Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The right way

When the husbeast and I first started dating, and then cohabitating, I knew that there would be a large learning curve. Any time you live with another person you have to learn each others habits and quirks in order to harmoniously coexist. We would have to get used to how we each did certain things and either adapt or learn to live with it.

Thankfully we are both fairly adaptive individuals. I admit that it took some time to get used to having stacks of books in the bathroom. I had always thought that was a cliche that was not really true. He proved me wrong. I had to quickly concede that he could have books in there, but I did place a limit on how many. He goes over four books and I remove all but one. Compromise achieved.

Sometimes though there is no compromise. Sometimes you have to learn to just step aside and allow things to go one way or another. Sometimes one of you has to win. Some things are too ingrained to change and far too stupid to fight over.

The husbeast does not clean the kitchen. While I admit he is often disinclined to even take his dishes to the sink, the reasoning behind his lack of kitchen cleaning is because I would really rather he not. That is right, I have forbidden him from doing the dishes. The only time I ask him to clean in there is if I am really feeling sick.

We simply have different cleaning styles. He has his way and I have the right way. That is a terrible thing to say, but it is how I feel about it. He puts pots and pans and steak knives and wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher. His dishwasher loading has no rhyme or reason and is anything but efficient. He leaves dishes to soak in water for days on end. He leaves the sponge wet in the sink buried under things.

It makes me crazy just thinking about it. I was raised that the only thing that went in the dishwasher were place settings, plain silverware, and tupperware. Pots, pans, knives, larger cooking utensils, and anything with wood on it were to be hand washed. What did go in the dishwasher had precise placement. Bowls and plates on the bottom rack and cups on the top. Occasionally bowls would go on the top too, but always in a neat and orderly fashion.

We never really soaked things in water. That is something that I have never fully understood. It drives me crazy to just leave the water standing though. It gets cold and smelly so fast. I just would prefer not go there. As for the sponge; wring it out and put it on the side of the sink. Always.

So knowing that it drives me crazy and makes me want to rewash the dishes we quickly just decided that he would just not try and clean anything. I was happy with that. I would rather do it right than do it twice. I think he was just happy to not have to do it.

The other thing that is a fairly universal thing is that I do the grocery shopping. He isn't terrible at it or anything, even though he can never manage to come back with everything on the list. He can normally get mostly what I asked for, though I learned I had to give him some incredibly detailed lists if my requests were anything other than very basic.

Mostly it comes down to the fact that he hates grocery shopping. Even if he comes with me he mostly just follows along behind me only putting in input when I ask, or he sees something he really really wants. He is mostly there to keep me company.

He doesn't even get to unload the cart. More precisely he refuses to unload the cart onto the conveyor belt because he thinks I am completely insane and does not want to get in my way. I am not sure I would agree with the insane part on this subject, but he is right not to get in my way.

I was taught to unload the groceries in a very specific order. You always unload chemicals first. All the toiletries and large heavy non food items go in the front. Then all the frozen food, then dairy, then meat, the canned goods, boxed foods, produce, bread and eggs. That is the proper order to place your things on the conveyor belt.

Why does it matter you may ask me. Why? Well because you have to assume that the 16 year old kid bagging your groceries is not too bright and doesn't really care enough to be careful. I am not having a bottle of drano put in with my ground beef. I am not having my plums thrown in with a box of frozen broccoli. I am not having a package of protein shakes thrown in with my foil topped yogurt.  All that leads too is contaminated meat, rotting fruit, and punctured yogurt lids.

If you put your things on the belt in the right order there is a much higher chance that even the least skilled baggers will manage to put your order into bags in a sensible and safe order. He likes to mock me a little for it, but it is the truth. It is not a perfect plan, but it works most of the time. Sundays excursion to the store that saw me with ruined yogurt proved that even the best systems are flawed.

I know they seem like little things, but it is understandings like these that lead to a happy marriage. They lead to a quiet and mostly peaceful household where we avoid angry ranting over silly things. Really that is the best way to do it, because honestly the silly things are not important enough to be angry over.


  1. My husband "cleans" the kitchen by putting dishes in the sink to soak...which I call making more work for Johanna. It's all a learning curve, right!

  2. In 13 years I haven't managed to consistently get him to take the dishes to the kitchen let alone in the sink. I usually have to make a pass of the house looking for stray plates and forks before I start the dishes. It's a darn good thing he is cute.