An Open Letter To My Husband, Regarding Our Home

Just the other day, I went to my husband’s work. I don’t often go, but when I do I always like to move things around. He works in film, so they have a lot of equipment – I especially like to fuck with that stuff. I make sure to spill things all over the machines and not clean it up. I move the chairs around, and the fixtures. Then I fill the refrigerator in the break room with crap that’s just for me, even though I go in there – maybe – once a year.

I’m just kidding. I don’t do any of that. I also didn’t go into my husband’s work the other day. That would have required me to drive all the way there, and have a reason or will to see him during the workday (which I don’t, on either count), and to wear pants and a bra – just way more than I can handle most days.

I think my point was made nicely, though.

Each of us has a space. My husband’s is his place of employment; mine is our home.

And yet while I would never – not in a million years – dream of going into my husband’s space to move shit around to suit my fancy, make a huge mess and not clean it up, leave things in a way that sets others at an inconvenience, and break things without repairing or replacing them, time and again he does this to me.

Well this lady just can’t take it anymore. I’ve had it with working my ass off for it to all be undone, and for all of my own downtime being taken up with cleaning up his shit. I’m issuing him one more, final and public warning.

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Dear husband. Dear, dear, silly husband.

widget_cqSZNdkODnrlWTcyy5lZMPI think it’s “fun” how you fill the refrigerator with so many beverages it looks like a frat house on the eve of a kegger when you open the door to get – oh, I don’t know – some food. That’s a lie, no I actually don’t think it’s fun. I don’t think it’s fun at all. One time my grandma looked in the refrigerator and joked that we clearly live on liquids. That day, no less than 75% of the space had been taken up with cans of beer, bottles of beer, Soda Stream bottles with small droplets remaining, and approximately 36 bottles of Arrowhead water. With literally no room for food, this requires me to cook more often and grocery shop almost daily.

Fuck eating, we’re drinkers right? Wrong.

Yesterday, as with most days, I cleaned. For four hours. Three of those four hours were spent simply putting things back where they go. I put the throw blankets back where they go on our bed. I draped them over the unfortunate wear of the bed frame, versus where they were – folded up at the foot of the bed, implying they had been used (those are not for use) and exposing those scratches on the frame. I also rearranged all six of the throw pillows on the couch that cost $40 a piece, and yet are routinely treated as seat cushions and stress balls, squished and mashed out of shape while we watch movies in our living room.

Fuck having nice things, this shit’s for mashing and folding up right? Wrong.

Then there are things I think are just typical man, careless macho crap; though ironic since you are one of those LA hipsters that doesn’t like to be pegged a “typical” anything. Like when I go to take a shower and get sprayed in the face upon turning it on, because you can’t be bothered to remember to switch the water from sprayer to tub. Or when I clean the house only for you to spill food all over the bar table twenty minutes later while eating your dinner. And not clean it up, just leave it there in a pile of olive oil and pasta, bread crumbs and my forgotten dignity. And then there’s that whole tracking leaves in the front door thing, every fucking time that door gets opened.

Fuck respect for others, this place is your stomping grounds right? Wrong.

What I’m saying is that when I spend about 4 hours of each day in the kitchen cooking, over three different and complete meals, the last thing I want to do is look at a disgusting pile of olive oil, bread crumbs, and bits of pasta that fell from your mouth, sitting there on the bar table.

What I’m saying is that I would like to vacuum once a week. Not daily because leaves got tracked in and then stomped all over the living room.

I am so tired of our nice things being completely destroyed and left as is, as if once you have used and consumed everything you then will just leave behind a wasteland of broken furniture and damaged decor, and we should all just be totally OK with living in a trash dump.

Because let us not remind you of that temper tantrum you threw when I decided to turn our two, broken dining room chairs into a makeshift dining room bench that doesn’t look broken and dilapidated.

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Being a Stay At Home Mom, especially in your early 30s, can be a very stressful and isolating thing. We don’t get time with other moms quite like we’d like to. Or even just other adults. We don’t get to leave the slop and the slovenliness behind for 8 – 10 hours every day either. We have to sit in it, breath it in, see it all around us. If everyone, at the very least, would just wipe up the mess they leave behind – the toothpaste out of the sink, the crumbs off of the counter, hit the button in the shower, flip the shoes off before walking in the door – maybe four hours of cleaning almost daily would be cut down to two; freeing up more time for me to escape for a little bit in a book.

