may not be partially because I am obsessive compulsive a little picky about how my clothes are washed. Also? Joel did manage to destroy several of my shirts in one load the first time I let him help me with the laundry. He says it wasn’t on purpose… but he almost never does the laundry anymore either. So I’ll let you be the judge.

Anyway, this weekend Joel was in Memphis at a conference. Luckily(?) I had the plague and basically didn’t eat** for two of the four days he was gone. I did have cereal Sunday morning and ate some dinner and things though.

Today I realized Joel was going to be home soon and, even though “his” job is the dishes, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count when he hasn’t contributed to them in four days. So, I did the dishes this evening before Joel got back because I am a fabulous wife like that.

Side note: Did you know that milk, when left a day and a half in a bowl in the sink smells and looks just like yogurt? Gah! No wonder he gets annoyed when I don’t rinse it out in the morning.

There weren’t that many and it wasn’t a huge deal. But I was reminded today how much I appreciate having a husband that doesn’t mind doing the dishes all the time. There were a million other little things I missed about him while he was gone this weekend too. But the dishes were a big one.

I’m so happy he’s home.

*They did later get divorced. So maybe not the best marriage role models. At least their dishes plan worked out.

**I weighed myself Sunday after two days of hell. I lost 8 pounds. In two days. Yeah. I wasn’t kidding about feeling like I was dying.

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3 Comments

  1. Reed

    I always had to do the dishes, and still do tons at my work. I feel your hatred for dishes. I think I might go for you laundry/dishes deal some day.

  2. ahbashbah

    I used to hate the dishes, but now I have a dishwasher…not so bad.

    BUT

    Garbage? Breaks all the rules of not being sexist. It is my husband's job, and if he doesn't do it, it simply won't get done. (Because I'm a girl with pretty nails and an easily offended nose. Plus, we got maggots in the compost bin once. End of story.)

    Oh. Except for that time he went away to school for four months and only came home on the weekends. Garbage night is Thursday. Can I just say he's damn lucky it was winter? Four months of summer garbage beside the house would have completely fucked up neighbour relations!

  3. I always do the laundry. Husband isn't allowed for the reuining clothes reason too. But in return, he cleans the bathrooms and the cat littler. 🙂

    I think we have a good deal there!

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