Linda Hall: No appetite for domestic routine

By Linda Hall


Housework - it's a thankless chore that has to be done on a regular basis. I don't like housework, it takes up valuable time.

Time that I would much prefer spending outdoors, reading, gardening, or with family and friends.

I didn't mind it so much when I was at home with the children. Easy.

Even when I started working part-time, I didn't mind because there was time.

I have been working full-time now for longer than I care to count and more recently started working every other Sunday.

So weekends are more precious than ever.

And what makes my predicament even worse is that I live with a neat freak. You know the sort "... do those shoes live there?"

I'm not very good at taking not-so subtle hints so my usual reply is, "at the moment they do".

He is obsessed with cupboard doors and washing.

Cupboard doors must be shut at all costs.

I don't know how many times I've been sitting reading my book when Mr Neat gets home from work, walks into the kitchen and bang bang bang go the cupboards.

Now they are only ever left slightly open because I have been in there busily cooking a delicious meal.

Once when I heard the car come up the drive I flew into the kitchen and opened every cupboard and drawer in the place then calmly sat and waited.

"Oh, ha ha" was the only response I managed to get as he went about shutting them all.

As for washing ... he asked me the other day if I remember how to use a washing machine. The cheek of him.

He has a thing about towels. We have dozens of towels but lord help us all if there are more than four waiting to be washed.

In the machine they must go.

When we had all that rain recently there were towels on the clotheshorse by the fire so I went to the washhouse thinking I'd put a load of clothes in to dry by the fire that night. But no, the washing machine was already going and guess what was in it ... towels.

Seriously though, I've thought about paying someone to do the housework but I just can't bring myself to do it. That would essentially be spending my hard-earned money on housework.

Can't do it.

Surely between the two of us we can do this.

The days of housework being a woman's job are well and truly gone.

Most men I know do at least a little bit of something around the house.

However, people have pet hates when it comes to boring chores.

One male in the office said he didn't mind doing the washing and ironing but hated folding the clothes.

Another woman colleague said her husband did most of the cooking and his share of the washing and vacuuming (although he missed bits all the time and didn't go under the couch) and yet another said her partner always seemed to have a sore back when it was his turn to vacuum.

Another male, who is flatting, said he tried to avoid it altogether.

My pet hate is ironing. I really don't like it at all, but I do it.

The other thing that gets a fair bit of discussion in our house is cooking and dishes. He is a good, tidy cook, I am an average messy cook.

Every day we "discuss" what's for tea. It goes something like this.

Me: I'm going to ask you a question.

Him: I know, I know, what's for tea?

Me: You got it. Well?

Him: I don't know?

Me: Well neither do I. I decided last night, your turn.

Him: I don't know Linda. What have we got?

Me: Sausages.

Him: No.

Me: Chicken.

Him: No.

Me: Pork chops.

Him: No.

Me: Well that's it, unless you want to buy something.

Him: No, pork chops.

Then we do it all over again the next morning, or just for a change we have this discussion after dinner.

Isn't it funny how our lives so easily settle into routines? Some of us love it, others get bored with it quickly.

Me ... well, I don't mind it but I'd love to ditch the housework from my routine.

Footnote: Mr Neat is generally an all round good guy.

Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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