Let me be a little clearer:

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Screw Yourself Sideways, Spring Cleaning

I’ve been spring cleaning for about a week.

At first it was as it always is – like a new boyfriend. I was excited. My heart a’fluttered at the thought of trashing some of the crap we have and never use. The first night I couldn’t even get to sleep – the wheels in my brain were just turning and turning and turning over all the things I wanted to do.

Now spring cleaning and I have reached a parting of ways. It’s been a week (so, also much like a new boyfriend). I’m tired of having headaches from all the dust allergens flying around. There’s stuff. Everywhere. And for some reason I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I got rid of something I shouldn’t have.

Or is it that I didn’t get rid of enough?

Day 1

My Husband will rue the day he married this de-cluttering queen.

6496_522876140413_4968011_nWhen my husband and I first moved in with each other, I learned how much of a hoarder he really was. Is. Will have to get over.

We were unpacking stuff and he opened this big crate and dumped out a bunch of wires. The first thing I should have picked up on was that we didn’t really need any wires for anything we were doing, he just wanted to sort through his wire collection.

Pause a moment. Wire collection.

I asked what they were for and he said “in case I ever need them.” He thought it was funny. By contrast, I thought it was horrifying so I popped Xanax after Xanax because I was beginning to realize what I had gotten myself into.

We have gotten rid of a total of three of my husband’s things in the entire time I have known him. A bedside fountain that didn’t work. An African-looking knick knack that had rusted and cut me more than twice. And a ripped pair of sheets. A few years ago, my husband was given hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of clothing by his parents for Christmas. He got rid of two t-shirts to “make room.”

When I started spring cleaning last week, I realized that I just could not take all of his clutter anymore. If he wasn’t going to get rid of it, in fairness he had to find a better place to store it than on the floor next to our bed, or in areas of the closet that should be for me. I am the woman in the house, aren’t I?

Our conversation went like this:

Me: “We have got to start de-cluttering this place, Nick. I have to be here all the time, unlike you – it is making me feel sick and unsettled to have so much crap around all the time. Plus, it’s like some of this stuff is just here for me to clean. I have never actually seen you play those two guitars sitting propped against the wall over there. And the amp and pedal board that sits next to our bed – not a once. Ever.”

Nick: [Look of panic] “I don’t know what you are talking about. I also don’t even know why you care that there is clutter all over the place. I let you put away the Lord of the Rings cup that I used to like having displayed. How much more do I have to give up?”

Me: [Ignoring the look of panic, as well as the blatant stupidity] “OK, well if that is how you are going to be, I’m just going to do it myself and you can deal with it…”

Nick: Fine.

Nick is right. He let me put away the Lord of the Rings cup. By “let” of course we are all of the understanding that he had no choice. I love the Lord of the Rings movies; The Hobbit was my favorite book growing up. But there is no room for Frodo Baggins in my home decor.

Day 2

The bedroom and the kitchen. I figured I would start at one end of the apartment and move my way out.

To start, I wanted to pack as much of my husband’s guitar equipment into his side of the closet. Of course to do this, I had to start going through his side of the closet and getting rid of crap. Papers. Wire collection. Pussy Master 3000.

Wait, what?

You heard me right, faithful blog followers. I found the drawer full of gag gifts. Some of them I do remember as gifts – possibly gag, possibly serious (I never know with some of my friends). Lubricants. Handcuffs. Things never used, of course. Then there was something my husband consistently insists was a gag gift, although the details of said gift have never been disclosed.

Pussy Master 3000. Lubricant included. As the packaging goes, it’s for the guy who is sick of just using lotion, but needs an artificial vagina for those lonely nights while the wife is away. Fortunately it was still in the bag.

I moved into the kitchen after the Pussy Master and did a little purging and organizing. Then it was time to call it a day.

Day 3

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to the mall.

Day 4

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to my dad’s and mooch food.

