Monday, March 19, 2012

Household Special Talents

I often wonder what my house would look like if I was no longer around. After coming home from my first couple of business trips to a mess and piles of laundry, I now specifically request that my family please tidy up before I come home. They have done a really good job lately. It's nice to come home to a neat house. Even when we go on vacation, I like to clean my house BEFORE I leave, so that I don't come home to a mess. I admit, I'm a little OCD when it comes to stuff like that. There are a few little things that peeve me to no end. I've noticed that there are several household tasks that, apparently, I am the only member of my family who is capable of doing them. I suspect that others (in other households) share my special abilities. 

Do you find that you are the only person in your household who:

Sunday morning
Monday afternoon
Replaces the soap (bar OR liquid)? It amazes me how little bar soap Rob can clean his body with. Sometimes I just don't put a new bar in the shower to see how long he'll that evil? Seriously though, the drawer that holds the "back-up bars" is less than six feet away from the shower. The same goes for liquid hand soap. He will just add water until you are basically washing with water and water. There's a very good chance that if he looked in the cabinet under the sink, he'd find more soap. I usually have at least one back-up (because I'm OCD like that). 

Replaces the paper towel?  I can't tell you how many times I've gone to use a paper towel, only to find an empty cardboard tube. Sometimes (if I'm lucky), the tube has been thrown away. Seeing as that step was taken, was it too much trouble to walk 10 steps to the laundry room to get another roll of paper towel?

Replaces the toilet paper? Rob does replace the toilet paper. I've often been (rightly) accused of not looking before I sit. He knows this and tries to prepare for potential disaster. My kids, however, are not as courteous. I can't count the number of times I have been stranded on my guest room toilet yelling for help. Sometimes a back-up roll is just a few feet away, sometimes it's in the master bath upstairs. 

Empties the overflowing trash can? At what point, I wonder, does my family think it is time to empty the trash can. I tend to go by the, "If the lid won't close" or "It is stinking up the house," it's time to take out the trash rule of thumb. Most of the time, the other members of my family do not follow this rule of thumb!

Recognizes the fact that I'll never wear/use something again, so it's time to donate it or throw it out? Rob is notorious for digging things out of the donation bags, claiming that he may need them again someday. (I stealthily hid his acid-washed black jeans in a black garbage bag so he didn't sneak them out, and he is STILL asking me what happened to his 'stretchy' black jeans.) Even worse is the fact that, God forbid, I decide to have a garage sale. My mom will come and tell me what I can and cannot get rid of. Next time, I'm waiting until she is out of town. (Sorry, Mom!)

Puts the recyclables in the recycling bin (instead of just leaving them to collect on the counter)? Seriously, it seems that going green is way too much of a chore.

Makes the bed (neatly)? OK - I have to give credit where credit is due. Rob does attempt to make the bed in the morning before he gets up. He pulls the covers up and tries to smooth them out (while still in the bed), then slips out the side. Voila, the bed is made (in his opinion). I see the bed and roll my eyes, smooth the covers, fluff and properly arrange the pillows. I don't expect to be able to bounce a quarter on it, but neatness does count. ;)

Throws dirty clothes in the laundry basket? There is a reason we have laundry baskets. If things do not end up in the laundry basket, there is a chance that they may not get washed. If you are upset because your black shorts have been dirty for a week, try picking them up off the bathroom floor and put them in the laundry basket, or, better yet, do your own damn laundry!

Understands that dirty clothes should be washed regularly and clean clothes do not need to be washed? On the one hand, I have Rob, who will wear a pair of shorts until my closet starts to smell of "Eau de Sweaty Man" and reuse a towel for days, claiming, "I'm clean when I dry myself with it!" On the other hand, I have Alana, who considers anything she's worn for more than a minute, "laundry," because it's easier to throw it on the floor or (Heaven forbid) in the hamper than fold it an put it away.

Sees (and is disturbed by) CLUTTER? Being slightly OCD, clutter drives me bananas. I will admit that I am notorious for letting papers pile up on my kitchen counter before I finally go over the edge and file them. But if I see something that is CLEARLY garbage, I THROW IT AWAY. Other members of my family don't seem to "get" this.

Notices mildew growing in the shower? As soon as I see the slightest sign of black (or orange) mildew, I'll risk asphyxiating myself with the X-14. I tend to avoid going in Alana's bathroom (as you may have read about in Dear Mike Rowe), but when I do, I am appalled by the funk that is growing in her shower and the fact that it doesn't seem to bother her (or her friends who spend the night all the time)! Just this past weekend, I took it upon myself to "get dirty" and SCRUBBED her shower with enough chemicals to destroy a village and a toothbrush. Her shower IS clean...for now...

Throws empty containers out? My cabinet may appear to be chock-full (OK, it usually is), but there is also a chance that it's fullness is only an illusion. There's a distinct possibility that many of the cracker, tea, oatmeal, cereal, etc. boxes are empty (or nearly empty). Empty shampoo and conditioner bottles will pile up in the kids' showers. Old, rusty razors litter Alana's shower floor. Why? In each case, there is a trash can no more than six feet away! Rinse it and recycle it or just THROW IT OUT!

Understands the concept of a silverware drawer - that there are different holders for each type of silverware? OK- let me begin by saying that I realized that I am blessed to have a husband who empties the dishwasher. He knows how much I hate that job, so he does it for me. I sincerely appreciate this, but I do wish that he put each piece of silverware back in its proper place. As it is, my silverware drawer is a free-for-all. The dinner forks are cavorting with the dessert forks. The soup spoons are hanging out with the teaspoons. I'm fine with diversity - just not in my silverware drawer.  My silverware is even shell-coded to make this task easier - knives and soup spoons are nautilus (or is it nautili?), dinner forks are scallops, dessert forks are sand dollars,  and tea spoons are conchs. It's not rocket science, is it?

So, how many of those talents do you share with me? I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not a rare breed. 

Having vented, I must admit that I do plenty of things that irk Rob too. If I get tired of seeing something clutter up my house, what do I do with it? Toss it out into Rob's Sanctuary (the garage). I can give as good as I get. ;)

With Love and Aloha ~ Nancy

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