Fourteen years ago, my wife and I exchanged our wedding vows. Fast forward 14 years and the exchanges continue. Instead of vows, however, we’re exchanging filthy looks.
Which is kinda appropriate given my wife’s current bone of contention is the cleanliness of our house.
Our busy work schedules have resulted in my wife considering employing a cleaner.
On a point of principle, I told her that I really objected to the thought of employing someone to perform tasks we could do for free.
And when I say ‘we,’ I do of course mean ‘her.’
She was having none of it.
A change in circumstances, however, means my wife is now working full-time and reckons we need the help.
I did, of course, fight my corner. What about the children? I protested.
“We won’t be spending a fortune on a cleaner,” she said, “We’ll still have enough money to look after kids.”
She missed my point.
Couldn’t the kids do the cleaning?
I mean, I thought the whole point of having children was develop those keen young minds, hone their skills, and instil in them a sense of duty ... with a view to producing our very own low cost personal butlers!
Admittedly, they are a work in progress. Sixteen years down the line and I still can’t get our eldest to wash his breakfast bowls. He’s getting nearer though. He can put his dirty dishes on the bench next to the sink and above the dishwasher.
To be honest, I prefer it that way.
Like the barbecue, the dishwasher is man’s work.
Stacking the dishwasher is an art form. Amateurs stand clear.
Stacking the dishwasher is up there with that other ancient art form ... the piling up of your plate at the one stop salad bar. Some of the carrot stick and cucumber slice engineering I’ve employed to ensure maximum buffet on one plate would have Isambard Kingdom Brunel doffing his hat in admiration.
And so it is with loading the dishwasher. There are simple rules: Equal spacing of plates is essential; cup organisation imperative to ensure maximum return; while paying lip service to cutlery can be fatal. These are all skills learned over years. I could write a book on balancing spatulas to ensure perfect results.
There is nothing more infuriating than opening the dishwasher to find bowls the wrong way round or overlarge kitchen utensils blocking the spinny thing that squirts the water (stop me if I’m being too technical).
Anyway, I put my foot down and expressed my opposition to employing a cleaner in the strongest terms possible.
She started last Wednesday!
What really irks me though, is how much cleaning we now have to do on the Tuesday. “We can’t let the cleaner see the house in this state,” my wife says. “Can you give the house the once-over? I’m off to work.”
Cue filthy look exchange.