“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!”

Uh-huh.

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…

sunflowers and yellow shoesAfter 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?

sunflowers and yellow shoesIf 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.

things my husband doesn't understandAfter 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…] 

28 Comments
  1. There is nothing weird in any of the things you do, they are all perfectly normal, reasonable things. (Take that Terry, maybe you’re the weird, ever think about it like that huh?!?!?!)

    As soon as dinner is finished , everything must be cleaned down and put away and the table / kitchen returned to it’s normal unnecessary on display state. Them’s the RULES!

    Also I am now only realising that my husband’s habits of also leaving all dishes on top of the dishwasher rather than in the dishwasher and stacking rubbish on top of the bathroom bin (we’re so minimal we don’t have a kitchen bin, everything goes straight out even if it means multiple trips in the space of a few minutes) instead of in it (or you know emptying it when it is full) maybe his way of winding me up…………………………………..

  2. I feel you! As the only member of my family who is clean and tidy I end up trying to invent ways like you, sometimes even make their jobs easier! But oh no, still I’m left to do it all. Sometimes I think I was born to be a maid! I get really stressed out about dirt and untidyness too!

  3. When it comes to kitchen things I agree completely, I dislike coming down to a messy kitchen (although I’m happy to come down to clean dishes in the dishwasher and empty it whilst the kids eat breakfast), I always clear up between TV programmes if we’re watching TV or just before I can get really settled for the evening. I do like to leave the house clean and tidy before going on holiday and usually change all the beds a day or so before so that when we come home we come home to relatively fresh sheets. And yes yes to making the bed every morning, why wouldn’t you?! I’ve never thought these things weird, they’re just part of the daily routine of keeping the household running, like brushing your teeth and putting your clothes away / in the laundry basket 🙂

  4. SOCK FLUFF. I have come to the conclusion that the random bits of small black fluff are from mens ‘sport’ socks. Our bedroom seems to be riddled with the things!

    Also in regards to Toilet Tube Rolls – we even have a bin next to the toilet to put the tubes in…. do they end up there? No. We end up with a collection of tubes on top of the radiator. Or piled *next* to the bin. Same with the wash basket….. *sigh*

  5. Haha I’m mostly with Terry on this one. I do like to make the bed in the morning, clean the house (and wash the sheets) before going on holiday, and do the dishes before bed, but it doesn’t stress me out if I forget or don’t have time. But it’s very satisfying when I do, it’s like a little present from my past self 😀

  6. I’m a hot mess so I’m more of a Terry in this situation, but my husband, Mr. Neat, has his own issues and I want to list them here because he’ll never read them in the comments section of your blog and it will make me feel better:

    1. He has never used the last of ANYTHING in the shower. You know how I know this? Because he’s never once, in our ten years together, thrown out a bottle of shampoo, face wash, toothpaste, conditioner, etc. He might put a new one IN the shower, but he definitely didn’t use the last of the old bottle because he would have thrown it out, right? RIGHT?

    2. He is a wonderful construction guru (seriously) that has beautified our 140+ year old house beyond belief, but he only completes 98% of his projects. He always leaves one.little.thing. unfinished, and it makes me insane. Although I am the messy one, I always notice the one.little.thing for all of eternity.

    3. He does the Terry trash maneuver and somehow I am always taking out the trash. I’m all for feminism, until I have to take out the garbage.

    Thank you for letting me put this here, and I second Part 2, 3, 4, etc. in this series. You guys are super cute.

  7. I absolutely love this post! This sounds so much like my girlfriend and I. Except that I AM TERRY. I so appreciate your funny posts with Terry. So many couples seem to want to only show a perfect face on the internet, but that is so boring. I love a relatable post about a funny couple 🙂
    Also, I love a good hair flip 😉

  8. Nope. I think it’s Terry who comes across weird here! So many of these apply to me though and make perfect sense. I like a clean house and you might as well make it as easy as possible for yourself!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  9. Why *wouldn’t* you clean the house before you went away? Who wants to come back from holiday to mess and dirt? That’s just mad.

  10. I’m a “new” reader – I discovered your blog a few weeks back and have basically gone back and read… EVERY single one of your posts.

    Anyway, this is my first time commenting on someone’s blog… EVER! Just wanted to say my Dad is exactly the same, he’s a clean freak… he’s worse than you, actually…….. so don’t worry! It’s nice to have a family member like that because my Mum and I don’t have to do the dishes/wash the toilets/vacuum/basically do any housework cos there’s someone in the house who loves doing it all. Along with a full time job in a hospital. Ain’t complaining!

    http://www.charmainenyw.com

  11. I can totally relate to the “Dishes must be cleared away right after eating” point.
    In fact, it’s something that runs in my family, as my sister and I both have this quirk.
    It’s especially weird at parties when we are not the hosts. At some point during the evening the urge to clear away the used bowls, glasses, and bottles becomes just too strong and we WILL bring them into the kitchen, no matter what. That doesn’t mean we want to go home or usher the other guests to leave. But we cannot stand cluttered tables.