Day 5

Oh shit, how am I going to finish spring cleaning in time for the Super Bowl party?! Super Bowl party … Super Bowl party … Let’s shop all day to get stuff for the Super Bowl party.

Day 6

Got my period. There is shit everywhere in my house now. I haven’t dusted in over a week. There is some gelatenous goo forming on the kitchen floor. I need tampons. Better to go get those and hang out at my dad’s house. It’s nice and tidy there.

Day 7 – Today

Screw yourself sideways, spring cleaning. It’s now just a few days away from the Super Bowl and we’re packing about 16 people into our tiny apartment. There’s a bowl, books, stickers, an open package of graham crackers, and a broken Dora the Explorer talking backpack occasionally splurting out “back pack back pack” on the living room coffee table. On the kitchen table is a pile of cleaning supplies, another book, a party bag full of Super Bowl-themed party stuff, and a package of Puffs tissues. I didn’t even bother to put the boxes of kleenex around the house and the extras away. Better to just pull the kleenex directly out of the package, left half-opened on the table.

9401It’s time to get away from this spring cleaning nonsense. I need to just put away all this crap and move on with my life. I discovered a bruise on my leg this morning while getting ready. It probably got there from the hundreds of times I’ve run into all the shit lying around here over the past week of “spring cleaning;” nonetheless, it reminded me that I’m a princess and don’t like scrapes and bruises showing up on my delicate skin. Pussy Master 3000 and Frodo Baggins will have to be it for now. Until next spring…

Do You Ever Ask Yourself, “Is This Worth It?” I Do.

I do all the time. In fact, I’m asking myself that right now, over a number of different things. Sadly, the answer to myself is typically “no.” Actually, it’s usually a lot more assertive than that. It’s more like a “fuck this” with doors slamming and things being thrown (well, at least in my mind).

This morning as I was scrubbing the floor, I asked myself “is this worth it?” I mean, normally I use my Swiffer, but it doesn’t always do the job. But then why isn’t it? While I was scrubbing angrily, I found stuff on the floor that should not have been there since I just cleaned and mopped yesterday. Like Rice Krispies and spilled juice. How the fuck did Rice Krispies and juice get spilled when this motherfucking floor was just cleaned less than 12 hours ago? I thought to myself as my scrubbing got angrier and angrier. I just cleaned yesterday! What is the point of getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing like CinderHeather, only for it to be dirtied up twenty minutes later when people that are clearly blind and incapable of cleaning up after themselves come through the room for another snack or something to drink?

This afternoon I got my car washed. It was so dirty; dirtier than your mom back on that trip to Cancun in the 60s. Nasty. There was milk spilled in the backseat. There were toys fucking everywhere. I had a week’s worth of mail sitting in the front seat and a package of toilet paper I forgot to bring in the apartment in the trunk. Outside the car looked more brown than blue, and part of my Bulls bumper sticker was covered in mud. When it was done and we got in the car, it was like a dream. I actually pinched myself, it was that nice. Then we got home and a bird shit on it and the kid spilled her apple juice from lunch all over the floor in the back. Is this worth it? Well it seems not, now that it needs to be cleaned all over again.

Just before writing this blog I was wrapping Christmas presents. You faithful blog followers know I handle Christmas shopping and wrapping in September every year, then laugh heartily at everyone else scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off all the way to December 26th. But as I was wrapping in the bedroom, where the air conditioning had not yet hit; sweating like a pig and making everything look beautiful and perfect and elaborate, I thought to myself “Is this worth it?” No one ever stops to admire my wrapping job. No one ever appreciates how nice it looks. They all just open the shit, throw it to the side and say “what’s next?” When I remembered this, I moved to wrapping in bags with extra paper. No one can complain about there being no fun with the messiness of the paper if there is tons of tissue paper to throw around, right?

So you see I ask myself this many times through the course of a day. As I’m writing this post, and I have an 11 pound turkey in the oven, I’m wondering if the elaborate meal I’m preparing will be worth it too. My husband will eat three-quarters of it and everything else will be shoveled down like feeding time at the barnyard. I’m almost tempted to say “screw it” and just serve Taco Bell.