“I’ve got a blog post idea for you,” announced Terry, one day last week.
I instantly tensed, in preparation for one of the “here’s why your idea sucks” conversations we always end up having whenever Terry decides to try and insert himself into my blog. Because that’s what ALWAYS happens in these situations. This time, however, Terry was to surprise me.
“I thought you could do a list of all the different ways in which you’re weird,” he said. “I’ve already made a start on the list!”
Now, I DID know that Terry finds me pretty “weird” in many respects. I mean, I’m the world’s biggest introvert, he’s the most extroverted extrovert that ever extroverted. I’m neat, he’s messy. I’m a complete stress-head who worries about absolutely everything; he once came to bed and left the front door wide open. We’re … pretty different, in other words. I had to admit, though, I was curious to find out which SPECIFIC things Terry finds most “weird” about me, so I got him to send me the list, and I present it to you now, in all of its un-edited glory. Once I read it, I realised that all of Terry’s points were related to household chores, basically, but he tells me he has “other things” he could have included in this, so I might follow it up at some point with MORE ways in which my husband thinks I’m weird. Or, you know, maybe not. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that once I publish this, YOU’LL all think I’m “weird”, too. So here goes: Terry’s list in bold, with my responses underneath…
After a house party, even if it’s 4am, the house must be completely tidied.
So, yeah, I like things neat, what of it? One of my absolute pet hates is waking up to a messy house, so I just can’t bring myself to go to bed in one. I mean, how could I sleep?! Also, in the case of a house party, I’d much rather do the cleaning while I’m still slightly drunk, than when I’m hungover the next morning, so there’s that.
Living room floors must be cleaned before going to bed.
See above: I literally – LITERALLY – can’t rest if I know the house is dirty. Also: this is why I’ve been nagging you to change the floors downstairs, TERRY.
Those floors, though: seriously. They’re a dark wood, and completely smooth, which means that they show up every single mark. EVERY ONE. If Terry and I have spent the evening in the living room, then that means Rubin will have spent the evening constantly going in and out of the garden. Because it’s always raining, every time he comes back in, he’ll leave dirty paw prints all over the floor, and by the end of the night, it’ll look like we’ve been holding a barn dance, rather than just watching TV. Luckily, although the floors need cleaning often, it doesn’t actually take very long to do it, so a quick swipe with my trusty mop, and I can sleep easy, knowing that if the Queen were to knock on my door first thing the next morning, she wouldn’t be able to say a THING about the state of my floors. It could happen, people.
The bed must be made every morning.
Well, when else would you make the bed? Every night?
The aforementioned bed must have a minimum of 4 pillows at all times.
Two to sleep on, two because they look nice. Then the cushions. And a bedcover. I normally make the bed myself (Because I can’t really trust Terry to get the cushion placement right?), but on the occasions when Terry decides to “help” me, he likes to pretend we’re competing in the Bed-Making Olympics, and to commentate the whole process. (“Aaaaaand they’re past the first pillows, and on to the second layer! Can they beat their personal best?!”) If it helps him accept the pillows, I’m all for it.
And the bedsheets can only be washed on Friday.
Now this is just not true! I normally wash the bedsheets on a Friday because that’s when I have most time to do it (and because I don’t want to spend my weekend doing chores), but this is not a “rule”! I’m pretty sure I COULD do it on some other day. Like, it would feel really daring, and a little bit dangerous, but sometimes you just have to take a walk on the wild side, don’t you?
This requires the covers to be dried on the radiators but at no other stage must any other item ever be dried on the radiators. ONLY Bed sheet Friday!
Ideally, of course, the bedsheets should be dried on the line. As it’s always raining, though (see above), sometimes they have to be placed on the radiators to get them fully dry. (This is a real pain in the summer, when it’s too warm to have the heating on, but there’s no other way to dry the sheets.) (Other than the tumble drier, obviously, but I refuse to tumble dry bedsheets, because they get super-creased, and I HATE that. So I machine dry them until they’re just slightly damp, then over the radiators they go…) But yes, I will admit to this: there’s almost nothing I hate more than to walk into a room and find a row of wet socks or whatever all lined up on top of the radiators. I actually find it kind of depressing, in a “wet Saturday afternoon” kind of way. Also, it kinda ruins the whole “minimal” look, doesn’t it?
If there’s even a single piece of fluff on the carpet it must be vacuumed immediately.
NOT TRUE. If it’s just a single piece, I’ll pick it up and dispose of it. If it’s more than that, though, well, what’s the point of having a vacuum, if you’re not going to use it?
(By “piece of fluff”, Terry is referring to the mysterious Black Dots of Doom which regularly appear on our carpets: provenance, unknown. They don’t really add to the decor, let’s just put it that way…)
Before going on holiday the house must be cleaned from top to bottom.