  12. Funny, glad you did a joint post. I’m with you on the holiday cleaning, it’s lovely to come to a clean house. But on our return I just tip the contents of the cases onto the floor in the hall (in our old house), making the biggest mess, but it’s near the washer. He does the toilet roll thing too and always leaves the dishes by the dishwasher rather than in it.
    Raymond is definitely the weird one in our house, eg do you know anyone who puts empty milk bottles back in the fridge with their shiny foil tops still on; or stuff his dirty black socks down the sleeve of his white shirt before putting it in the laundry; or who puts bottles back into the kitchen cupboards without tightening the lid so it falls off when you try to reach and lift it?
    I don’t mind the toilet seat being left up but he squeezed the toothpaste from the middle which drives me nuts. I have started squeezing it from the top, making it difficult to get any toothpaste out, but he doesn’t seem to have noticed yet.

  13. Oh, and now he’s retired I don’t do his ironing so he wears his clothes creased, and looks terrible, but he does help with shopping and cooking and he cuts the grass.

  14. When I was still living with my parents I was definitely a Terry. Now that I have my own place…I’m definitely on your side!

  15. So about making the bed… I am the only one in my family that feels the need to make the bed in the morning. Additionally, if the bed was not made in the morning or was somehow messed up during the day, it must be made BEFORE either party gets in the bed. My husband does not understand why I make the bed in the morning (why? It’s just going to get messed again?) and for sure doesn’t understand when I tell him he has to get up at night so I can make the bed. But you understand, right? I can’t possibly go to sleep in a messy bed with sheets and blankets all this way and that, so the bed has to be made so the sheets and covers are evenly distributed with no creasing etc. He knows this but will insist on getting into an unmade/messed up bed, hence my having to tell him to get up so I can make the bed. I also don’t want him making the bed or changing the sheets. Ever. How is it a grown man can’t see that the long part of the sheet goes vertically from the head of the bed to the foot and the shorter edge goes side to side?

    1. Definitely not the only one: if the bed hasn’t been made for some reason, I also have to make it before I get in – I know it’s weird, but I can’t seem to help myself!

  16. I can totally realte to your “weirdness”. I clean the house before I go on holiday as I hate coming back to a Dirty house when you already have a pile of Dirty laundry to do before you go to work again. And my boyfriend is the same with the dirty dishes, but he leaves dirty coffee Cups all over the place. It drives me mad. When I tell him he always says he wasn’t ready yet. (Although the Cup is standing there for hours) 😂

  17. This made me laugh so much! I love these kinds of posts because I too am super weird according to my family! I guess it is a normal life! Being clean and tidy is part of my life.

  18. This is hysterical, glad I found your blog! You and your husband have a great sense of humor. I so wish I had the drive/desire to be clean, my apartment permanently looks like a hurricane went through it.

  19. This was so funny! I have realised that my husband and I are the opposite of Terry and you except when it comes to putting stuff in the dishwasher. In that case my husband is exactly like Terry – why, why can’t the stuff be put into the dishwasher? This was an amazingly funny post!

  20. Hahahaha! I’m cracking up! I’m also 100% Terry, although my husband is the one who LIKES the house immaculate, he would like ME to be the one to keep it that way. Do you know how impossible it is for a Terry to be the one in charge of keeping the house in an Amber state?
    Except the TP rolls. I am a master of TP rolls whereas my husband regularity creates TP roll graveyards in his bathroom..

  21. He he I love this – my pet hate is when my husband eats the last of something – then LEAVES THE PACKET IN THE CUPBOARD!!! Why would you do that?! Why?

  22. Oh my God, you are my husband! He CANNOT leave for work in the morning unless he puts away the dishes we washed the *second* we finished eating the night before. I hear it, every single day. All the jangling of porcelain on the draining board that he cleans to within an inch of its life every Sunday morning. Also, we must do food shopping only on a Saturday morning, and at no other time. Sunday mornings are for cleaning only; gym visits must be on a Monday and Wednesday (for him), and he cuts his hair every single Tuesday, without fail. He will take clippers on holiday to ensure he never deviates from this schedule because, well, who knows WHAT might happen if he left it for any more than 7 days? It’s not worth thinking about, let’s face it.

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