Tuesday 10 December 2019

So why is that Beloved won't get really down and dirty?

APPARENTLY, when I was in labour and the nice man with the epidural could not be found, I screamed over and over again "It's not natural!" I don't remember this, though it seems entirely accurate. Similarly I don't remember whimpering "I need a slave," the other day, but Number Two assures me I did.

I was on my knees trying to get the incredibly stubborn drawers out of the fridge -- and had been for way too long while the open door alarm bleeped incessantly. It's one thing persevering at a difficult task in the name of achieving something fun, virtuous or worthwhile, but I was doing this so I could clean up spilt watermelon and wash the silage from the vegetable drawer. Girlchild says that's when I whimpered the slave thing.

Beloved has always been a willing sharer of household chores. He arrived fairly house-trained and has honed his skills over the years, a combination of his willing and my whining. Alas, during the week he isn't around much, but he'll often make up for it at the weekend. Or if he's in a mood, sometimes it's worth picking a fight just to have him give the kitchen a quick once-over.

When we met, Beloved seemed entirely oblivious to the concept of changing bed linen. Some recent survey suggested this was not uncommon to the male of the species. I had lived in Spain, where I had learned a devotion to good cotton sheets, and in Beloved I found a zealous convert to fresh cotton. He is now more likely to change the bed, with bonus mattress turn, than I am.

When we met, Beloved also seemed oblivious to the concept of cleaning the bathroom. No one needs any survey to know that this, too, is not uncommon to the male of the species. I don't remember ever receiving instruction on the matter, but always remember thinking that a sink with a ring of gack on it could not be a good thing. And whilst Beloved most likely feels the same way, I'm fairly sure he has never been spotted with a bathroom-scouring implement, much less an actual toilet brush.

If I open a door and a load of things fall on my head I think, "Oh, this must mean it is time to reorganise the cupboard." Although I confess this could be 10 minutes before we're due somewhere. If Beloved opens a cupboard door and a load of things fall on him he thinks, "Oh, I better leave instantly and do something in another room."

In short, there are chores Beloved likes (ironing aka licence to watch a lot of golf/Top Gear); there are chores he doesn't mind (floor-washing, rabbit hutch cleaning). There are chores he just doesn't seem to see (wiping down the kitchen unit doors, tea-drip central if it wasn't for me and my trusty J Cloth.) And there are chores that he just won't do (cleaning fridge/toilet/blinds). Gay couples, from my none too scientific survey of, er, two, have employed cleaners to take care of these very tasks so one can only assume it's that old devil the Y chromosome.

I asked, on behalf of womankind, why it was they get to pick and choose the chores they'd like to do. Is it because he doesn't see them? Or just doesn't want to do them? But there are questions he just will not answer.

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