See, I just thought EVERYONE did that? Because, if you don’t, you’ll come home to a dirty house?
Shower screen must be squeegeed after every shower, any water drops left over constitute a failure of the task.
Uh-huh. And your point is?
Toilet rolls must be changed when they have less than 20 sheets on the roll.
This is an exaggeration, but the truth isn’t any less weird, really. So, another one of my pet hates is when I go to the bathroom, and there’s just an empty cardboard tube on the holder. One of Terry’s pet hates, meanwhile, is removing the cardboard tube, and replacing it with a fresh one. Sometimes he DOES remove it, but then, rather than binning the tube, he’ll choose to display it prominently, somewhere in the bathroom, a bit like a hunting trophy or something. (“I AM MAN! I HUNT CARDBOARD TUBE!”) In order to avoid this, if I notice the toilet roll is almost done, then rather than leaving it for Terry to finish and then fail to replace, I’ll normally pull the remaining sheets off the tube, and place them on top of the fresh roll. It sounds weird when you put it like that, sure – but it totally makes sense in my head.
After dinner the plates and dishes must be cleared away before beginning a second TV program.
Because we’re terrible people, Terry and I normally watch TV while we eat dinner. Actually, we normally watch Neighbours while we eat dinner, and I’m not even going to apologise, because that whole, “Lauren has a secret baby that not even SHE knew about!” storyline was inspired, seriously. Once we’ve eaten dinner and watched our show, then, we normally watch something else, just to relax a bit before starting work again. (We both normally work in the evenings.) Before this second show starts, I will take a few minutes to load the dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen – so I can then relax and enjoy the next show, without glancing over my shoulder to see a pile of dirty dishes. And if that’s wrong, well, I just don’t want to be right….
(Terry’s favoured technique, meanwhile – and not just for dinner dishes, but for ALL dishes used throughout the day – is to carefully arrange them on the worktop ABOVE the dishwasher. Then leave them there. Because they can make it that far, but apparently those last few inches which would allow them to complete their journey are just a step too far…)
Kitchen bin must never be left more than 70% full.
So, Terry doesn’t like emptying the bins in the kitchen. Instead, he will carefully cram more and more items into them, until at some point I’ll open the door of the cupboard they live in, and it’ll look like someone’s been playing Tetris with our rubbish. In the case of the recycling bin, I honestly would not be surprised if he told me he sometimes removes items just to rearrange them in order to fit in one more thing. I, naturally, HATE THIS. Because when I go to put something in the bin, it will always be so crammed full of rubbish that I can’t get anything else in, so I’ll end up having to awkwardly open the back door with my elbows (because I’ll be carrying rubbish) and then shuffle outside in my slippers to use the outside bin instead.
As with the whole “toilet roll” fiasco, I try to pre-empt this situation when I can by emptying the bin before it’s full: this is supposed to foil Terry in his world record-breaking attempt to see how many items he can fit inside a small plastic cube, but he still regularly manages to outwit me. Actually, I wonder if he’s bringing rubbish in from outside, just to wind me up? We SURELY can’t have THAT much rubbish in the house, can we? CAN WE?
Grass must never be more than 1.25 inches otherwise it must be cut immediately.
Aaaand, this is why we don’t have a lawn any more!
(Note: there wasn’t an actual height-related rule about this, but only because I didn’t think of it…)
Valweedus Morghulis (All weeds must die). When a weed is more that 2mm high it must be removed or salt poured over it.
Damn straight. There will be no weeds on my watch!
When it is too cold all heating must be turned up to the max until it is way too warm, then all heating must immediately be turned off. Then repeat.
Not my fault! The house is always either too hot or too cold: it’s like the circle of life! Or something.
Every sink in the house must be partnered by a cleaning sponge.
Well, it’s either that or I wear some kind of cleaning sponge holster on Bedsheet Friday, so I don’t have to keep running up and down three flights of stairs to the kitchen. Wait: is a Sponge Holster a thing? Because Sponge Holsters should totally be a thing.
If any dishes have been left out they must be tidied away even if you only remember when you’re in bed
Nuh-uh! I don’t EVER remember getting out of bed to put away dishes! Because dishes should never be left out in the first place, d’uh!
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have some bedsheets to wash. *Tosses hair.*
[P.S. Hopefully this goes without saying, but just in case it doesn’t, I just wanted to say that Terry and I both contributed to this post, and it’s supposed to be a (hopefully) humorous look at the little differences between us. It’s NOT supposed to come across as us airing our dirty laundry in public, or anything like that. Because we only air dirty laundry on Tuesdays, obviously…]