Tag Archives: housework

the game of housekeeping

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I was explaining to one of my single guy friends the other day how having guests come over to your house is a lot different when you’re married than when you’re single.  It’s not enough to just toss the piles of mail and other clutter into your bedroom.  No, it’s time for a whole-house cleaning and makeover!  This is usually difficult (read: impossible) for men to understand, so I will try to explain.  Imagine you’re on a TV game show and every time someone comes over, your house is judged in the categories of how well you decorate, organize, and clean.  Forget the practical aspect of your guests understanding that people actually live in the house.  Sure, that seems like a valid excuse, and it is, but it only works with men.  If I go to a friend’s house and it’s cluttered, I don’t judge him, nor do I really care.  As long as my life is not endangered by the clutter and dust, it doesn’t matter.  I understand houses get messy sometimes and that there are many things you’d rather do than clean your house every single day.  And if you have children, it’s advisable to give up that dream of a house that always looks like a show home in a magazine or on certain TV shows, or you’re going to be frustrated a lot.

Anyway, back to my analogy before I go into rant mode.  Imagine you’re on a game show.  You and your wife are the contestants, and your guests are the panel of non-celebrity judges (even if their opinions get treated like they’re celebrities).  You might as well pretend it’s Martha Stewart showing up to judge you for how your house looks.  And that’s a critical aspect here — you are being judged, not just your house.  If it looks like people live there, you are obviously a poor housekeeper, and your life priorities must be all wrong.  And the categories you’re judged in include much more than just how clean your house is.  Even if you dust everything, vacuum, sweep, mop, do all the dishes, clean the bathrooms, etc., you can still receive a poor score.  See, it also matters how your furniture looks, and what art you have hanging on the walls, and what curtains you have, and how recently you’ve painted, and what your “theme” is, and so on.  I could not possibly list everything on the list because I am male.  I just don’t get it.

So let’s get to the next part of the game show — the prizes.  Well, there are no prizes.  It is theoretically possible to pass through this test unscathed, but unless you enjoy the process of all this housework, it’s not going to feel like winning.  And notice I said it’s possible to win in theory.  Realize that the difference between theory and practice is a lot bigger in practice than in theory.  Most likely you will lose miserably.  In some cases, even if you do all you know to do, you still lose regardless, even if the house is spotless and clutter-free, because you should’ve done more stuff, like hanging new curtains and pictures.

There are also some special complications that are bonus during this ordeal.  If your guests are your parents or in-laws, you may automatically lose.  But don’t let that faze you — you still must try your absolute best or you lose in more ways than one!  Sometimes it is a no-win situation, so you may not feel like trying at all, but there are definitely different levels of losing.

Well, there’s my perspective on the game of housekeeping.  I would enjoy hearing other perspectives.  And if anyone knows how to explain this to wives, to make the situation better, please share.  (And if it works, you should probably write a book and go around the country teaching at marriage enrichment seminars.)  Also, know that you can leave comments under an alias so your spouse won’t know it’s you.  So feel free to speak the unbridled truth.

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the special days of April, pt 1

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As we’ve done in previous months, we’re going to look at the special days and holidays of this month.  As usual, this is not a complete list — those can be found elsewhere.  But I guarantee you will not find another list like this one.  This is not a mere list, because we add our own unique commentary and analysis.  In other words, we try to make it more fun.  And you are welcome to add to the discussion in the comments section.

Let’s get started with the month-long celebrations and observances:

  • National Humor Month — Then this is a great time to be reading this blog, because we’re all about humor!
  • National Pecan Month — To me, this says “eat pecan pie”.  Mmm…
  • International Guitar Month — Rock on, dude!
  • National Garden Month — This is when Mango-Man starts his infamous all-natural “survival of the fittest” garden.  That is, he doesn’t use chemicals and pesticides, and he doesn’t even bother watering it much.  It truly is survival of the fittest.  🙂
  • National Mathematics Education Month — I hope you already know the basics that are needed to get through life.  As far as the advanced stuff, I took Calculus I & II in college, learning all about derivatives, integrals, differential equations, abstract algebra, matrices, etc., and I use absolutely none of it in real life.  A few people might need to know it, but I didn’t need it for the computer programming I’ve done.  But I digress…
  • National Grilled Cheese Month — We’ve already discussed this before.  You can also add ham or bacon to your grilled cheese, and Miracle Whip goes well with it, too.  Mmm…

