THEY say the first year is the hardest. All the irritating little things that annoy you about your wife or husband come to the fore, you learn new, sometimes surprising, things about your partner and from time to time you have a few tiffs or arguments. All pretty normal as you settle in to marriage.
Not so much for us though. It’s just under two weeks until our first wedding anniversary and up until last weekend we were having a blast. No arguments, no incidents, we were rubbing along very nicely, thanks. We seemed to have settled in beautifully and I was so looking forward to smugly telling people how absolutely perfect we are.
So close. So very, very close.
Last weekend we decided to clean the house, top to bottom. All the little jobs that you normally overlook such as dusting between every single slat on the blinds, scrubbing the grouting in the shower, stripping cupboards that sort of thing. It had been a LONG time since we did a huge clean-up like this, certainly the first since the wedding. We were going to get down and dirty and just do it.
So we did. The house is gleaming so it is, I’d defy anyone to find a speck of dust anywhere, on anything. Unfortunately however, I’m going to have to kill my husband.
It’s tragic, he’s only young, but sadly it must be so.
It’s not that he doesn’t do the housework. He does.
It’s not that he moans about having to do the housework. He doesn’t.
It’s not that he half-heartedly pushes a brush around while watching the football and leaves the rest to me. He doesn’t. Honestly, he doesn’t.
It’s that he does 95 per cent of a task and then moves on to the next one WITHOUT FINISHING THE FIRST ONE. And while he’s doing that 95 per cent of the task, he makes a meal out of it, spending hours at a simple task when ten minutes would do it.
So sadly, he must die.
Honestly, I can’t put up with 50 more years of this. I know, I KNOW I should be grateful he does any housework in the first place. I’m a bitch nag wife, I know. The chap does the work and it’s still not enough. What’s five per cent of a task between man and wife? What’s pernicketyness?
It’s everything. EVER.Y.THING.
We decided to split the work between us – I’d do upstairs – loos, our bedroom and the spare room – while he did the kitchen, the blinds and cleaned the downstairs windows.
Dusters, mops and buckets in hand we separated with a grin, cheerily shouting ‘See you in four hours’ at one another.
Four hours later our bedroom was dusted, polished, tidied and smartened up, the bed properly made, doors washed down – the works. Both bathrooms were sparkling, soap scum removed, toilets scrubbed, bath immaculate, our spare room was tidied and dusted and I was filthy and exhausted.
I looked around with pleasure at the sunlight streaming through the neat-as-a-pin rooms, happy with the job done. Done and dusted, if you will.
I went downstairs to find the washing up had been done and he had started on the blinds and back windows.
The counter tops were littered and uncleaned. The fridge wasn’t done. The cooker wasn’t done. The kitchen table was a mess.
He had done the washing up and then started the next task without finishing the first one!
It is beyond my comprehension how he could wash dishes yet leave countertops uncleaned, a filthy hob and a messy table and move on to cleaning blinds and windows.
‘I’ve finished these back windows now,’ sez he, blowing out his cheeks and moving busily through the kitchen ‘I’m going out the front now to start the front.’
Still not noticing the filthy countertops and cooker, still believing he had ‘done’ the kitchen.
He also had left filthy rags and soaked piles of kitchen roll all over the place from where he had been cleaning the windows, neglecting to pick them up, even when he was finished with each window.
Who does that? Who cleans a window, scrubs it, polishes it, buffs it, then wanders off leaving a sopping pile of kitchen roll on the ground thinking ‘That’s that job done!’ Who does that?! Pick up the kitchen roll, throw it in the bin, THEN the job is done! Don’t do it later, do it NOW!
I cleaned the countertops. I put away the bits and pieces that had accumulated on them. I cleaned the oven. I cleaned the fridge. I tidied the kitchen table. I took out the rubbish and the recycling. I picked up the sopping piles of kitchen roll.
Oh, then I went in and dusted and polished the sitting room and put out fresh candles.
My husband meanwhile sat at his work desk, with the lamp angled just so, feverishly cleaning one of the hooks off the blinds on the patio doors. With a cotton bud.
‘There’s a speck of paint here that I just. can’t. seem. to get off,’ he muttered as he scrubbed, finally emerging, pink-faced, 25 minutes later with a triumphant ‘GOT IT!’
You can see why I have to kill him, can’t you?
It’s a shame ‘n all that we didn’t even make it to the first year, but what can you do?
Husbands – can’t live with them, can’t legally shoot them. But I’ll find a way around that.