Because my husband's self-esteem is not tied to how our house looks, he sometimes doesn't get around to doing little chores as quickly as I would like. And he seems to think that my to-do list grows in the strangest ways.
One day not long ago, I noticed a crack in the ceiling, (never mind what I was doing, but I bet you can guess). It was caused by the worst ceiling/roof leak in the history of man kind. And all of a sudden, he had another entry on his home repair list that he has had a hard time getting to since we were married. It's more like a not-to-do list.
The repairmen have put tar, glue, cement, duck feathers, foam, and gunnysacks in the attic, under, on or around the leak, and the water still leaks through the roof when it rains and falls on the ceiling of our bedroom, which causes me to notice what my husband calls a "little, tiny, itsy-bitsy" spot. Since then he has practically lived in that attic looking for leaks.
Our house was built in 1930-something, so there are pipes, wires, and choking insulation, and he has to crawl over all that, plus beams and supports, while balancing a stupid flashlight whose batteries mysteriously fail as soon as he reaches the area that he thinks the leak might be. Then in the pitch blackness of the attic, he feels his way back through the obstacle course as he got called to the phone because someone chose this exact time to want to talk about his work schedule. So fun, huh?
The other day I asked him to get something out of the back "walk-in" closet. Fortunately there are no pipes or wires to worry about--just 7 or so years of togetherness accumulation, behind which was the object I asked him to retrieve. Hell, I'm not stupid. I thought maybe he would start to agree with me about having a garage sale.
Included in the accumulation are a set of snowboarding boots given to us by a friend, but they fit none of us. Boots size 8 women's. Me: 10, hubby: 8 1/2 men's, Man-child: freaking' size 15 men's. I have no idea why we are hanging on to these. I do not board. The guys try to once a year. But for some reason The husband wants to hang on to these "just in case". In case of what? I guess maybe I could have some sort of freak accident that leaves me with no toes, and amazing new snow boarding skills, but somehow I don't think so.
There's also the Edison's first blue canning kettle he used to can fruit and vegetables for the Civil War soldiers who came through town. (Kidding, duh.) We'd get the fruit and vegetables by going to the local farmers market and bring back 19 boxes of apples, corn, peaches, and apricots in the back of the car.
When we returned home, he would take the 19 boxes out of the car and stack them neatly next to the side door to the kitchen. Then he would get busy and try to get me to do something with all the produce. But six months later, he would put the fruit in the garbage can. He did this at some personal risk, because by then the green feelers on the peaches and apricots would be fully developed, and they would keep trying to choke him as he wrestled them into the garbage can. One time I suggested he take the boxes out of the car and put them directly into the garbage. Why all the storage? He still thinks he might get to them sometime, however, and he doesn't want to "waste" the fruit.
The reason why this is slightly stressful is because a true person of his family never makes two trips. He tries to bring all 19 boxes of fruit or 15 bags of groceries in from the car at the same time. This, too, has it's dangers because of all the stuff that is laying around from the man/child and or animals. I always wondered why during the course of the week, he doesn't take the stuff and put it away or something. And he claims he's not sure if I wanted it to be there or not. It's not obvious to him that just because his way is blocked, he should put some of it away. Of course sometimes his hands are already full with the 15 bags of groceries he's carrying to the kitchen, so as he has pointed out, it is impractical for me to suggest this.
Men are slobs. There is just nothing you can do about it. They have no idea how much work we do. Even the men that do things without having to be asked, still have no idea that they are just scratching the surface. Take it from a woman who lives with a thirty something eldest child and my own only child.
I wonder sometimes if the men in my life believe that there is a laundry doing, furniture dusting, floor vacuuming, animal feeding, toilet scrubbing, dog walking, car washing, grocery shopping, cat box cleaning, dish washing, shower scouring, dinner cooking, counter wiping, shoe finding, etc. fairy? Oh wait, that's me.