The only week-long observance I want to bring up this month is:

  • Week 1 Read a Road Map Week — Being a man, I don’t need road maps or directions.  However, in the spirit of this holiday, we should do what is implied here: take a road trip!  Does anyone want to take off for Colorado?  🙂

Now we’ll look at the individual day holidays:

  • 1 April Fool’s Day — You already know about this.  You play pranks and jokes on people.
  • 2 Children’s Book Day — I usually don’t read children’s books, because too many of them are dumbed-down (unnecessarily so in some cases).  But if you consider The Chronicles of Narnia to be a children’s series, that one is definitely worth reading.
  • peanut butter jelly sandwich2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day — I like the food holidays.  🙂
  • 3 Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day — I figure most people would choose to stay home.  Although even with my current job, where I get to do work I enjoy, I still could use another day off.  After all, we have to work more days than we have off, and we should strive to be balanced in life.
  • 4 National Walk to Work Day — So you get a day off, then they want you to walk to work. Ideally, though, this is a good idea, and a good time of year for it. But sometimes it’s just not practical.
  • 4 Walk Around Things Day — This is vague.  But I suppose if you’re walking to work, you’ll have to walk around buildings and parked cars and such.
  • 4 Tell a Lie Day — You shouldn’t do this.  Why is this even a holiday?  It’s immoral!  Even if it’s a “holiday”, we’ll still have to give an account to God for all that we say…
  • 7 Caramel Popcorn Day — I prefer cheese popcorn, but still, it’s a food holiday.
  • 7 No Housework Day — This is a great idea!  I’ll have to tell my wife about this one!  🙂  Instead of housework, we could do something more fun, like play games or watch movies or play sports outside.  Almost anything is better than housework!
  • 8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day — Uhh… I’ll pass on this one.  But, if it’s your thing, go ahead…
  • 9 Name Yourself Day — On this day, you can change your name for the day.  So if you don’t like your name, or if you’d rather be known by a nickname, this is the time.  I’m thinking about going with “Master of the Universe”.  So all my co-workers (including my bosses) will have to refer to me as such, or I will ignore them.
  • 11 Eight Track Tape Day — I barely remember these (because I’m not that old).  I never owned any, but one of my friend’s parents did.  They were interesting, and some argue they were better than cassettes, which replaced them.  But now they’re relics, replaced with CDs and MP3s.
  • 11 Barbershop Quartet Day — Is it a coincidence this is the same day as 8-Track Tape Day?  Just kidding!  This would be a good day to check out the musical style of barbershop quartets.  Try something different for a change.  You can probably find some online to listen to.
  • 12 Big Wind Day — This day blows me away!  (Sorry…)  This is a holiday because on this day in 1934, the staff of the Mount Washington Observatory recorded the highest surface wind ever measured, anywhere on earth.  This big wind was officially recorded at 231 miles per hour.  To celebrate that, take notice of the wind outside, watching its effects and listening to it.  If there isn’t any natural wind, feel free to create your own big wind.  (AWW-RIGHT!)
  • 13 Blame Someone Else Day — I think politicians already do this every day, along with much of the mainstream media.  It seems like everything is President Bush’s fault, somehow.  I don’t care for this holiday, because people already do this too much.  We need to take personal responsibility for our lives.  If you’re going to enjoy life, it’s up to you to make it happen.
  • 14 International Moment of Laughter Day — On this day, you should take (a lot of) breaks to have a moment of laughter.  After all, laughing is like jogging on the inside — it’s good for you.  So for your health, make time for laughing.  And, of course, this blog is a good source of laughter.  🙂
  • clouds over island14 Look up at the Sky Day — Go figure out why the sky is blue…  Seriously, take a moment to enjoy the clouds.  It’s even better if there’s a storm coming through, with dark clouds and lightning.  I enjoy storm chasing, but it can get dangerous…

This is getting really long, so I’m going to break it up into two posts.  To be continued…  (Click here for the next part.)