Today, I realized something all of a sudden.  Something I probably should have noticed before now.  And I’m not sure whether to feel lucky or be ashamed…

It happened when Matt told me that he promised to do the dishes soon, which made me notice for the first time that all the plates were dirty. Which led to this epiphany…

I am in charge of exactly none of the housework.

Not the dishes, not the trash, not the refilling of soap dispensers, definitely not the vacuuming, definitely definitely not the toilet scrubbing, nothing.

Actually, there is one thing.  I fold my own laundry.  BUT – I don’t fold anyone else’s laundry.  Also, I make the bed every day.  Because unmade beds are uncomfortable I tell you!

I will unload the dishwasher occasionally, but only if I’m standing around bored in the kitchen.  I will wash a skillet here and there, but only if I need to use it right now.  I will throw in a load of laundry, but only when I want to wear something in the hamper.

So the question is: is the place just generally disgusting, do I have magic house elves, or is my occasional boredom/necessity cleaning enough?  Has Matt been doing a ton of housework that I never appreciated, or is there just not a lot to do?

<Update: 15 minutes later>

Matt just read this and demanded answers to these questions-without-answers, so here we go…

Present Day: I’d guess that Matt does all the housework (what, no house gnomes?), but so blindingly fast that you don’t see it.  Probably doesn’t take much time away from reading Game of Thrones.

So comfy.  Also, this is the level of neatness you can expect when you come to visit.

Before: What did I do before, when I lived on my own?  On a co-worker’s recommendation, I hired awesome housekeepers who came once a month to do things like vacuum and scrub things. I know that sounds all fancy, but this was one splurge that really truly paid off in terms of life happiness. It was this or start showering at work to avoid the messy (haha) situation developing at home from my laziness and general ineptitude… Besides, Nadia has turned house cleaning into a priceless art form and every time I came home to a sparkly new apartment, it felt like it was my birthday, except better. (If you live in Seattle and want her number, let me know!) 

Our place now is certainly NOT Nadia-clean, nor could it ever be (short of Nadia and company re-locating to SF and Matt reconsidering his “we can clean the house ourselves” stance).

I took out my own trash (read: threw the bag down the apartment’s chute on the way to my car), and did dishes and laundry too (look at me go!). On the dish front, I put things straight in the dishwasher and washed skillets immediately after use (even before eating), so I guess they never piled up and felt like a chore.

My laundry situation hasn’t really changed since then.  It helps that I don’t iron anything, which means all the things have to be folded within 1 minute of coming out of the dryer lest they wrinkle and besmirch my appearance.  This might be one drill-sargeant-boot-camp minute, but it has the happy side effect of laundry folding never taking more than 5 minutes.

Before Nadia: A time period heretofore known as BN.  What did I do before Nadia? I HATE vacuuming AND scrubbing the bathroom, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done those things barring some improbable clean-it-now-or-else-your-life-be-forfeit emergency.  Maybe my roommate did it?  Maybe the place was just filthy and I just avoided touching anything (this is more likely than it sounds)?  Maybe there were helper gnomes then?

Ah, that’s more questions without answers.  Even the furthest dregs of my mind don’t seem to go all the way back to BN.  Too bad I didn’t have a blog back then to record these important historical events!

4 Thoughts on “Dobby?

  1. Time to make a task list and currency-exchange. Let’s see, toilet-scrubbing weekly is worth 50 housebucks, daily dishes is worth 20 housebucks… :)
    Thank-you’s may work instead of housebucks!

  2. The more I think of it, the more this story is a gradual evolution. For instance, Matt didn’t like that after I cooked, I would clean all the pots and counters _before_ eating. “But – I don’t want to have to do dishes later!” “I will do them later!” “How much later?” “How soon do they need to be done?”

    So, in exchange for me tolerating dirty dishes in the kitchen for extended periods of time, Matt took on general dish duty :)

  3. Haha this is great and I got to thinking about our division of labor. Ours is pretty equitable actually, I hate cleaning and he hates organizing. And actually it’s more like he likes cleaning and I like organizing! Before we were married, he’d occasionally swing by my apartment, do some dishes, scrub the toilet, and then take off!

    Anyway, most tasks can be broken down into cleaning/organizing. Doing the dishes, doing laundry, scrubbing toilets = cleaning. Putting dishes away, folding clothes, general maintenance = organizing! There are occasional snafus however, which basically get taken care of whoever gets more annoyed by the task not being done!

  4. Our place is basically at a subsistence level of barely tolerable cleanliness at all times. We make huge leaps forward into the realm of hygeinic and organized whenever people come over, which (fortunately for our health) happens at least once a month, usually.

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