If you are a man you will understand this, and if you are a woman you will probably laugh and say, “That figures!” In the ongoing war between men and women, one thing will never change, and that is the difference between how men and women clean a house.
If you are single, you will probably scratch your head and say, “What’s the big deal?” Believe me, it IS a big deal, and one which has long been observed by married couples as a never-ending power struggle to decide who is the king or queen of the house.
Inevitably, there always comes that frustrating moment when we have to get together with our spouse and clean the house, the garage, the shed, the attic or even the yard, but it is not always as simple as it seems. There are boundaries to be observed, issues of sentimentality to deal with, and the scoreboard results of who is winning the game.
Winning the game, however, is the tricky part. Keeping your cherished belongings without your spouse despising you may not be easy, along with keeping your self-respect.
Patience, tolerance, and understanding are the keys to winning the game.
Does anyone believe that?
When your wife is going through your tee-shirt draw without your permission and trying to throw away your favorite N.Y. Giant’s tee-shirt, it is hard to remain silent.
“This thing has too many stains on it, and it smells like beer!”
It is those moments that you instantly forget why and how you feel in love with her. It is also that moment that you wish you had stayed single, and was living in the ultimate, man-cave.
For women, it is no different. It is not easy to tolerate seeing your husband throwing out your latest women’s magazine that has the article in it titled, “How To Sleep Next To A Man You Absolutely Hate!” Possessions like those are priceless, and become more life-sustaining that need to be used on a daily basis.
“What is this finger-battery-operated thing you have under the bed?” he asks you as you grab it away from him and scream, “Don’t you dare touch that!”
Cleaning a house with your spouse is like finding the stranger that lies within your marriage. It has always been there all along, and now is only showing its face under a pile of junk that has hidden itself in the basement for years.
It is also the ultimate test to see how far you are willing to go (or give up) to preserve the meaning of the words, “Till death do us part.”
Here are a few, quick tips for both men and women on how to do some early, preëmptive house-cleaning, and also how to clean with your spouse to keep your dignity and self-respect intact, and maybe your marriage.
1. Scour The Basement And The Attic Beforehand. You don’t want your wife or husband to find those intimate photos of you and that hottie you dated back in high school, or the Penthouse or Playgirl magazines. The excuse, “I forgot they were there,” will probably not go over too well, especially if the two of you have already been married for 10 years.
2. Remove Any Traces Of Voodoo Paraphernalia You Used In The Past When You Were Fighting With Your Spouse. Putting curses on your spouse is understandable, but you do not want them to find the proverbial, blood-stained, voodoo doll with a giant sewing pin stuck in its forehead with a photo of their face stuck on it – especially if one or both of you are from New Orleans.
3. Never Let Your Spouse Open A Taped Box First. This is like sudden death in a football game. You only get one chance and the person who opens the box first automatically becomes the hangman. If they don’t like what they see a very frigid night could be on the horizon.
4. Watch For Signs Of Your Spouse Trying To Hog One Cleaning Area And Keep You Away From It. This is a sure sign they know something is hidden there that they do not want you to find. If they suddenly become guarded and try to shy you away from it, pay closer attention. Whatever it is they have camouflaged over there, is sure to be something that you should be willing to kill them over to see.
5. Don’t Fall For The “Why Don’t You Go Take A Break, Honey?” Routine. This is a clever and devious way for them to get you out of the room. If your spouse says this to you right after they opened a box, make like Superman and break the sound barrier to see what is in that box.
I could go on and on offering more tips and listing clandestine ways spouses try to hide things from one another, and then go into a panic when spring cleaning time comes around. If you have been married as long as I have though, then you already know how strategically brilliant spouses can be to hide things from one another.
So the next time, you are thinking about asking your husband or your wife (or significant other) to help you clean out the house, make sure you first ask yourself the question, “What’s hiding in my closet?” It could spare you a lot of pain and suffering, embarrassment, and quite possibly a loving relationship.
© Joseph E. Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013/2014